Nutrition and Movement for Immune Support

From Dr. Jeff:
This Institute for Functional Medicine has released this briefing:

Useful supplements to help immune system during COVID outbreak. Don’t start anything without first asking your doctor/medical team.

From Kirsten:

Immune boosting foods are essential to lowering our risk of contracting symptoms of COVID-19. 80% of people who get the virus have comparatively manageable symptoms and are able to fight it off. This is because their bodies have a strong immune system.

Fruits (especially berries and citrus), vegetables (especially cruciferous ones like kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and collards), as well as nuts (like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts), help boost our immune system

Exercising During Self-Quarantine
(Part One)

Healthy tips during Shelter in Place wouldn’t be complete without a discussion about exercising. With the temporary closure/altered hours of non-essential businesses, you’ve probably found that local gyms, YMCA’s, and other fitness centers are closed. This doesn’t give you a good excuse to stop exercising though! As we’re over 3 weeks into this pandemic and with no assured ending, it’s imperative to begin/continue with an exercise routine while social distancing.

A sedentary lifestyle has several negative health impacts and can lead to unhealthy eating and mental disengagement. Physical activity positively impacts and decreases our stress (which can be heightened during social isolation and lack of outlets away from family members). Physical activity also maintains mental health and well-being, as well as physical health. Regular exercisers experience a lowering of high cholesterol and blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, weight control, bone strengthening, healthy arteries, and more.

Aim for a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise per week. This equates to 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week. Of course, your body doesn’t mind at all if you do more!

Part Two Coming Thursday!


How about some "Staying Well"  Suggestions?

In our first COVID-19 newsletter early in March, we offered the following lifestyle recommendations to boost your innate immune system and protect yourself from the novel virus which is foreign to ALL our bodies. A re-cap here - with some additional supplement recommendations.

1) Get adequate sleep. Our bodies repair and replenish during sleep. Sleep also helps our body resolve inflammation, which stresses the immune system.

2) Limit sugar, processed foods and alcohol. All these challenge our immune system.

3) Eat real food such as fruits and vegetables rich in phyto-nutrients. Eat from the rainbow of color in the produce aisles! Make real food the majority of each meal, and avoid heavily processed foods.

4) Find the "Goldilocks" activity for yourself. Too much exercise is a stress on the body and a challenge to the immune system. Mild to moderate exercise -- especially if it reduces stress -- helps increase resilience and immunity. Check out many of the online offerings!

5) Manage stress skillfully. Find time to be still, or at least to check in with your worries and fears. With simple practices of mindfulness, such as deep mindful breathing, we can shift our body from the "fight/flight" reaction -- which over time wrecks havoc on our immune system -- to the "rest/digest" response, where we thrive and build resilience.

6) Limit your extracurricular activities to those that bring the most emotional nourishment to your life. Constant busy-ness is a stress itself. - Well, our Shelter in Place order is helping us with this one, isn't it?

7)  Consider specific immune-boosting supplements if approved by your physician or health care provider. In addition to a quality multi-vitamin, general immune support can be found in:

-- Vitamin C
-- Mushroom beta glucan, and Reishi, another mushroom product, have both been used for millennia in Chinese medicine to support the immune system. Other immune-supporting herbs used in Chinese medicine include Astragalus and Andrographis.

Additional research since this post has suggested two supplements we often recommend that may have particularly helpful anti-viral properties against this particular SARS CO-v 2 which causes COVID-19.

Quercetin - often used to calm inflammation and support immune function - has some compelling research you can read here. It may actually block the mechanism of the virus attaching in our bodies. Clinical in vitro studies are being done now, but this supplement is generally safe and well tolerated and worth considering.

Resveratrol - Used to help treat MERS - similar to SARS CO-V 2 - Resveratrol is something we use often for cognitive health, heart health, and general anti-inflammatory benefits. Read this study for more info.

Even natural supplements can have potential side effects, such as interfering with prescription medications. Always check with your primary care provider before starting any natural supplement or treatments. If Jeff is your doctor, please message us for his advise on the safety for your individual case. We also offer our online dispensary service, Fullscript, for all our clients. Please contact Heather if you need a Fullscript log in!

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