We’re several weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s worth a reset. Guidelines have evolved while other pieces of advice remain firm. 

 Washing out hands for at least 20 seconds on a regular basis is always a good idea. And we know that wearing a mask can protect others who might be susceptible to an illness.

The fact is we have all been exposed to other Coronaviruses since childhood; colds are caused by them.

Humans have not previously encountered this particular strain of Coronavirus. It affects our breathing system. We can picture our respiratory system as a series of air passages that become smaller as they go deeper into our lungs. At the very end of these passages are tiny, air-filled sacs called alveoli. This is where COVID-19 can cause damage, particularly to smokers and to people whose immune systems are busy with other health conditions. 

Our diets affect our immune function, of course. Sugar, in the form of glucose or fructose, will increase cell-damaging free radical activity. When we eat sugary sweets we reduce our leukocyte index (leukocytes are our bodies’ defenders against illness). 

Sugar feeds the virus, giving it the energy it needs to multiply. I am not only referring to the sweet treats we sometimes enjoy. All of the carbohydrates in our diets will enter our bloodstreams as glucose including bread, potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice, juices, low and nonfat milk, and even whole grains!

A great way to protect your body from the virus is to include plenty of natural fats, such as butter, coconut oil, and other natural fat from pasture-raised animals. Butyric acid in butter is a short-chain fatty acid that plays a role in the immune system supporting functions of the gut. Lauric acid in coconut oil is antimicrobial, and antiviral. Our body converts it into our virus-fighting ally, monolaurin. 

A few other things to consider:

* Drink plenty of clean filtered water. One of the leading reasons for succumbing to illness is chronic dehydration. 

* Exercise is great for our bodies’ defense against illness. Even a casual 20-minute walk will stimulate the immune system, and the lymph system, helping us detox.

* Nothing works well without sufficient sleep. Get a restful 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. 

* Eat whatever colorful veggies and fruit are in season and abundantly available.

These are all basic ways to support your immune system. Salud!

You can reach Yaakov at [email protected]