With Coronavirus now being termed a pandemic, and the global attention focused on prevention, we are reminded of how critical a role gut health plays in building a strong immune system.
We’re cutting to the chase with a quick hit of gut health and immunity building tips from renowned heart surgeon and nutrition pioneer, Dr. Steven Gundry. Here are a few action items we can all implement to control that which is in our control — our personal health routines.
A lot of my patients are asking me about the recent coronavirus outbreak. To put things in perspective, the flu has caused 20,000 deaths and 350,000 hospitalizations in 2020 so far, according to the CDC. However, it’s understandable to be concerned with all the COVID-19 media coverage of late.
How do you keep yourself and your loved ones safe? The first place to start is your gut. That’s because your gut is home to the trillions of bacteria that make up your microbiome, and these bacteria play a critical role in maintaining a strong immune system. However, when your sensitive gut lining is damaged — a condition commonly known as leaky gut — your immune system is far less capable of protecting you from dangerous viruses and bacteria.
Unfortunately, the worst thing you can feed your microbiome is sugar. Sugar suppresses the immune system, so the last thing you want to eat when you’re sick is a candy bar, a bowl of cereal, or even a piece of bread (which is pure sugar). My advice is simple: The more you stay away from sweets, cookies, crackers, cereals and candy this season, the better off your immune system is going to be.
3 Essential Nutrients To Boost Your Immune System
(And Avoid Getting Any Virus)
As important as it is to have a strong, diverse microbiome, there are still some supplements you can use to support your immune system’s heath all season long.
Vitamin D | My number one recommendation for help maintaining a healthy immune system is to take vitamin D. In my experience, the average person should take a bare minimum of 5,000 international units of this critical vitamin every day. Your body uses vitamin D to support the strength of your immune system—in fact, several recent studies have even linked low vitamin D levels to certain autoimmune disorders and increased susceptibility to illness.
Vitamin C | It’s no surprise that vitamin C makes this list, but what may surprise you, however, is that the best way to get vitamin C is with a timed-release capsule. Why? Vitamin C is actually water-soluble, meaning you’re literally excreting the dose every two to three hours. Time-released capsules simply keep more vitamin C in your system for longer (usually 6-12 hours). However, if time-released capsules are not an option, I also recommend chewing chewable vitamin C tablets 4 times a day, which are available at any drugstore.
Mushrooms | Mushrooms are some of the best ways to help support your immune system. In particular, I recommend supplements containing reishi, chaga and coriolus mushrooms, as in M Vitality, the tincture I designed to help my patients get their daily dose of these potent mushrooms in their diet. Not only do these three mushrooms contain powerful immune-supporting compounds, but they also actually improve your microbiome’s health, which keeps your immune system strong all year long. But good news, even eating humble button mushrooms will help!
Of course, one of the easiest and best ways to take care of your immune system is by eating a healthy plant-centric—and lectin-free—diet and by getting adequate sleep each night. As I always say: When you feed your gut buddies the food they love, they will love you right back.
For more practical tips on how you and your loved ones can stay safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, tune into my special coronavirus podcast episode on the Dr. Gundry Podcast. I sort through all the facts and fiction about COVID-19, such as the only mask that will truly stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.