ANALYSIS: How to Boost Your Immune System

Life in the Time of Corona(virus) pandemic requires that we take special measures to keep our immune system turbocharged.  And we are going to let you in on the time-tested secrets of how to do exactly that.   But we aren’t going to suggest that you spend a dime on any supplements, herbs or anything else that someone is trying to sell you.  It doesn’t take a pill or herbal tea to boost your body’s immune system.  However, it does take a bit of discipline.   There are five essential steps to boosting your immunity to any virus or bacteria:

Get Enough Sleep

Whatever amount of sleep you need — somewhere between 7-9 hours — should do the trick.   Best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday (including weekends).   And, just in case we weren’t clear, that sleep has to come all at once.   Four 2-hour naps throughout a day ain’t gonna cut it.

Reduce Stress in Your Life

Isn’t it stressful enough trying to survive a deadly pandemic that almost no one has experienced in their lifetimes?   Unless you are a medical professional battling the virus on the front lines, you should be finding ways of eliminating any other stress points in your life.  If you are planning a divorce — postpone it.   If you are mulling over a house remodel — forgettaboutit until the summer.  If you are contemplating a major life change — don’t even think about it.   The only thing you should be thinking about is taking a free on-line tutorial about mindfulness.

Eat Really Really Healthy Foods

Normally, you eat pretty well.  Occasionally you’ll indulge in junk or processed foods.   You might have dessert occasionally and you keep alcohol consumption to a moderate range.  That’s all fine and dandy in normal circumstances.  But we are miles from normal and we’ve all got to up our diet games.   It’s actually not all that hard.  We’ve done the hardest part by finding the most healthful and reasonably priced diet.  It’s called the “Modified Mediterranean Diet” and it costs you nothing to find out all about it.

Not only can a Meditteranean-based diet and lifestyle lead to weight-loss and saving money, but it may also do wonders for your gut biome.  Your intestines are likely to be happiest on this diet.  An on-going European study has found that people over 65 who switched to Mediterranean-type diet not only lost weight but improved their overall healthfulness by making their gut healthier.

Best of all, this diet features simple, plant-based cooking, with the majority of each meal focused on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and seeds, with a few nuts and a heavy emphasis on extra virgin olive oil. Fats other than olive oil, such as butter, are consumed rarely, if at all. Meat can make a rare appearance, usually only to flavor a dish. Instead, meals may include eggs, dairy and poultry, but in much smaller portions than in the traditional Western diet.   Stick with this way of eating during the worst of the pandemic and you’ll be doing your body a huge gift of healthfulness when it most needs it.

15 Minutes of Exercise Each Day (and Make Some Money Doing It)

That’s all you really need.  15 minutes of quality exercise injected into your hours of couch potatoing and computer gaming will keep your immune system humming.  Now, we are talking exercise — which means you’ll need to breathe pretty hard and use most all of your major muscles.    Here’s an excellent 15-minute workout that will do the trick:

Now, here comes the money part.  If someone made you a bet for $100 that you couldn’t lose 5 pounds would you take that bet?   You bet you would.  It’d be an easy $100.  Would you be willing to bet on yourself to lose those five pounds?  One relatively novel idea is a website called HealthyWage.   It turns out that if you put some money on the line, there’s a demonstrably higher likelihood that you’ll meet your goals.  For real.   At Healthy Wage, you can build your own weight loss challenge and, if you meet it, you can actually win more money than you paid out for the bet.

Proper Hygiene

Your immune system is happiest when you aren’t needlessly subjecting it irritating little buggies.  More than ever, you’ve got to be handwashing for 20 seconds with soap or using hand sanitizer that is greater than 60% alcohol multiple times during the day.  When you go out of your house, wear protective gear, like gloves and a mask.  And for goodness sake, don’t smoke.  Smokers have an increased risk of catching infections and suffering severe complications from those infections due to a depressed immune response.

Necessary Supplements

There are none.  If you eat the modified Mediterraean Diet, you’ll get all of the nutrients you need.   Feel a need for Vitamin D?   Take a 20-minute walk.   The sun is the best source of Vitamin D.   A British study found that 13 minutes of midday sunlight exposure during summer three times per week is enough to maintain healthy levels among Caucasian adults.   Make it a 20-minute brisk walk and you get the added benefit of some exercise.   Feel like you need Vitamin C?  Eat an orange or squeeze some lemon juice on one of your meals.  Bingo!  One lemon contains about 50% of your recommended daily Vitamin C intake.   That’s pretty much all you need.   The marketers trying to sell you echinacea, zinc, elderberries or Mongolia Monkfruit (we just made that last one up) are just taking money that would be better spent buying fresh veggies and perhaps streaming a few movies.

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