Amid rising fears of Coronavirus (COVID-19), most everyone is wondering what simple steps they can take to better their odds against infection. Much is still under discovery with the virus, and current facts still warrant only minor concerns for the average, healthy person.
That said, many are still worried about the dangers of a larger outbreak, looking to any possible means of immune defense. The good news, is that there are a number of simple practices and/or supplements (many free, or low in cost) which may help you increase natural immunity.
We’re committed to offering simple and effective steps everyone can take as these following months unfold. In this review, we cover six things you can do either physically or through diet to elevate your viral resilience.
Improve your Viral Immunity
With any risk of community-bourne infectious disease, don’t underestimate the power of a preventative hygiene strategy. Beyond that, it’s not uncommon that people are curious about other, functional tactics
Sharpening your immunity, this list covers six measures which dive deep into cellular physiology, including how the mind-body connection can influence odds of viral infection. Note: Be sure to see the CDC’s recommendations.
Building Psychophysiological Resilience
It’s widely established that psychophysiological interactions (nutrition, sleep, anxiety, stress) can significantly influence viral immunity.
We may improve, and potentially avoid viral infection by practicing mindful stress management techniques. Daily meditative practices, including regular breathing exercise, are reported to decrease odds of infection.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet may also support psychophysiological feedback. This diet type counteracts brain inflammation, which otherwise may impact sense of wellbeing.
With an unimpeded outlook, positive emotions may improve physiological immune response (i.e. psychoimmunology, see inflammation and depression). Features include decreased risks of viral infection.
COLD SHOWERS VS. CORONAVIRUS?
An essential ally in our mind-body immunity is cold showers. Growing evidence supports this (free-of-cost) immunomodulating practice.
Special emphases of cold-showers include antiviral activity. Not only may they contribute to regular immune defense, but they’re also reported for antidepressant, endocrine, and neurochemical regulation; processes which leverage into immune response.
Not to forget, the latest science tells us that cold-shock proteins, produced during exposure to cold temperatures (e.g. cold showers), may directly interfere with viral replication.
Safe, cost-free, and readily available. Cold showers are an obvious health hack for potential antiviral advantage.
Dietary Supplements against Viral Infection
There are countless options for immune-boosting (esp. antiviral) dietary supplements. Evidence-based discernment should always be used when making these choices.
Granted, COVID-19 is a novel virus, but below we cover herbal supplements with a history of safety and efficacy for improved viral immunity. Also, find a complementary list of Dr. Weil’s recommendations here.
Echinacea is a well-supported and traditionally effective remedy for cold and flu. Research informs that those who take an echinacea supplement have reduced likelihood of becoming sick.
This supplement is also reported to reduce the duration of illnesses and their symptoms. In one study, those who regularly consumed echinacea became sick up to 50% less than those who did not, on an annual basis.
One of the most common recommendations during flu season (or when sick) is to increase vitamin-C intake. That’s because this vitamin is essential for your body’s natural production of immune defense compounds.
Including proteins which bind to, and protect against viruses. Vitamin-C is one of the most universal ways you can ensure regular protection against COVID-19. Dr. Weil recommends taking between 1,000 and 1,500mg during times of greater (or ongoing) infectious risk.
GINSENG (ASHWAGANDHA, KOREAN RED)
Ginseng is one of the most widely admired dietary supplements on the planet. This ancient root has a wide range of therapeutic applications, including regulating metabolism, neurochemistry, hormones, and immunity.
Its ginsenosides (unique compounds in ginseng) are considered a broad spectrum of compounds which influence our body’s natural production of viral antibodies. This special root is a common supplement at virtually every natural grocery store.
Ginseng is of particular interest because it’s reported to function both directly, and indirectly against viral replication. Its natural compounds may directly bind to and inhibit virus, while elevating natural immune response (matcha has a similar effect).
The Bottom Line
Although it’s important to take the COVID-19 outbreak seriously, it’s also critical to create context surrounding it. Statistically, it is unlikely to be lethal to those with healthy, functioning immune systems. Annual flu rates also remain to dwarf those currently affected.
There is a lot of misinformation being circulated as well. That said, taking reasonable and safe precautions never hurt. So, whether you’re a bio-hacker or an average-joe looking for extra protections, the tactics recommended above are a great start.
Remember to choose your supplements (e.g. echinacea, ginseng, vitamin-C) wisely. Also, practice stress management techniques. With a daily mindfulness practice, you can positively influence your immunity, just like a dietary supplement might.
In these ways, you’re preparing your health as best as possible, from multiple angles. And of course, don’t ignore diet and exercise.
-Team Matcha Kari
P.S. In case you missed it, see the complete discussion on the topic: Dr. Weil’s Preventative Tactics for COVID-19.