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.

Biggest Myths About Weight and Fat Loss

 

 

There is a lot of bad weight loss advice on the internet.

Most of it is either unproven, or literally proven not to work.

Here are some of the biggest lies, myths and misconceptions about weight loss!

  1. All “Calories” Are Equal

The calorie is a measure of energy. All “calories” have the same energy content.

However, this does NOT mean that all calorie sources have the same effects on your weight.

Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and can have vastly different effects on hunger and the hormones that regulate body weight.

For example, a protein calorie is not the same as a fat calorie or a carb calorie.

Replacing carbs and fat with protein can boost metabolism, reduce appetite and cravings, while optimizing the function of some weight-regulating hormones.

Also, calories from whole foods (like fruit) tend to be much more filling than calories from refined foods (like candy).

Bottom Line: Not all calorie sources have the same effects on health and weight. For example, protein can increase metabolism, reduce appetite and improve the function of weight-regulating hormones.

  1. Losing Weight is a Linear Process

Losing weight is usually not a linear process, like some people think.

Some days and weeks you may lose, while during others you may gain a little bit.

This is not a cause for concern. It is normal for body weight to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.

For example, you may be carrying more food in your digestive system or your body may be holding on to more water than usual.

This is even more pronounced in women, as water weight can fluctuate quite a bit during the menstrual cycle.

As long as the general trend is going downwards, no matter how much it fluctuates, you will still succeed over the long term.

Bottom Line: Losing weight can take a long time. The process is generally not completely linear, as weight tends to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.

  1. Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

The weight loss supplement industry is massive.

There are all sorts of different supplements out there that claim to have dramatic effects, but they are never very effective when studied.

The main reason they can work for some people is the placebo effect. People fall for the marketing and want the supplements to help them lose weight, so they become more conscious of what they eat.

That being said, there are a few supplements that can have a modest effect on weight loss. The best ones may help you lose a few pounds over several months.

Bottom Line: Most supplements for weight loss are completely useless. The best ones can help you lose a few pounds, at most.

  1. Obesity is About Willpower, Not Biology

It is completely false that weight gain/loss is all about willpower, or making a “choice” to do this or that.

Obesity is a very complex disorder with dozens, if not hundreds of contributing factors.

There are numerous genetic variables that have been shown to associate with obesity, and various medical conditions (hypothyroidism, PCOS, depression) that can increase the risk of weight gain,

The body also has numerous hormones and biological pathways that are supposed to regulate body weight. These tend to be dysfunctional in people with obesity, making it much harder to lose weight and keep it off.

For example, being resistant to the hormone leptin is a major cause of obesity.

The leptin signal is supposed to tell your brain that it has enough fat stored. When the leptin isn’t managing to deliver its signal, the brain thinks that you are starving.

Trying to exert “willpower” and consciously eating less in the face of the leptin-driven starvation signal is extremely difficult, if not impossible for many people.

There are even infants that are becoming obese these days. How can anyone blame that on personal responsibility or a lack of willpower? It is very clear that there are biological factors at play.

Eating is driven by behaviour, and behaviour is driven by physiology and biochemistry. That is an undeniable fact.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that people should just give up and accept their genetic fate. Losing weight is still possible, it is just much, much harder for some people.

Bottom Line: Obesity is a very complex disorder. There are many genetic, biological and environmental factors that can have a major effect on body weight. It is not just about willpower.

  1. “Eat Less, Move More” is Good Advice

Body fat is simply stored energy (calories).

To lose fat, more calories need to be leaving your fat cells than entering them.

In other words, if calories out surpass calories in, fat loss occurs. That is a fact.

For this reason, it seems only logical that “eating less and moving more” would cause weight loss. It works on both sides of the calorie equation.

However, this is really terrible advice for those with a serious weight problem. Most people who follow this advice end up gaining it back and there are physiological and biochemical reasons for this.

A major and sustained change in perspective and behaviour is needed to lose weight with diet and exercise. Simply telling people to eat less and move more isn’t enough.

Telling someone with obesity to just “eat less, move more” is like telling someone with depression to cheer up, or someone with alcoholism to just drink less.

It’s ridiculous and ineffective, period.

Bottom Line: Telling people with weight problems to just “eat less, move more” is ineffective advice. It rarely works in the long term.

  1. Carbs Make You Fat

Low-carb diets can help with weight loss. That is a scientific fact.

In many cases, this happens even without conscious calorie restriction. As long as the carbs are kept low and protein intake is high, people lose weight.

However, this does not mean that carbs per se cause weight gain. The obesity epidemic started around 1980 but humans have been eating carbs for a very long time.

The truth is, refined carbs (like refined grains and sugar) are definitely linked to weight gain, but whole foods that are high in carbs are very healthy.

Bottom Line: Low-carb diets are very effective for weight loss. However, carbs are not what causes obesity in the first place. Whole, single ingredient carb-based foods are incredibly healthy.

  1. Fat Makes You Fat

Body fat is stored fat.

So, eating more fat should make us store more of it. It seems logical.

However, it turns out that things aren’t this simple. There is nothing uniquely fattening about fat, except that it is often found in calorie-dense junk foods.

As long as calories are within range, fat does not make you fat. Additionally, diets that are high in fat (but low in carbs) have been shown to cause weight loss in numerous studies.

As with so many things in nutrition, this depends entirely on the context.

Eating a lot of fat along with a high-carb, high-calorie, junk food-based diet will definitely make you fat. But it’s not just because of the fat.

Bottom Line: Fat has often been blamed for the obesity epidemic, but there is nothing inherently fattening about dietary fat. It depends entirely on the context.

  1. Eating Breakfast is Necessary to Lose Weight

Studies show that breakfast skippers tend to weigh more than breakfast eaters.

However, this is probably because people who eat breakfast are, on average, more likely to have other healthy lifestyle habits.

This was recently tested in a controlled trial, the largest of its kind. This was a study of 309 men and women that compared recommendations to either eat or skip breakfast.

They found no effect after a 4 month study period. It didn’t matter whether people ate or skipped breakfast, neither had an effect on weight.

It is also a myth that breakfast boosts metabolism, or that eating multiple, smaller meals makes you burn more calories throughout the day.

Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Eat breakfast if you want to, but don’t expect it to have a major effect on your weight.

Bottom Line: It is true that breakfast skippers tend to weigh more than breakfast eaters, but controlled trials show that it doesn’t matter for weight loss whether you eat or skip breakfast.

  1. Fast Food is Always Fattening

Not all “fast” food is bad.

Because of the increased health consciousness in the world, many fast food chains have started offering healthier options.

There are even entire chains that have become popular that focus exclusively on serving healthy foods (such as Chipotle).

It is possible to get something relatively healthy at most restaurants. For example, a steak or a hamburger without the bun, with a baked potato.

Even most cheap fast food restaurants often something healthier (or at least less unhealthy) than their main offerings, such as a chicken salad.

These foods may not satisfy the demands of rigid organic eaters, but these options are still a decent choice if you don’t have the time or energy to cook a healthy meal.

Bottom Line: Fast food does not have to be unhealthy or fattening. Most fast food chains offer some healthier alternatives to their main offerings.

  1. Weight Loss Diets Actually Work

The weight loss industry wants you to believe that “diets” work.

However, studies show that dieting almost never works in the long-term. 85% of people end up gaining the weight back within a year.

Additionally, studies show that people who go on a diet are actually the ones most likely to gain weight in the future.

In reality, dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain – not loss.

The truth is that you probably shouldn’t approach weight loss with a dieting mindset. Instead, make it a goal to change your lifestyle and become a healthier, happier and fitter person.

If you manage to increase your activity levels, eat healthier and sleep better, then you should lose weight as a natural side effect. Going on a diet and starving yourself probably won’t work in the long-term.

Bottom Line: Despite what the weight loss industry would have you believe, dieting usually doesn’t work in the long term. Most people gain the weight back.

  1. People With Obesity Are Unhealthy, Thin People are Healthy

It is true that obesity is associated with an increased risk of several chronic diseases.

This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, increased risk of some cancers, and others.

However, there are still plenty of people with obesity who are metabolically healthy, and plenty of thin people who have these same chronic diseases.

It seems to matter where the fat builds up. If you have a lot of fat in the abdominal area, around the organs, then this type of fat is much more strongly associated with metabolic disease.

The fat that builds up under the skin, the subcutaneous fat, is more of a cosmetic problem.

Bottom Line: Obesity is linked to several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. However, many people with obesity are metabolically healthy, and many thin people are not.

  1. “Diet” Foods Can Help You Lose Weight

A lot of junk food is marketed as healthy.

Examples include low-fat foods, fat-free foods, processed gluten-free foods and disguised high-sugar beverages like Vitaminwater.

However, you really can NOT trust these foods. The labels and health claims are usually put there to deceive, not inform.

Some junk food marketers are really immoral. They will lie to you to get you to buy super harmful, fattening junk food for you and your children.

A good rule of thumb: If the packaging of a food tells you that it is healthy, then it’s probably bad for you.

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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.
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