Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Segal, M.D.
The immune system, a sophisticated defense structure that protects against disease, connects each organ and responds to a host of natural threats found within the body and the ecosystem. Infections and viruses are found in both the environment and our bodies while continuously fought throughout our lives, and our immunity is strongly dependent on our emotional responses. Like a game of tennis, the body and mind work together, sending signals back and forth that cooperate through the immune system. Shock, fear, and tension are critical indicators from the body to the mind that you may be stressed physically, and the immune system works harder to generate cellular activity, signaling emotional reactions back to the brain while changing its chemistry.
As the largest organ of the body, the skin has an enormous impact on the way our bodies can absorb material from the environment, which is why social distancing is essential to maintaining immune efficiency. While saliva, mucus, and tears contain enzymes that defend against bacterial and viral invasions, the growing demand for proper hygiene, diet, and sleep remains vital during this pandemic.
Washing our hands for at least 20 seconds will keep the skin clean along with daily showers (preferably cold) that stimulate a vigorous defense. Keep your counters disinfected daily while using gloves and if you need to leave the house, wear both gloves and a mask at all times! Don’t let the quest for food be too stressful, either! The chances of COVID19 contaminating the chicken, beef, vegetables, and fruits are slim, but the daily practice of rinsing is what can create better opportunities for disease prevention.
Vitamin A, C, D, and E are all highly relevant to balance the immune system, but the most important vitamin to consider adding to the diet is B, specifically: B3, B6, B9, and B12. These vitamins synthesize proteins where the root of the virus may permeate through the entire body, causing cytokine rushes that increase inflammation, which makes the infection harder to defeat. Let’s “B” coronavirus free and avoid a mental storm of fear and angry feelings by incorporating these healthy foods in our daily routine, which are packed with nutrients and naturally aid our immune system.
Broccoli and green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C, as well as berries and other fruits. If you do supplement your diet with vitamin C, note that the human body can absorb roughly ~200 mg oral vitamin C at any given time, so it’s best to distribute in small doses throughout the day. Liposomal vitamin C is a good option for oral supplementation (~1g/day), as the method of absorption allows the vitamin to be absorbed in higher doses in a single serving.
Sleeping 8 hours is the most effective reset button for your immune system. Giving your body rest will not only make it more robust, but it will make your mental functioning sharper, ready to take on another day! Hydrate with ample water and tea. Although it may seem contradictory, go for a walk and get those muscles moving! With fewer cars on the road and planes in the air, there are fewer pollutants in the atmosphere. Don’t take that for granted and, through the conflict of social distancing, maintain heartfelt connections with loved ones to enhance positive energy circulating through the mind and body during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Written by: Andy / Approved by: Dr. Robert Segal, M.D.