-Nutritionist and weight loss Guru, Ishi Khosla
There is widespread fear about the coronavirus. Some simple “common sense techniques” can be taken to protect oneself. These also improve overall health!
Eating a healthy diet can surely guard against infection through nutrients and supplementation.
Addressing digestion & gut health is critical.
This is because it is the ground zero for immune defence. Almost two thirds of our immune system resides in the gut. This is mediated through the good bacteria (gut flora) that really determine how fit or unfit we are or how efficient our nutrient absorption is.
The immune system is the special force that protects us from disease. To fight off viruses (and other invaders), one needs to provide the macrophages (defense cells) and soldier cells with energy. Butyrate is the main source of energy for this. It helps to rebuild the inside lining of the gut. Butyrate is found in good old traditional fats like butter and desi ghee. It’s not surprising then that grandma’s insisted on dollops of butter and ghee specially during stress full times to prevent sickness.
Interestingly Ayurvedic detoxification is also based on fasting followed by ingestion of ghee to line the gut and fuel immune cells. In addition to powering the gut immune cells there are several simple measures that can aid our defense forces to perform efficiently & protect us from getting sick.
1) Eat a diversity of foods, including brightly colored & root vegetables. It is important to eat certain fibers present in psyllium husk, sweet potatoes, and other tubers as they provide a prebiotic effect ( promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut ). Colored vegetables & fruits add disease-fighting phytonutrients. Fermented foods like kanji, kefir, kombucha, chhach also provide a medium for growth of good bacteria in the gut .
2) Take high quality probiotics. Oil pulling an old traditional practice with virgin coconut oil or cold pressed mustard oil helps improve gut flora naturally.
3) Look at boosting Vitamin C, Vitamin D, B complex and Zinc. In fact, some preliminary research indicates that vitamin D may be more effective than the flu vaccine for flu prevention. Supplement under advice of a qualified professional.
4.) Keep an alkaline diet .Coronaviruses enjoy the comfort of a pH of 6.0. This is slightly acidic. However, research reveals that the coronavirus cannot exist in an alkaline state, even as low as 8.0. (A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral.) To make the diet alkaline include plenty of fresh fruits, coconut water,vegetables and avoid excess dairy, meats and sugar!
5.) Include home remedies like fresh garlic, organic honey , black pepper , ginger , basil ( tulsi) , cinnamon, cloves ,turmeric , gilloy, fenugreek seeds & amla . Use healthy fats like cold pressed mustard, sesame, coconut & olive oils in addition to desi ghee.
6) Drink plenty of fluids. Choose water and warm soups to prevent dehydration. Drink enough so that the urine is clear or pale yellow.
7) Avoid foods that cause the body distress. Pay attention to your body & digestion.Avoid excess sugar,caffeine, processed foods ,GMO foods, and chemical additives.
8) Avoid excessive alcohol & smoking.
9) Avoid excessive exercise .Excessive exercise can be damaging to gut integrity . Moderate exercise, yoga and meditation are useful adjuncts to a healthy diet . Engage in stress management techniques that help you minimize the harmful effects stress hormones can have on the gut and overall health.
10) Following basic common sense , hygiene and advisories from health authorities will surely help contain the spread of infection .