How to boost your immune system and fight an infection - Part 2: Reducing InflammationMar 24, 2020
Worried about Coronavirus and looking for ways in which you or your family can boost your immune system to help reduce your risk of developing symptoms and to be able to fight the virus successfully?
As a family we are now in lock down with suspected Coronavirus being contracted by our daughter of 14 months, but we have been taking the steps highlighted in this video to help her and ourselves get better faster.
This is part 2 of a five part series focusing on how you can boost your immune system and fight an infection. There are four phases that we can talk about with regards to dealing with an infection:
- Phase 1 - Prevent
- Phase 2 - Resist
- Phase 3 - Treat
- Phase 4 - Recover.
If you know anybody that is at risk, please share this blog if you think this could help them. This series is intended to be educational. Please talk to your healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.
There's five things that you can do to help you boost your immune system and fight an infection. These are conveniently remembered by the mnemonic VIRUS:
- V - Vagus Nerve
- I - Inflammation
- R - Resilience
- U - Understanding
- S - Sleep.
I is for Inflammation
When it comes to inflammation generically there's two different types:
- External inflammation - what you can see, when you burn or bruise yourself you can see your body's response
- Internal inflammation - the stuff that you can't see that can steal our health and may or may not feel, such as inflammation in the brain, joints, muscles, gut.
Inflammation in a small quantity is a good thing. It's our body's response to fighting any foreign invader, whether that's infection or damage to our system. When our body responds, blood flows to the site to help our body heal, along with white blood cells and supporting nutrients to help our body fight the damage.
The problem comes when we feed our body with stuff that causes inflammation. The more you are stressing your immune system the less likely we are able to be able to successfully fight off foreign invaders.
What causes inflammation that is within your control?:
- Consumption of high levels of omega-6 found in transfats and refined oils, such as corn, canola and sunflower oil, vegetable oil and low levels of omega 3 by not consuming enough omega-3 in your diet. Foods containing high levels of omega-3 can found in salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, herring and halibut, as well as walnuts and avocados
- Processed foods
- Gum disease
- Sugar is a major contributor to inflammation and also heart disease
- Pesticides that enter our food chain.
Simple steps to reduce inflammation:
- Make sure your omega-3 levels are optimal. Omega-3 can be found in cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, herring and halibut, as well as walnuts and avocados. Ensure the fish is clean (low in toxins). Consider using high quality omega-3 supplements that have the right balance and level of omega-3 for you, such as those made by BrainMD Health
- Limit the consumption of sugar and foods that are high in pesticides. Visit https://www.ewg.org to look at the clean 15 and dirty dozen list of fruit and vegetables. If purchasing foods from the dirty dozen list, seek to buy organic where possible, and limit the consumption of processed foods
- Eat prebiotic foods, which includes apples, beans, cabbage, artichokes, onions and leeks, as well as asparagus and root vegetables. Consider supplementing with probiotics, which combined with prebiotics are considered the best approach, particularly if you have a lowered immune system due to pre-existing
- Clean your teeth and floss twice daily to look after your gum health. Ensure you have regular check-ups with your hygienist, where possible
- Focus on the appropriate stress management techniques. Examples include exercise, meditation, using apps such as Calm or Headspace, listening to music that makes you feel happy, looking at ways to change your environment that can be contributing to your stress levels.
If you'd like to find out more about how you can boost your immune system and fight infection make sure you watch all parts of this series.
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