Dr. Seeds, a board certified surgeon who is doing his part with the battle of coronavirus, shares his effective tips to increasing your body’s natural immune system by improving your cells’ efficiency.
How To Increase Your Immunity Naturally To Fight Viral Infections
The coronavirus that is currently assaulting the world may be a new or “novel” virus to most of us, but for us on the front lines of medicine, it is eerily familiar.
Why this Virus is So Alarming
Similar to SARS and MRSA, this new coronavirus is a type of virus that attacks our lungs and upper respiratory pathways. It’s dangerous in at least three major ways:
- Because it’s new, we do not have any anti-bodies to resist infection
- Because we don’t know exactly how it spreads, people may carry it without showing symptoms and infect those around them
- People who are already vulnerable to lung issues or have compromised immune systems are most susceptible; these are the people who can die from coronavirus.
Women, men, and children can all get sick from the coronavirus. However, those people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and COPD are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
Why? Because their upper respiratory systems — the lining of their lungs for example — are already weak. You may wonder why people with diabetes may be at risk for the severe symptoms, here’s why…
Acidic Environments Are The Best for Spreading Viruses
When we eat a lot of sugar, especially what’s hidden in processed, packaged foods, our bodies become acidic. When we eat a lot of starchy carbs, alcohol and red meat, our bodies become acidic. These are often the habits of people with Type 2 diabetes. All of these aspects of diabetes weaken the body’s ability to fight off infections.
Diabetes is a form of chronic inflammation of the gut and a disruption of metabolism. Diabetes also means that your gut is overly acidic, which weakens your body’s immune defenses.
This means that your diet has a lot to do with the health of your immune system.
People with heart disease, high blood pressure and hypertension are also more vulnerable. When the heart and its vessels have to work harder to push oxygen through the blood stream, they take energy away from the immune system.
High blood pressure or any one of the aspects of heart disease drain your immune system. The same is true of lung conditions such as COPD and emphysema. Any time one part of the body is weak, other parts of the body take the brunt. And when faced with an incoming threat such as a new virus, the body’s immune system will be compromised.
Get to Know your Immune System
There is hope for all of us. Our best defense against coronavirus is an offense. Our bodies are supremely intelligent and learn quickly. If we give our bodies the right information, we can jump start our immune systems to both resist infections and repair what’s under assault.
It’s important to understand the basics of how our immune system works: our bodies are designed to automatically identify foreign invaders. A virus is a foreign invader. One of the first ways our immune systems fight a foreign invader is by sending cell signals to all parts of the brain and body to turn on its “defense system.” Sometimes this means inflammation — like when you stub your toe and it swells. Inflammation is literally a signal that something is wrong.
So when you get a cold and your nose gets stuffy and your throat hurts, that’s your body’s response to the bacteria or virus that is having its way with you. In most cases, we take over the counter medicine and try and make the symptoms go away or stop. But these medicines don’t really attack the virus.
What can hurt the virus is turbo-charging our immune system. Remember, our bodies — especially our immune systems — are smart!
Let’s take a look at three simple steps you can take to help keep your immune system in tip top shape.
Three Steps To Keep Your Immune System Effective At Fighting Viruses
Step One: Restore your body’s pH balance and make it more alkaline
PH balance is not just for your hair or skin. In fact, one of the most proactive ways that you can keep your overall immune system efficient by bringing your gut into pH balance and making it more alkaline instead of acidic.
This means to address your diet!
- Eat veggies. Fiber acts as a pH-balancer for your gut, moving food in and out more efficiently.
- Stay away from refined sugar. Sugar is like pouring acid into your gut.
- Reduce processed foods, dairy, and alcohol. Processed foods, dairy and alcohol have hidden sugars that bombard your gut with acid.
- Add sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) to water. This alkaline-producer returns your gut to pH balance.
Step Two: Walk after Meals, especially after dinner
We all know the benefits of exercise — it helps the heart, metabolism and our moods. But when you take a brief 15-20 minute walk right after a meal, you signal your body to turn on your body’s cells.
This simple step will not only help you digest your food but signal to your brain and body to re-boot itself, keeping your entire system running.
Step Three: Get Regular Deep Sleep to Repair Your Immune System
I know, I know. Everyone these days has trouble sleeping.
My patients are just like you: they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. They wake up too early or can’t go to bed until the wee hours. As a society, we have become disconnected from our circadian rhythm — that internal body clock that we were born with. But you can re-set your body clock. Remember that old saying, sleep is the best medicine?
It’s absolutely true. When our bodies truly rest at night, our immune system restores itself.
Get at least 6 hours of sleep (8 if you can). Additional tips to getting better sleep here.
So How do you Reset your Inner Clock?
- You set a schedule and stick to it for a week.
- Create a simple nighttime ritual.
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Turn off your brain. This means turning off the media. Listen to music instead. Or read something boring. Meditate or pray.
These three simple steps are scientifically supported tools that will help you build your body’s immune system so that it has the strength to fight an invader like coronavirus or any other virus for that matter.
Any questions about your immune system or other ways to increase cell efficiency? Let me know in the comments below or shoot me a DM on social media!
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