COVID-19, THE CORONAVIRUS (CORONA VIRUS), THE WUHAN VIRUS, OR SARS COV-2: BY ANY OTHER NAME
Whatever you call this global scourge, you’re almost certainly concerned about what you and your family can do to protect yourselves. In a series of blogs over the next few months, we’ll explore some of the foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health.
Everyone seems to be prepping for a virus that’s coming to a town near you. Or maybe it is already there. No matter where you are, neither bottled water nor toilet paper can prevent you or your loved ones from getting sick in the first place. Here at Be Fit Again, I believe the best way to health is to fortify your position: build your immunity!
Science informs us that nutrition supports your immune system. Good food supplemented by vitamins and minerals CAN help build your immune system and prevent you from getting sick in the first place. In the next few weeks, I will take a look at some of the most important fruits and vegetables that you can introduce to your diet today to maintain your health tomorrow.
Before we begin, you need to know that I am not a doctor. My blogs are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you do think that you have an illness, see your doctor either virtually or in person (if you can) and get tested to get to the bottom of your dis-ease. If you have COVID-19, you’ll have to monitor your symptoms and isolate yourself from others who might get the disease from you.
Building immunity from annual colds and flu viruses is nothing new. Every fall as children return to school and you return from vacations to go back to the office, new forms of the common cold or flu virus begin to accelerate through neighborhoods and across the USA. Your family and neighbors begin to cough and hack, reach for the Kleenex, and, if you’re smart, you reach for immunity-boosting juice. I do! Let me tell you how it works.
The Immune System: Basics
Your immune system is triggered by a virus or something the body recognizes as a “non-benign substance”.
Your body’s immune response is generally divided into either (1) innate immunity or (2) adaptive immunity.
- Innate immunity is the immunity your body has which responds to everything as opposed to a specific pathogen. It expresses itself immediately as soon as any of your cells recognize a new pathogen in your body. For example, your body may get hot and cause a fever in the absence of a specific-immune response to kill the invader or it may react with inflammation such as the itch your skin produces to prompt you to scratch.
- Adaptive immunity is triggered by the innate immune system in response to specific pathogen, called antigens.
Your personal long-term immunity depends on your own immune system memory and follows its adaptive response to your environment. Your own mature adaptive cells are highly trained to attack specific pathogens and are retained in your immune memory for later use. The benefit to building long-term immunity to pathogens is the creation of immunity memory across genetic and hereditary lines. As an example, the Black Plague is no longer an issue (basis of the movie War of the Worlds) because humans as a species developed an immunity to that specific strain.
Genetic immunity is also called “herd immunity” which you may be hearing quite a bit about these days. Herd immunity results from a healthy, fully functioning immune system that is passed down through birth and enforced with proper support throughout your life.
If, prior to your birth, your mother got the chicken pox, mumps, or other types of infections that she successfully fought off, all those aspects of her adaptive immune system pass on to you through natural birth and breastfeeding. It doesn’t mean you won’t get those disease, but it does mean that your body will mount an effective response without killing you. Today, immunity commonly is conferred on populations by vaccinations which anticipate a virus that may attack you and builds your own body’s defenses in advance against it before it can make you sick.
Prior to vaccines, herd immunity developed as a direct human exposure to an invading pathogen. Because a vaccine is a specific, artificial trigger to the original antigen, it bypasses the innate system while directly triggering the adaptive system. This process does not promote herd immunity but protects individuals from circulating disease.
After you are vaccinated, when you encounter that specific virus in the future, your immune system mounts the same defense it originally created in response to the vaccine. However, it does not develop killer cells or immune memory that create a response that passes along genetically. Over time, vaccine-created memory lapses, and you must either renew the vaccine or risk catching the strain it prevents against.
This means that – from a societal point of view – the best thing you can do to fight off colds, flus and other misery-producing illnesses is to fight it naturally so the crowd can build herd immunity over time and prevent our precious species in the future. If you’ve mounted a natural defense after your body has defeated a virus, you’ll never need a vaccine for it afterwards. Your body remembers.
YES, YOUR OWN CELLS PRODUCE ANTIGENS
The immune system is generally tolerant of self-antigens which means your body does not attack its own cells, tissues, and organs. However, this tolerance can be lost, and autoimmune diseases and food allergies are the result.
Fortunately, certain naturally-occurring enzymes increase the body’s tolerance to antigens. Most of the immune-boosting juices carry a powerful and flavorful punch and include ginger, chilies, turmeric, lemon , grapefruit, garlic, papaya seed, and pineapple. (link) Let me share some of my favorites with you, and tell you how they work.
MY FAVORITE IMMUNE BOOSTING JUICES
- Apples (link) contain quercitin, a natural antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and flavonoid which works well in tandem with Vitamin C. It’s rich in antioxidants and has been shown to reduce the spread of the common cold. It also benefits the heart, reduces the risk of cancer, and also helps suppress allergies.
- Carrots are a super-carotenoid meaning that they provide lots of beta-carotene also known as Vitamin A. Beta-carotene fights infections. Carrots strengthen the heart, lungs, skin, eyes, and immune system. We often think that the orange in carrots comes from beta-carotene, but it’s orange color actually originates from the alpha-carotene, lycopene (red), lutein, and zeaxanthin. And, all of these natural colorings strengthen our immune defenses.
- Red Tomatoes/Raspberries/Cherries/Strawberries/Pomegranates. Speaking of colorful enzymes, the ellagic acid in these fruits is equally as powerful as that found in carrots.
- Citrus (Oranges/Grapefruit) and Ginger will stimulate circulation and boost anti-inflammatory responses. Ginger in particular has undergone long-term studies to prove its ability to fight multiple drug-resistant pathogens that cause upper respiratory and gut infections.
- Turmeric, Garlic and Greens. Curcumin is a component of turmeric, one of the most powerful naturally-occurring, chemo-preventive and anti-cancer agents in the world. Researchers say its biological effects range from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to inhibition of angiogenesis or the process of cell proliferation, which explains its antitumor activity.
A Power Juice and More
I like to add an anti-inflammatory juice with a natural antibiotic like garlic and add some amazing alkalines such as lemon juice. Now, that’s a recipe for success!
Here are some other ways I build my immunity during the COVID-19 crisis. Follow these links to learn more.
A) Reduce your inflammation (https://befitagain.com/stop-inflammation/),
B) Try selected herbs such as echinacea (https://befitagain.com/everybodys-pal-echinacea/), or astragalus (https://befitagain.com/astounding-astragalus/), and
C) Sleep! Studies like the one in the link demonstrate that sleep powerfully boosts your immune system! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/)
D) Get a flu shot so you can eliminate the annual circulating flu virus from your worries and avoid a possible misdiagnosis.
What else am I doing to protect myself from COVID-19? I’m:
- taking Zicam three times a day even without any cold symptoms;
- taking Airborn vitamin supplements with Orange Juice. Why OJ? Because a virus has receptors that find a host. Your cells are smart and can identify ‘real’ and ‘fake’ vitamins, so by mixing living vitamins with supplements, you’ll trick your cells into absorbing more of the supplement. (Pretty clever, huh?),
- considering a visit to Palm Beach Tan or making sure I’m exposed to a range of UV light on a regular basis (https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/how-does-sunlight-boost-the-immune-system), and – for the mind –
- reading calming biographies like those of U.S. Presidents from the 1800s. Why? Because I can disassociate and relax! Find something that helps you achieve a calm, positive state of mind.
A Little More About Protecting Your State of Mind
Here are a few things I am NOT doing during the COVID-19 crisis.
Obviously, avoid crowds! And…
- DO NOT watch scary movies or read scary books — they cause stress and stress lowers your immune system’s response (in fact, you should probably limit your reading about COVID-19 to just a few articles a day.) And on that note, I’ve just supplied you with your daily dose of COVID-19 news, so be ready to put this article down and take some of the above actions!
- If you do not have health insurance, GET IT NOW!
I stand with you during this time of a global pandemic to help you stay strong and healthy so we can all get back to work and play again.