Ways to strengthen your immune system during Lock down and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Written by Zane Mason

With the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to understand that no supplement, diet, or other lifestyle modification other than physical distancing, also known as social distancing, and proper hygiene practices can protect you from COVID-19.

Currently, no research supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically.

Having a strong immune system will not stop you from getting the Coronavirus or any virus for that matter but it might improve your chances of recovery, the time it takes you to recover and the severity of the symptoms you will experience. A strong immune system is like an army that protects your body, or your homeland, against invaders and prevents invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, from coming in, taking over and trying to take down your homeland. So lets try keep our army as strong as we can!

1. Reduce Stress

When we’re stressed out our body produces stress hormones like cortisol which taxes our immune systems. One of the most important ways to boost immunity is to reduce stress. As we can’t always control the things that cause us to stress we can change the way we respond to them. One way to lower the stress hormone cortisol and to control anxiety which is common at the moment is to focus on your breathing. 4-7-8 breathing is a breathing technique you can try. Here is a link to it https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324417#outlook

Another approach is to supplement with Adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs that help your body and mind to cope better with stress. My favourite two are ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea.

2. Get enough sleep

By not sleeping enough, we increase stress and hurt our immunity. If we’re drinking caffeinated drinks all the time we may not even realize just how tired we really are. Because sleeping is important to rebuilding a struggling immune system, we need to let ourselves sleep as much as we need. Try to get at least a minimum of 6 hours sleep a night with 8-9 hours being optimal. Everyone is different and some people might need more sleep than others.

3. Supplement Vitamins and Herbs

To support your immune system, you can eat immunity supporting foods like garlic, ginger and citrus fruits but if your immune system is already weak, it can also be helpful to supplement with immune boosting herbs like Holy Basil, Echinacea and Ashwagandha. Also supplementing with key immune supporting vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc can help strengthen your immune system.

Recommended dosages are 250-500mg for Vitamin C, 2000iu (50mcg)-4000iu (100mcg) per day vitamin D3 and 15-30mg Zinc per day. Also consider the forms of the vitamins you buy as some absorb better than others. Vitamin C: Pure ascorbic acid is fine unless you have a sensitive stomach then go for Calcium ascorbate. Vitamin D: Look for Vitamin D3. Zinc: Look for Chelated Zinc or Zinc Picolinate.

4. Keep your Gut healthy

Many people are not aware that keeping your guy healthy is a key to a stronger and more effective immune system. Your gut wall houses 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system. Here are a few ways to help keep your gut healthy:

1. Take probiotics and eat fermented foods

Some research has suggested that taking probiotics can support a healthy gut microbiome, and that it may prevent gut inflammation and other intestinal problems. Consuming the following foods regularly may improve gut health: fermented vegetables, kefir, kimchi, kombucha ,miso, sauerkraut and tempeh.

2. Eat prebiotic fiber

Probiotics feed on nondigestible carbohydrates called prebiotics. This process encourages beneficial bacteria to multiply in the gut.

People who want to enhance their gut health may wish to include more of the following prebiotic-rich foods in their diet: asparagus, bananas, chicory, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, whole grains

5. Reduce Inflammation

Sugar, processed meat and vegetable oils tend to be inflammatory foods so they best to cut down on to help your immune system.

6. Exercise, but not too much

Exercise can be one of the best things to do to boost immunity. But we have to be careful because too much exercise is stressful on the body and can be tough on our immune system. We need to find a balance between exercise and rest. Make sure you have rest days and compliment your training with good and adequate nutrition.Also make sure you include enough protein in your diet from whole foods to support your bodies recovery from exercise, to build, repair body tissue and fight viral and bacterial infections.

Immune system powerhouses such as antibodies and immune system cells rely on protein. Too little protein in the diet may lead to symptoms of weakness, fatigue, apathy, and poor immunity. If you struggle to get enough protein in from whole foods consider using a quality Whey protein or Pea protein supplement. Pea protein is great if you are sensitive to lactose or are a Vegan.

Metabolism Myths and Facts

Why can one person eat like a growing teenager and not gain a kilogram, while another person’s every indulgence shows up on the scale? Chalk it up to individual differences in metabolism, muscle mass and physical activity. Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert what we eat into the energy we need to survive and function.  It powers everything from breathing to blinking. A fast metabolism is like a hot furnace that burns through fuel (calories) quickly. A slow metabolism needs less fuel to keep a body running.

It’s tempting to throw up our hands and blame weight issues on a slow metabolism, but there are ways to support metabolism and maintain a healthy weight.

Claim: Our metabolic rates can’t change.
The truth:
While it’s true that genetics help determine our metabolic rates, we can boost metabolism by increasing lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories per hour than fat, which means that people with lean, muscular bodies need more calories to function than people with a higher percentage of body fat.

Our muscle mass decreases as we age, and this contributes to a slower metabolic rate. But you can counteract this process by weight training to help lessen this decline.

Claim: A diet of green tea and chilli peppers will boost metabolism.
The truth:
No magic food will speed up metabolism. Some studies have shown that green tea and hot chillies temporarily boost metabolic rates, but the lift isn’t enough to offset eating too many calories.

The path to healthy weight loss is through portion control and a balanced diet filled with nutrient-rich foods, not through a diet doused in chili peppers.

Claim: Eating late at night slows metabolism.
The truth:
It’s the extra calories — not when you eat them — that cause weight gain. There is little evidence to support the fact that eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain. However, you may be more likely to snack mindlessly in the evenings while watching television. Calories in these snacks add up, and that can cause weight gain.

Claim: Very low calorie diets and skipping meals can jump start weight loss.
The truth:
Weight loss is all about creating an energy deficit — ingesting fewer calories than your body expends each day — but creating too large of a calorie deficit can backfire. Our bodies are smart and programmed for survival. Severely limiting calories can make your body think it’s entering a famine, and that it needs to do more with fewer calories. Your body adapts to the restricted caloric intake, and uses fewer calories to perform the same tasks.

 

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex!

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1. Less Stress, Better Blood Pressure
Having sex could lower your stress, and your blood pressure.
That finding comes from a Scottish study of 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. The researchers put them in stressful situations, such as speaking in public and doing math out loud, and checked their blood pressure.
People who had had intercourse responded better to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.
Another study published in the same journal found that diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of your blood pressure) tends to be lower in people who live together and often have sex. And yet another study found that women who get lots of hugs from their partner tend to have better blood pressure.

2. Sex Boosts Immunity
Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections.
So say scientists at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. They studied 112 college students who kept records of how often they had sex and also provided saliva samples for the study. Those who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of IgA, an antibody that could help you avoid a cold or other infections, than other students.

3. Sex Burns Calories
Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound. Doubling up, you could drop that pound in 21 hour-long sessions.
“Sex is a great mode of exercise,” says Patti Britton, PhD, a Los Angeles sexologist. It takes work, from both a physical and psychological perspective, to do it well, she says.

4. Sex Improves Heart Health
Having sex may be good for your heart. A 20-year-long British study shows that men who had sex twice or more a week were half as likely to have a fatal heart attack than men who had sex less than once a month.
And although some older folks may worry that the sex could cause a stroke, that study found no link between how often men had sex and how likely they were to have a stroke.

5. Better Self-Esteem
Boosting self-esteem was one of 237 reasons people have sex, collected by University of Texas researchers and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
That finding makes sense to Gina Ogden, PhD, a sex therapist and marriage and family therapist in Cambridge, Mass., although she finds that those who already have self-esteem say they sometimes have sex to feel even better.
“One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves,” she says. “Great sex begins with self-esteem. … If the sex is loving, connected, and what you want, it raises it.”
Of course, you don’t have to have lots of sex to feel good about yourself. Your self-esteem is all about you — not someone else. But if you’re already feeling good about yourself, a great sex life may help you feel even better.

6. Deeper Intimacy
Having sex and orgasms boosts levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps people bond and build trust.
In a study of 59 women, researchers checked their oxytocin levels before and after the women hugged their partners. The women had higher oxytocin levels if they had more of that physical contact with their partner.
Higher oxytocin levels have also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So snuggle up — it might help you feel more generous toward your partner.

7. Sex May Turn Down Pain
Here’s another thing the love hormone, oxytocin, does: It boosts your body’s painkillers, called endorphins. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, that may be why.
In one study, 48 people inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked. The oxytocin cut their pain threshold by more than half.
8. More Ejaculations May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may lower the risk of getting prostate cancer later in life, some research shows.

8. More Ejaculations May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely continued…
For instance, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that men who had 21 or more ejaculations a month, were less likely to get prostate cancer than those who had four to seven ejaculations per month.
Of course, that study doesn’t prove that ejaculations were the only factor that mattered. Many things affect a person’s odds of developing cancer. The researchers did take that into consideration, and the findings still held.

9. Stronger Pelvic Floor Muscles
For women, doing pelvic floor muscle exercises called Kegels may mean will enjoy more pleasure — and, as a perk, less chance of incontinence later in life.
To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to three, then release.

10. Better Sleep
The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, research shows.
Getting enough sleep has also been linked with a host of other health perks, such as a healthy weight and better blood pressure. Something to think about, especially if you’ve been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.