An overview of Natural solutions and supplements to not only survive the Pandemic, but to add to our quality of life
In this time of fear and isolation, we can very easily become overwhelmed by everything that is happening around us. Sometimes to the extent that we just want to curl up in a ball and pray for this to be over. Some of us might feel frustrated and even angry at the lack of information or differing and even conflicting opinions that seem to be the rule of the day.
This is my offering to help you understand what your options are during these trying times, not only to raise your ability to combat this insidious organism known as Covid–19, but to also improve your quality of life in the long run. They say we can only change our life by changing our habits for the better. This period of our quarantine will hand us the 21 days that is said to be necessary for the creation of a new habit!
When looking at viral infections specifically, but also at our daily interaction with a progressively more infectious world, there are always 3 different components to consider namely:
- The infective agent(s)
- Our interaction with these agents and our world as a whole (our environment)
I think we are currently bombarded with facts on Covid-19 and we might even be slightly off kilter trying to embrace the current spate of information that is flooding every available avenue of communication. Suffice it to say that this is a serious problem, not only because of the very contagious nature of the organism, but also because of the relatively high mortality level that is associated with current infection. The exact death rate is unclear, but most authorities expect it to be anywhere from 0,5 – 1% which will be about 5 – 10 times that of the normal flu.
Let us not entertain more thoughts about this virus though, not because it is not important, but because it is the one component of the abovementioned 3 pillars that we have very little control over. We can only control ourselves and our personal environment and therefore the only sway we hold in this regard is to isolate ourselves at home and not be exposed. Furthermore, to ensure that if we have been exposed to maintain strict levels of hygiene and disinfection as well as to make sure that we are not exposed again, because it is not only the contagious nature of the virus we have to fear, but also the viral load we are exposed to. Viral load in this regard refers to the amount of virus we “ingest” per contact as well as how often we are exposed. The higher the viral load, the higher the probability that our immune systems will be overwhelmed by the infection and the higher the likelihood of developing the active disease.
This leads us to what we can do, the factors that will not only change our susceptibility to viral infections but also improve the quality of our lives. They will form the springboard for our wellness and will create an environment that will limit the survival of infective organisms.
Changing our environment for the better should not be difficult and it should not be expensive. It does not involve buying any new tools or chemicals. The exact opposite might actually be true and by returning to the basics we might just hit the sweet spot of healthy living.
Natural ventilation: Forget about air conditioning. Open your windows and doors for a natural flow of air. It is also the best way to get rid of suspended particles that might be carrying infective organisms.
Sunlight & heat: Not only does the UV in sunlight kill bugs, the heat generated by it is one of the major factors that will get rid of not only Coronavirus, but a lot of other organisms that are detrimental to our health.
Soap – (“Cleanliness is next to Godliness” – John Wesley 1778) All viruses are protein molecules covered by a layer of lipid which can be “dissolved” by soap & detergents.
The most important pillar however is US…!!!!!!
Applying a few well known and general rules to how we live and operate will not only up our resistance to infection dramatically, but also bring the added advantage of a better quality of life. “If you focus on improving your general wellbeing this will bear fruit in all other areas of your life.” This will have real benefits in your general feeling of wellbeing, in the fact that you will have more energy, will lose weight easier and general all-round performance.
The magnificent seven of healthy living:
- Sleep enough: more than 6 hours for adults and 8 – 10 hours for teens and with good quality. Always sleep more when you are sick.
- Eat whole foods: Fruit, vegetables, nuts & legumes for their effect on restoring alkalinity, the wide range of antioxidants contained in them and the anti – inflammatory properties they offer. Also take fiber for its valuable contribution to the gut microbiome, Omega 3 (fish), olive oil and fermented foods like yoghurt (Vit D). Fermented foods also act as a probiotic that enhances natural gut bacteria. This helps the body differentiate between normal and invader cells. Lower your sugar intake. It is pro–inflammatory and a major cause of obesity (inflammatory disease). Drink tea for its alkylamines. Use honey for sweetening and flavor foods with turmeric, garlic and ginger.
- Hydration: Important for general health and to flush toxins from your body. Drink enough to make your urine is pale. Add lemon to alkalize your system.
- Soak up some sun: for the Vit D. Get about 15 – 20 minutes of sunlight a day.
- Moderate exercise: Prolonged intense exercise suppresses immunity, moderate exercise reduces inflammation
- Manage stress: Do meditation, regular exercise and yoga. Laugh as often as you can
- Supplement wisely: In modern living we seldom get enough of what we need, even if you buy the best. Generally speaking, food may also contain sub–optimal levels of nutrients and our fast -paced lifestyle often leaves us eating fewer whole foods than we need to.
For baseline wellness take:
- Good quality omega 3’s: There is seldom enough in any diet
- Probiotics: A healthy gut means better immunity
- Alpha Lipoic Acid: Excellent antioxidant with beneficial effect on insulin and sugar control
- Vitamins: C & D in particular for its immune boosting effect
- Minerals: Zinc, Selenium, Chromium and Magnesium
- Curcumin & Olive leaf extract for its anti-infective and anti-inflammatory advantages
There are of course a lot more, but they will be detailed in the next article in this series.
We have fallen on difficult times with this terrible pandemic that is devastating countries on so many levels. We can sit back and quietly wait for this storm to pass, or we can utilize this opportunity to taking the first step to a healthier and a more fulfilling life.