What can you do to protect yourself from viral outbreaks?
First and foremost your best line of defense is a strong immune system built by consuming a whole food nutrient dense diet rich in vitamins and minerals from plants and animals.
Here are some ways to bolster yours:
Vitamin A – Vitamin A supports a healthy immune system. It is needed for the mucous barriers of your eyes, lungs, gut and genitals which trap bacteria and other pathogens.
Vitamin A is involved in the generation and function of the immune systems white blood cells (leukocytes). They are involved in protecting the body against infectious disease and foreign invaders by capturing and removing pathogens from your bloodstream.
Vitamin A rich foods include quality cod liver oil that contains natural vitamin A; beef liver from grass-fed cows or a dried/dessicated liver supplement from grass-fed cows, grass fed butter, and pastured egg yolks. Organic veggies include winter squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, and carrots.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D assists in cell replication and helps protect against infections. Vitamin D rich foods include pastured egg yolks, grass-fed butter; wild caught fish eggs, salmon, tuna, sardines; lard from pastured pigs; quality cod liver oil; mushrooms and of course natural sun exposure.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful immune boosting antioxidant. Some foods high in Vitamin C include organic black currants, red & green peppers, kiwi, guava, oranges, broccoli and kale.
Zinc – Zinc is an essential mineral that helps the body fight off bacteria and viruses and helps in wound healing. Zinc is required for building proteins, triggering enzymes and creating DNA. Zinc functions as a neurotransmitter helping the cells in your body communicate. Zinc acts as an ant-inflammatory and is used as a natural cold remedy/prevention. Some foods high in zinc include grass-fed lamb and beef, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, organic yogurt, pastured chicken, turkey, and eggs; mushrooms, wild caught salmon, and cocoa powder.
Potassium – There is a new study that reveals most Cornonavirus patients experienced low blood potassium levels and potassium supplementation assisted in their recovery. (Potassium supplementation should only be done with a health care professional) Foods high in potassium include avocado, coconut water, unsulphured molasses, beets, yogurt, and bananas.
Bone Broth – Bone broth made from grass-fed animals supports a healthy immune system, restoring gut health, and a healthy inflammation response.
Garlic and Onions – Garlic and onions are high on my list of immune boosting veggies. Garlic promotes gut health, is a powerful antioxidant, and has antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal properties. Onions are mineral rich and contain Vitamin C and antioxidants. Onions can help reduce congestion in the nose and throat.
Grandma was right! Chicken soup made with a variety of vegetables (including garlic and onions) can inhibit the development of respiratory symptoms.
Saturated Fats – Saturated fats are necessary for proper lung function. Many viruses affect the lungs. Healthy saturated fats from grass fed animals and unrefined coconut oil help in the digestion and absorption of fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K that help protect and improve lung function. Avoid industrial vegetable oils.
Probiotic Rich Foods – Probiotic rich foods such as raw fermented organic sauerkraut/veggies, coconut kefir, kvass; organic yogurt, kefir & raw cheese contain beneficial bacteria that improve digestion/absorption of vitamins and minerals, and strengthen the immune system reducing cold and flu symptoms.
Oregano Oil – Oregano oil has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been used for cold, flu and respiratory health.
Fish Oil – A quality fish oil high in Omega 3 fatty acids provides powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation will improve immune function.
Elderberry Syrup – Elderberry syrup contains the berries and flowers of elderberry which are packed with immune boosting antioxidants and vitamins. Elderberries have been used for hundreds of years for their health benefits. They contain vitamins and minerals including zinc. Elderberry syrup can help reduce inflammation and stress. Elderberry syrup has been used to help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms.
Hydration – Staying hydrated helps the kidneys balance electrolytes and filter waste. If you do get sick, drinking water will lessen congestion allowing mucus to be expelled easier. Aim for half your body weight in ounces daily. In addition to pure filtered water, try immune boosting herbal teas such as ginger and echinacea.
Movement – exercise and sweating can help remove bacteria from the lungs and airways reducing your chance of getting viral infections. Sweating removes toxins through the skin boosting immune health.
Sleep – Sleep is essential for a healthy immune system. Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Wash your hands – wash your hands often for at least 30 seconds with plain soap and water. Frequent hand washing is an effective way to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
Avoid touching your face – Avoid touching your eyes, nose & mouth. Your hands are constantly touching surfaces that may be contaminated. Touching your face can give the tiny microbes a chance to infect you by entering your eyes, nose or mouth.
Reduce Stress – Stress wears us down both mentally and physically. Make time for “me” time/relaxation/meditation, family/friends and things you enjoy. Laugh. A lot. Lastly, having a positive outlook and expressing gratitude will make you happier and more resilient to handle life’s challenges and situations.
Reduce Your Toxic Load – The more toxic we are the more our body has to work to get rid of those toxins. Ditch the processed food which robs your body of vitamins and minerals to digest it. Use natural oral, skincare, beauty and cleaning products to lighten your toxin load.
Remember that every thing you eat, and every thing you breathe in, and every thing you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body and can either weaken or strengthen your immune system.
So as you can see, there really is a lot we can do to protect ourselves and prevent viral outbreaks!
Always in health,
More ways to connect with me:
Join my weekly newsletter for health & wellness tips, recipes & more.
Follow me on Facebook Prairie Hill Nutrition
Follow me on Instagram Cynthia Hill, NTP
Join my Facebook Group Live Your Best Health Forward!
Are you confused about what to eat and not eat for optimum health? Sick of yo-yo dieting? Do you feel sluggish & bloated after eating or have a lack energy throughout the day? If this describes you, click here and select “free call” to connect with me on a 5 minute call. We can discuss your concerns and I can give you some tips to help support your diet, digestion and energy levels.
This post contains affiliate links.