A few tips to keep you well during testing times:
#1. These foods are great: 1) Vegetables: Asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, onion, radishes, parsnips, pumpkin, watercress. 2) Fruits: Mulberries, blueberries, goji, pears and citrus fruits e.g. grapefruit & lemon 3) Grains: Rice and oats 3) If you’re a meat eater: Chicken bone broth (BRILLIANT for the gut!), chicken, beef, tuna and mackerel 4) Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, coconuts and walnuts 5) Beans: Chickpeas and white beans 6) Culinary herbs and spices: Fennel, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mustard seed & thyme 7) Other: Shiitake and wild edible mushrooms, local honey and miso
#2. Focus on the Positive – Replace fear with emotions that support our immunity – opt for faith, hope, love, joy and gratefulness. Fear signals danger to our bodies, setting up a fight, flight/freeze response that sends a wave of immune-damaging stress hormones into the body (higher hormone flow to amygdala part of the brain to focus on danger) so be aware of this and practice your deep belly breathing or some yoga where you can.
#3. Do This
• Be prepared, but don’t panic.
• Use meditation for focus and to give you faith – gratitude meditations or focus on healing and strength is good
• As said, learn diaphragmatic breathing. Chronic fear prompts shallow chest breathing, which recruits our fight-flight-or-freeze stress hormones and can cause pain and strain in the neck and/or muscles.
#4. Get Out into the countryside – away from people if necessary. Just walking in the forest drastically improves the health of your immune system. The Japanese call it shinrin yoku, or forest bathing. This significantly boosts activity of white blood cells called natural killer cells (NK). This is huge because NK cells help to fight viruses. These positive effects of forest bathing are attributed to phytoncides, which are basically antimicrobial wood oils from trees such as alpha-Pinene and limonene. Previous scientific research with human subjects has also shown that exposure to phytoncides can significantly increase NK activity along with lowering stress hormone levels and increasing expression of anti-cancer proteins.
#5. Focus on herbs and ancient ingredients trusted for centuries…
• Elderberry: Historically, people turned to the benefits of the elderberry plant to naturally support their immune systems and more.• Echinacea: Echinacea is a native North American coneflower that was discovered and used as a traditional herbal remedy for more than 400 years• Ginger: antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and content of therapeutic compounds like gingerol, shogaol, paradol and zingerone.
• Astragalus: Astragalus is a plant within the Leguminosae (beans or legumes) family, with a long history as an immune system booster.
Here’s to a focus on being strong and healthy in times ahead.