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The following is a guest article from our internal Mindbody community.
Even if you live under a rock, you know about COVID-19 and the accompanying global chaos. As someone dealing with chronic illness, I’m constantly thinking about how to keep my immune system from being compromised. While that sounds morbid, in times like this I am thankful for my chronic illness, because I can be a beacon of hope for others. As fear around COVID-19 has intensified this past week in the US, friends, and family have reached out asking me which natural remedies I support. So, I’ve put together a list of what to avoid, what to eat, and which supplements to take. These are my opinions, but I hope they help.
Everything I am about to share is learned from healthcare professionals and from my personal experience. I am not a licensed practitioner, so don’t take my word as canon, but rather take this as insight into how I stay healthy in a hectic world.
In addition to consuming more leafy greens and citrus, here are a few easy recommendations on how to nourish your body.
I’m often asked why I put lemon in my water. Other than wanting a spa-like experience, there are studies that show benefits to adding lemon to your water. “Water coming straight from the tap or a bottle has lost its vitality and its innate living legitimate structure. By adding fresh-squeezed lemon juice, you “wake up” the water and bring it back to life. This allows it to travel more deeply into your tissues and cells and carry the essential nutrients and compounds you need in order to thrive.”
Thank God. Not that we need scientific evidence to entice us to consume this sweet nectar, it’s just reassuring to remember these facts when I am on my third spoonful of the day. This review compared the beneficial effects of honey with common over-the-counter children’s cough remedies, a placebo, and no treatment. The authors found that honey appeared to be more effective than diphenhydramine and salbutamol, drugs commonly used in cough medicines. If you are going to consume honey I highly recommend local raw honey. If you’re not sure where to find local honey, go to your resident farmers’ market or this local honey finder — a tool that literally tells you where to find local honey in your area. You’re welcome.
I know — it’s popular and it’s everywhere, but this stuff works. I was a skeptic and doubter myself until I added this magic into my morning routine. Among a host of incredible benefits, celery juice kills off pathogens, including flu viruses. Its unique form of Vitamin C doesn’t need to be converted by the liver, which means it instantly strengthens the immune system. Read more from the source: Medical Medium
This has anti-fever compounds and agents that help calm a fever like water on a fire. It’s also deeply rejuvenating and hydrating.
This has its own signature variety of Vitamin C and helps bring the body out of a reactive state when you’re sick. Fresh ginger has anti-viral activity that supports to defeat human respiratory syncytial virus, check out this 2012 study if you don’t believe me.
Turmeric Ginger Shots
I like to blend or juice 1-2 inches of ginger with fresh turmeric and two oranges. This shot boosts the immune system and can be sipped on all day for relief when you have a sore throat or other cold symptoms.
If you know anything about me, you know how much I consume tea. Tea, specifically herbal tea, can heal anything. I swear by this statement. Tea leaves are abundant in natural plant compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins. These stimulate the immune system. Catechins, in particular, may protect against certain strands of influenza
Vegetable Healing Broth
This stuff is healing, cleansing, and nourishing all in one. It’s rich in minerals your body craves when you have a cold or the flu. Healing Broth is a powerful mineral-rich liquid that carries the essence of vitally nutritious vegetables, herbs, and spices in a way that is easy for the body to digest, assimilate and utilize.
It sounds intense, but a clove of this is antiviral and antibacterial, killing off only unproductive bacteria. It’s also immune strengthening.
The best way to get out those toxins is through your bile, so fiber, fiber, fiber baby. Cute, I know. But, beans truly are the best form of soluble fiber, which plays an important role in digestion and toxin elimination. If we don’t eat enough soluble fiber, our bile will be repeatedly recirculated in our immune system,, instead of being ushered out of the body and then replaced with fresh bile produced by the liver. If your bile is repeatedly recirculated, it becomes more concentrated with toxins. So, go eat some beans.
Supplements can be a touchy and controversial subject, and I’ve been on all sides of the arguments. From taking 10 supplements 3 times a day to cutting them out cold turkey, I have developed my thoughts about them. But, for this particular season in my health, this is what I’ve found to be helpful.
First things first: What are they?
Essentially, supplements are a way to provide nutrients that you may not be consuming in sufficient quantities through food. They can be vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and other substances delivered in the form of pills, tablets, capsules, liquid, etc. I would check out the European Commission statement on supplements for the best up-to-date information.
Maintaining healthy zinc levels can help shield you from pathogens and decrease your chances of contracting future common illnesses. However, our bodies use up reserves of zinc at a rapid rate. It’s common to become zinc-deficient when you’re sick. It’s important to take zinc as soon as your first sign of a sickness develops. Having a bottle of high-quality liquid zinc sulfate on hand at all times is important. Squirt two dropperfuls of the zinc into your throat, let it sit there for a minute, and then swallow the zinc. Three hours later, squirt another two dropperfuls into your throat and let it sit there again for a minute before swallowing. Repeat every three waking hours for two days. Here are a few powerful articles on Zinc: Article 1 and Article 2.
This stuff is STRONG and powerful. I don’t take it daily, but when I am starting to feel anything coming on I take this. Cat’s claw is a miracle worker, a special herb that supports a healthy immune system. It aids in alleviating almost any symptom, from neurological to digestive. Cat’s claw is unique, because bacteria cannot become resistant to it, like sometimes when taking antibiotics. The herb eliminates these and other bugs without the “Herxheimer die-off reaction,” that's common with antibiotics. The bioactive pharma-compounds in the herb regulate the destruction of pathogens at a level person can tolerate.
My daily love. I either have it in tea form, or tincture, depending on the time. Lemon balm is a heal-all, with a positive contributing factor to almost every part of the body. Extremely high in trace minerals such as boron, manganese, copper, chromium, molybdenum, selenium, and iron, lemon balm also has large amounts of the macromineral silica. Plus, it’s a B12-conserving herb—which means it monitors your stores of this vitamin and keeps your body from using it all up.
This vitamin is praised by every doctor I have seen, both Western and Eastern, and it makes sense why —- it’s incredible and I lack it naturally. This article goes into depth about the continual benefits researchers discover about the supplement. An ideal B-12 supplement includes both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. B-12 can help with neurological disorders and diseases, anxiety and panic, and the immune system.
Yum, syrup that heals you!. Elderberries contain special proteins and bioflavonoids that have the ability to destroy viruses on contact. Elderberries are also known to significantly enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines in the body. This syrup is super easy to make, just follow this recipe from my all-time favorite health guru, Rachel Pelisson.
I hope these suggestions have helped and possibly eased a bit of panic. Keep washing your hands and be smart. Sending love to you all!
This article originally appears on healingmckenzie.com
Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, please visit them on Mindbody.io or in the Mindbody app and find your favorite classes or one you've always wanted to try. Also, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.
Ah, 2020—the year that truly put our sanity to the test. On top of that, something that most people use to navigate through a tough time has essentially been stripped away from us—our normal workout routines. I don’t know about you, but even skipping a week at the gym can send me into a tailspin. But several months of sheltering in place and being forced to adapt to this new normal?
That’s a different story.
While I think we can all say we’re grateful that fitness studios were quick to offer virtual classes when COVID-19 hit—there is something about constantly working out by ourselves that may trigger some of us to hit pause on our workout routines and start turning towards less robust habits. *Reluctantly raises hand*
The other day I came across a stat that really set off some alarms. According to a recent study, Americans are spending an additional two hours each day on their couch since March 2020. As of recently, I can say I’m totally guilty of a little too much R&R. While an evening of Netflix and wine once sounded like heaven on earth for most of us, I think it’s safe to say the repetition of this is starting to get kind of old. Also, Schitt’s Creek is over now, so I really don’t have any excuse to not dedicate my free time to jumping back into my at-home workouts.
I started pondering what made dial back my fitness routine in the first place? Was it a lack of motivation? No, not really. Screen fatigue? I think my Netflix history outlined above would tell you that’s a solid ‘no.’ Then it hit me—the thing that motivated me to stay on top of my fitness goals was being around other people with the same goals. Pre-COVID, going to my favorite spin studio and the local yoga hot spot was how I typically spent my social hour during the workweek. I realized the best way to amp up my at-home workout routine was to re-connect with my workout buddies and start doing virtual classes together to create that sense of community I craved.
If you’re also experiencing some form of live stream lull when it comes to your workouts, then getting a virtual workout buddy may be exactly what you need. Here’s why:
Just like in-person workouts, making plans to sweat it out with one of your friends motivates you to show up and be your best self. According to the Mindbody Wellness Index, 25% of the folks we surveyed said they found it difficult to hold themselves accountable to their workout goals on their own—and an additional 20% of people said a lack of support was responsible for missed workouts.
Everybody enjoys a little friendly competition, right? Maybe you have a friend who is a powerhouse at virtual HIIT—try signing up for a class with them to help you take your workout to a whole new level.
Getting a workout sesh in with a friend is the perfect time to try a new exercise such as virtual yoga or virtual barre. Trying something new can be scary—I get it. But by trying a new type of exercise with a friend, you can both give each other a confidence boost by acting as each other’s personal hype man.
Look, we’re all craving human interaction these days—and I know I’m not the only one who is missing weekly happy hours with friends. Luckily, fitness studios are getting creative with their virtual offerings post-workout, too! When we asked members of our MindbodyOne Community how they are keeping things interesting for their students in the virtual space, they said they are hosting monthly virtual wine dates to share fitness stories and personal victories. Not only do you get to drink wine, but you and your buddy get to meet other like-minded people at the same time.
As 2020 winds down (thank goodness), you have a unique opportunity to reconnect with your friends and take your workout sessions to the next level with a virtual workout buddy. So, why not start now? Book a virtual fitness class and encourage your friends to show up for you and themselves today.