We are living in some crazy times.
At the time of writing, there have been more than 1.4 million Coronavirus cases all over the world, the number increasing every day.
Some estimates say that 40 to 60% of the global population is going to catch COVID-19 in the coming years.
While you can’t protect yourself from getting infected, there are several things you can do to ensure you won’t end up as part of the 20% that require hospitalization, or worse.
But first, let’s be very clear. Everything right now is theoretical. The science will come out, the data will be mined, and then we will actually gain more information on this dreaded disease.
One of the main things we have come to understand is that COVID-19 isn’t just killing older people. It’s killing people whose health is already somehow compromised.
“In short, COVID-19 is not ageist. It’s health-ist.”
Young or old, COVID-19 is going after people with pre-existing conditions:
Whether it’s the high blood sugar weakening the immune system, or an increased risk of a serious breathing problem called acute respiratory distress syndrome, the fact is that these people are suffering much worse and are much more likely to succumb to it.
Now, more than ever, is the biggest wake-up call to get your health under control.
Yes, wash your hands. And yes to social distancing. We are finally getting the message. But the next message needs to get out now.
The Next Message
You’ve got a big mansion.
You’ve got a fence around the outside, called social distancing.
You’ve got dogs protecting you – social distancing.
You’ve got an alarm system – social distancing.
But if somebody gets in the house, you’re going to the safe room.
The safe room is your body and you want it to be as impenetrable as possible.
You want your immune system to be as healthy as possible.
Your body has certain physical needs. If you’re not meeting those needs, there will be consequences. Therefore you need to do everything you can, (and I cannot stress this enough), to keep your immunity healthy.
Here Are 6 Things You Can Do to Keep That Immunity of Yours Running Smoothly
1. Breathe deeply
The number one thing your body needs is air. When you’re under stress, not only your immune system is freaking out, but you’re also breathing in a very shallow way.
Meditations and deep breathing exercises communicate to your body that you’re safe. This makes your immune system more robust.
When you can’t leave your house, make sure you open the windows and get some air.
2. Stay hydrated
While you can go weeks without food, you need water daily.
Every mechanism of your body from your brain to your digestive system requires hydration.
3. Move a bit
Your lymphatic system never developed a pump because it’s not urgent in the way that oxygen and blood are.
Our normal lifestyles require moving all the time, which meant we pumped lymphatic flow.
Now that we’re not moving as much, we’re not cleansing our bodies.
WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. This can easily be achieved at home, with no special equipment and with limited space.
4. Get some sunlight
Not burning, not tanning, not damaging your skin, but 15 to 20 minutes of daily sunlight that plays its role in your immune function.
If you live in a place like England or Seattle or Vancouver, you might think you don’t have sunlight. But if it’s light outside, there’s natural light. It comes through the clouds. So go, get some sunlight.
5. Eat the foods we have a long-standing evolutionary relationship with
This means a limited amount of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Why limited? Because you don’t want to be eating a lot of sugar right now, of any kind, even healthy fruits.
You want a wide variety of good solid vegetables, and not from the nightshade family.
You want good sources of healthy proteins and fats. For those of you who are not vegetarians, this means fish, meat and eggs. If you are a vegetarian, this means nuts, beans, and lentils.
Your health is far more determined by you getting enough of the good stuff than it is by you eliminating the bad stuff.
If you get all the good stuff in first, your body is getting what it needs, and you’ll have less cravings for the other stuff anyway. With the nutritional constituents your body requires, you’ll stand the very best chance.
You might be wondering about some staple items that are part of your usual diet.
You might be in a place where you’ve got historical patterns or traditions around food.
What’s more important to you, your historical tradition or your immune system?
White potatoes are not a good idea right now.
Rice in a limited quantity is fine, but not daily.
When it comes to things like wheat, I wouldn’t want to be having it hardly at all, if at all.
Think about milk, cheese, and yogurt for a moment.
COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system. So does milk. Ask any professional singer – they can’t have any milk a week or so before singing, because it causes mucus to build up in the respiratory system. Milk is a non-food, now more than ever.
Coca-Cola has convinced you that if you crack open one of their bottles, you’re cracking open happiness. And in normal life it’s fine if you want to have a little bit of fun here and there.
But what you’re also cracking open is diabetes metabolic syndrome and a bunch of chemicals that will rot your teeth out of your face. You’re cracking open something that is stressing your immune system.
This is not the time for sodas or pre-workout and post-workout drinks.
Grains assault your digestive system. If you’re gluten intolerant, you absolutely want to stay away from grains completely, because you don’t want to trigger your immune system.
But gluten is just one of the problems with grains. A grain is a plant wanting to become, so it defends itself against digestion. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get sprouted wheat bread or if you’re having bread on a very rare occasion and you’re not super sensitive, it’s okay.
But optimally, bread is not a good idea.
6. Vitamins and Supplements – Think Before You Buy
While it’s not a good time to be slamming our systems with blood sugar, it’s a good time to be slamming our systems with vitamin C.
One of the best ways to get vitamin C is through an orange or a grapefruit. You should eat the fruit itself because when you’re juicing it, you’re getting the sugar but losing a lot of the fiber.
While not a big fan of supplements, it’s worth taking a vitamin C supplement.
However, most of the pills are sold based on fear. If you’re taking supplements you don’t require, all you get is ‘expensive urine’ and a stressed out liver.
If you have an actual medically measured deficiency (not based on the checklist in Cosmo magazine), you should first attempt to supplement that deficiency through natural behavior, like whole foods, or in the case of vitamin D, you should go outside and get some sunlight.
If the natural means don’t work, you should be looking into the best quality supplements.
We know that vitamin C is incredibly helpful when dealing with the current crisis.
Zinc and magnesium support you as well, helping you sleep better and improve your bone health.
If You Could Do One Thing, What Would It Be?
There are a lot of things that you can do for yourself to protect your immune system.
But if I’d have to choose one thing, if I could press a button and it would be gone, it would be sugar, sugar replacements, artificial sweeteners, leaving us with only natural sugar resources like honey and fruit.
However, we should not be binging on those things at all right now.
Breaking up with sugar is a tough thing to do because we’ve been emotionally conditioned through manipulative advertising campaigns, special holidays and circumstances, and misguided parents who showed us that if we’re crying, a cookie could help.
Besides emotional things to deal with, there’s also the reality of physical addiction and the craving for sweets.
Sugar is the number two ingredient in Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes.
It’s the number one ingredient in Frosted Flakes, passing even corn.
It’s also in pretty much every tomato sauce that you can buy from the shelf as the number two or three ingredients.
Sugar is in obvious places, in hidden places, and it’s constantly triggering your taste buds to stop being able to taste sweet. When you cut it out, suddenly things taste good again.
Free Yourself From Sugar
There’s a free program on Mindvalley we created a year ago that is now more important than ever.
In “7 Days to Breaking up With Sugar” we have created a process that helps you evaluate your emotional relationship with sugar, to then change your physiological relationship with sugar, and reset your taste buds.
In 10 minutes a day, I’ll be guiding you step by step how to completely eliminate sugar from your life.
What almost everybody reports is that they come out of the program and all of a sudden, things they never regarded to be sweet before are now suddenly incredibly sweet.
That’s because their taste buds have recalibrated to a world that’s not being bombarded by sugar, xylitol, and all these weird artificial sweeteners.
The bottom line is – you don’t have to suffer. You can be in that group of individuals with mild symptoms.
But you need to take care of your immune system.
Your health is your last line of defense.
Did you find this article helpful? What’s one food you’re gonna stop/start eating as a result?
(This article was based on a Mindvalley Podcast with Eric Edmeades, written and edited by Melani Kalev.)