Fight off COVID-19 the Natural Way

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By Blecenda Varona, MD , DrPH, FACLM, MPH, RND, DiplBLM

A research published in Nature Medicine Journal shows individuals recovering from coronavirus just like how they would recover from a common flu. The researchers identified how one’s immune system plays an important role in fighting against coronavirus.

Though finding a vaccine is still crucial at this point, however the best antidote we have so far is our strong immune system. Boosting our immune system allows our natural fighter cells helps prevent from catching infection, and thus lessen the severity once infected by the virus.

As Lifestyle Medicine Professional, here is a simple prescription to optimize our body’s defenses while we are on a quarantine. Let’s enhance our immune system the natural way through the following Power-Immunity guidelines,

  1. Power Immunity I: Eat more plant-based food

Instead of stacking too much canned goods, remember that 80-90% of our daily food intake should be plant-based.

                You may want to consider taking two cups of any green leafy vegetables raw or cooked plus ample amount of non-leafy vegetables. Do take one cup of beans/seeds and or 1/4 cup of nuts. If your uric acid, limit it to one cup of mongo sprout, not beans.

Also, take three servings of fruits for diabetics and up to five servings of fruits for non-diabetics. And don’t forget three to five servings of high fiber whole grains.

Let food be your medicine. You may get Phytochemicals from nutritional food. Phytochemicals are health enhancing chemicals in plant foods that are capable to improve your immune system.

  1. Power Immunity II: Drinking more water

Drinking good amount of water has a direct immune system benefit. Staying hydrated can create enough mucus that coats your throat. This mucus contains antibodies which can trap cold viruses. If you are even slightly dehydrated, the viruses have a better chance of survival because your dried-out tissues aren’t producing enough mucus.

For Men, take 10 to 12 glasses per day. Whereas women should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily and should drink preferably in between meals.

  1. Power Immunity III: Keep moving

Physical activity does more than shedding weight and toning muscles. Exercising can even flush away viruses and bacteria. It will help wash away disease-causing viruses and bacteria from the lungs. It even increases the production of antibodies and white blood cells which can identify and destroy microbes quickly.  Staying active was also found to improve cardiovascular conditioning, so your heart and lungs can work effectively. When both are working well, there will be good blood circulation. And good blood flow can deliver immune cells to the site of an infection.

So, get up and start exercising for 30 minutes to 1 hour, for five times a week.

  1. Power Immunity IV: Get enough sleep

Sleep for restoration is what we need, not just a good slumber. A good night rest can produce, melatonin, a sleep hormone, which inhibits the growth of tumors.  It also raises the concentration of infection-fighting antibodies in your saliva that are so vital for your first line of protection.

A good sleep requires good quality of seven to nine hours daily. Eight is actually the best. Moreover, sleeping in total dark room can help the body produce sufficient melatonin. Make your room dark, if this is impossible – better wear an eye patch.

  1. Power Immunity V: Few minutes sunshine

The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends 10-15 minutes of sun exposure at least twice per week. Expose your arms, hands, or back without using sunscreen. This exposure is usually sufficient to provide adequate Vitamin D.  Getting enough Vitamin D helps to regulate our immune system.

You may cover your face to prevent wrinkles. And don’t forget to cover your head to prevent high blood pressure and migraine.

  1. Power Immunity VI: Cleansing

The human body has its own sophisticated detox or cleaning system. The gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys do a great job of eliminating toxins and cleansing the blood and the bowel.

Certainly, a diet which consists a good amount of fresh fruits and vegetables for a few days, and drinking plenty of water will assist the body to maintain ideal health. A short fast, on occasion, may also be beneficial in giving the body a period of rest from a complex and stimulating diet.

More importantly, don’t allow your body to be contaminated by unhealthy foods, drinks, and thoughts.

  • Remove all food items that will possibly hurt the body. Foods high in sugar, fats, cholesterol, and animal protein will weaken your immune system.
  • Remove all unhealthy beverages like alcohol, caffeinated drinks like coffee, soft drinks, and sugary beverages. There is no substitute for water than water.
  • Get rid of cigarette smoke. Quit now, if you are a smoker. Quitting is the first step to achieving strong immune system. If you are non-smoker, avoid being a passive smoker.
  • Get rid of the dust, molds, fume, gases, and harmful chemicals, and mild chemicals that you put in your body.
  • Get rid of the negative thoughts.
  1. Power Immunity VII: More joy and happiness              

One of the most important way to boost our immune system is through a good laugh. It’s important to remember to laugh and smile more than 300 sleep hormone times a day.  Tons of studies have now examined the impact of laughter on the immune system.  Most have shown that that laughter does strengthen several different components of the immune system.

  1. Power Immunity VIII: Smart Brain and a positive outlook in life

A good, positive, and sound mind can always produce a better immune system. Research linked the connection between the brain and immune system. The outlook on life may affect the immune system. Therefore, having a positive outlook can increase the immune system.

Healing, as some study suggest, is a process not so much of “curing”, but of regaining balance between mind and body. The researchers believe that a healthy lifestyle of good diet, exercise, positive attitude, good relationship, and happiness may be more important than taking medicine in achieving optimum health.

All these healthy lifestyle starts in the brain – your decision makes it happen. Decide to be healthy today!


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