What I am doing to stay healthy right now:

I’ve had a few people on social media ask me what they can do  to strengthen their immune system and lessen their chances of developing viral infections.  So, in today’s post, I thought I’d share what I am doing to stay healthy and calm right now.

1.  I  get plenty of rest.  According to physicians at Mayo Clinic, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. So, the body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases.  For me,  I feel best when I get a full eight hours of sleep. I find the best way to do this is to try to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day,.

2.  I eat healthy, nutrient dense foods.  These include leafy greens, such as spinach, and kale, which are packed with fiber and vitamins K and A.  Fruits, such as strawberries and blueberries, contain loads of vitamins A, C and potassium.  Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of the flavonoid quercetin, which transports zinc into cells to halt viral replication.  Onions and apples are also good sources of quercetin.

Regarding protein-rich foods, I eat organic eggs (from our farm), organic chicken and fish.  I also enjoy organic, grass fed beef.   Eggs, chicken and beef are also good sources of zinc.

Although it’s our nature to crave carbs and sugar during stressful times, I know that filling up on these daily and not eating enough nutrient dense foods will not keep me healthy. However, I do like to snack on something crunchy, so I keep bags of Kale and Beet Chips in the pantry.  These satisfy my snack cravings while providing great nutrients.  (I can’t wait to make my own once the gardens are in full swing.)

3.  I get plenty of exercise.  I think this really helps with stress, which can weaken the immune system.   I have put together a circuit training routine incorporating hand weights and cardio, using an elliptical exerciser. I do this 3-4 times a week.  I also have several Namaste yoga DVD’s, which I really enjoy using at least 4 times a week. (They air  Namaste Yoga several times in the morning on Fit TV.)  Yoga really helps me stay calm and relaxed.

4.  I  optimize my Vitamin D levels.  According to the NIH, Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased susceptibility to infection. I prefer to get Vitamin D from the sun.  Weather permitting, I enjoy working out in the greenhouse and gardens, as well as going on walks with my husband and our dog. This provides additional exercise, and 20 minutes outside on a sunny day helps to optimize Vitamin D levels.  Being outdoors in the sunshine and fresh country air just feels great!

I take a few key supplements to help strengthen my immune system and protect against viral infections.  These include Sambucus Gummies with Vitamin C and Zinc, quercetin, and licorice root.

Probiotics are also essential for a strong immune system,   Rather than taking a probiotic capsule, I get mine by drinking kombucha tea. In addition to  providing natural probiotics, kombucha tea also aids in natural detoxification.  It works by teeming with enzymes and bacterial acids. Gluconic acid, which is found in kombucha, bind to toxins to help expel them from the body.

Always remember to check with your healthcare practitioner before taking any herbal supplement or natural product.

6.  Last, but most importantly, I spend time in daily Bible reading and prayer.  I really believe God is bigger than any adversity we can face here on earth. Looking back on my own life, I know I don’t have to worry at all because He has always had my back.  I also understand He often uses adversity for my good.  According to James 1:2-4,” Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  I also believe when I pray, He  listens and answers.  John 14:14 assures me of this:  “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” 

Despite everything that is going on in the world right now, I feel at peace. This is because I absolutely believe what Romans 10:9-10 says: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  I know when my time has come, I am ready.