As news of the Coronavirus fills our newsfeeds and fuels our concerns about staying healthy, I wanted to share some of my top tips for supporting a healthy immune system and easing stress.
Since many circumstances surrounding the spread of this novel virus are out of our control, it’s important to focus on what we can do, like ensuring that we’re washing our hands well, staying home if we’re sick, stocking up on key food items like canned goods and frozen fruits and veggies, and doing what we can to prevent becoming sick.
As a means of prevention, I suggest the following to my clients:
- Stay hydrated. As I like to say, hydrate like it’s your side hustle. Drinking plenty of fluids is a great way to prevent invading pathogens from setting up camp in your body. Creating a barrier in your nostrils with coconut oil, ghee or vitamin E oil is also super helpful.
- Make sure your nutrition is on point. Eating foods rich in vitamins C and D is super important to help support proper immune system function, since these nutrients play supportive roles. Vitamin C can be found in broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, citrus, kale, kiwi, oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes, just to name a few sources. You’ll find vitamin D in fatty fish, eggs, and dairy (the United States dairy supply is fortified with vitamin D). Supplements are also available if you need help covering your bases.
- Support your gut health. Most of our immune system function actually happens in the gastrointestinal system, so it’s important to nourish your gut health by eating fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha can help. Prebiotic-rich foods which serve as fuel for the probiotic bacteria. Food sources include apples, oats, garlic, leek, and onions, among others. Supplements are also available. I generally suggest supplementing with both a daily probiotic and prebiotic to make it easy to stay consistent, since you do need to continuously replenish probiotics to keep your GI tract populated with those helpful good guys.
- Fuel your body well to have energy. Eat balanced meals (with protein, fiber, fat and carbs) throughout the day. Covering your nutrient bases will help you feel calm and energized. This is not the greatest time to start a super-restrictive diet, as it could mess with your energy and put mental and physical stress on the body.
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods. Make sure your daily diet is colorful and varied. Fruits and veggies (especially berries, leafy greens, and bright veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes) are all great options. Ialso love making turmeric tea for its anti-inflammatory benefits too. You’ll find my go-to recipe and more in this mindbodygreen article.
- Get adequate sleep. Our immune system takes a hit when we don’t sleep well, so it’s important to focus on bedtime routines which welcome sound sleep. Some of these include meditation, aromatherapy, and journaling before bed. Certain foods can help promote sleep too.
It’s totally normal to feel concerned about staying healthy, especially in light of the Coronavirus, but try not to get wrapped up in stress. In other words, try shifting your mindset from worry to feeling well, while still being prepared to deal with the worse case scenario.
Want to hear more about these tips? Check out this Facebook Live video where I go into further detail about these suggestions.
If you’re curious to learn more about my favorite useful and approachable tips for staying on track with your healthy living goals, my book, The Little Book Of Game Changers:
50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety is packed with some of my favorite little life
hacks that have helped my clients reach their goals and maintain their results!
You can snag your copy on Amazon.