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Coronavirus: How to Build a Strong Immune System

A couple of weeks ago I was giving a cooking class in our community and was asked to talk about building strong immune systems, since the coronavirus was already making people nervous. Fast forward two weeks, and the world has seemed to turn upside-down rather quickly. People seem to be panicking and taking all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer from all the stores, leaving the rest of us scratching our heads.

Please, don't panic. There are plenty of things that we can all do to help protect ourselves from contracting a virus, or if you have it these things can also help get you better quicker.

Here's a quick overlook of the immune system and what weakens and strengthens it. I'll explain more below.

The Immune System:

  • The immune system helps protect the body from foreign or harmful substances

  • It makes cells and antibodies that destroy harmful substances

  • With the threat of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases, it is important we do what we can to help avoid sickness

  • Those with a weakened immune system are more likely to contract infections

  • When our immune system is strong we are much more likely to ward off sickness

What weakens the immune system?

  • Smoking

  • Alcohol

  • Poor nutrition

  • Soda, processed foods, sugary foods, refined carbs

  • Sugar

  • sugar causes inflammation of the body

  • Eating/drinking sugar slows immune system cells that attack bacteria for several hours after consumption

  • Some bacteria and viruses feed on sugar as a source of energy

  • Lack of sleep

  • Stress

Ways to strengthen the immune system:

  • Don't smoke

  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables

  • Exercise regularly

  • Get plenty of sleep

  • Washing your hands frequently

  • Minimize stress

  • Hot/Cold water treatments

  • Get plenty of sunshine

  • Fresh air

  • Limit or cut out refined sugars and carbohydrates

Natural Ways to Fight Sickness:

  • Garlic (a natural antibiotic)

  • Onions (reduces pain and inflammation)

  • Ginger (anti-inflammatory)

  • Vitamin C (strengthens immune system)

  • Grapefruit seed extract (anti-microbial)

  • Echinacea (used to fight infections, reduces inflammation)

  • Elderberry (fights cold, flu and inflammation)

  • high in vitamin C and antioxidants

  • Most commonly used medicinal plant in the world

Sugar really tends to lower the immune system quickly and for a few hours after consuming it. I'm not talking about all sugars. Fruits have natural sugars but they are so healthy for us and are filled with anti-oxidants, which help fight off sickness in the body. Processed sugary foods are the ones that we want to minimize, or better yet stay away from all together.

Fruits and vegetables are the perfect way to build our immune systems to be strong. Eating about 10