There is a limit in outer protection against COVID-19 coronavirus
The coronavirus is affecting everybody, including travellers and scuba divers, almost no matter where you are in the world. We all try to protect ourselves in the form of washing our hands and staying away from crowded places, but there is a limit in the way we can protect ourselves from the outside. Also, I think there is enough information about this already so I am not going to write about this. Instead, I would like to share advice about how to protect ourselves from the inside and keep our health by protecting our immune system during this strange time of the coronavirus.
Ayurvedic advice for the protection of the immune system in the midst of the coronavirus
Sometimes I use my knowledge gained in a full-time Ayurveda study I completed about 5 years ago. As a traveller, it´s not always easy to keep a healthy lifestyle and it might be useful for anyone who is interested in this. So all information shared in these articles is based upon an Ayurvedic viewpoint. My study was focussed on becoming a therapist, so I am not a doctor and I would like to emphasize to never take my words in place for what a doctor says or recommend. Use your own judgement always and rather use it to stay healthy or to use it in addition to a doctor´s advice.
Keep your immune system high for inner protection against the COVID-19 coronavirus
I think it´s generally known that our body has an immune system to fight diseases, viruses and bacterias from outside the body. If our immune system is low, we are more vulnerable to diseases and have fewer defences against them. However, if our immune system is high, we feel more energetic and won´t be affected that easily for things as a common flue or other viruses, including the coronavirus.
From an Ayurvedic viewpoint, our immune system is directly linked to our intestinal system
In Ayurveda, we work with the idea that our immune system is directly linked to our digestive tract, and our intestinal system, also called the gut, is obviously part of it. Therefore is our immune system affected by how and what we eat. So sure, we all know that a healthy diet is linked to our general health. However, Ayurveda is not that simple because it works with different body types, and especially the speed and capacity of digestion make a difference at the different body types. This means that one recommendation to somebody´s health can have an opposite effect on the health of a person with another body type. That´s why it´s not always easy to give general guidelines but there are, however, some things we can keep in mind.
5 tips to keep your immune system high for inner protection against the coronavirus
Tip 1: Keep a regular diet and watch for any digestive problems
In Ayurveda, the different body types have a different capacity and rhythm of digestion. Therefore it is important to be aware of how your body digests the food you eat. Any malfunctioning in the digestive track like bloating or gasses are one of the first symptoms in Ayurveda for being able to cause disease. And these small problems in your digestive tract will have an effect upon your immune system.
The protection of your immune system through the right absorption of nutrients
If you eat very healthy food, but your body digests it too quickly, your body might not absorb and distribute the nutrients correctly. And the contrary takes place if your digestion is too slow: it might not eliminate the consumed food in a proper way which can lead to the build-up of toxins in your system, in turn affecting the correct absorption of these nutrients. So make sure your body digest properly what you feed it. An important rule for regular digestion is simply to eat regular, the best is to eat 3 meals a day and avoid snacking. A good way to check if your digestion is regular is to have a release of stool each morning.
Tip 2: The protection of your intestinal flora for a good immune system
In order to keep your intestinal health, we not only need healthy food in the form of fruits and vegetables. It´s important to eat foods high in fibre like oats and whole grains but also pre-biotics like banana, beans and onions. As important are probiotics in the form of fermented food as yoghurt, kefir or sauerkraut. There is a reason why we used to eat sauerkraut especially in wintertime in colder countries: to keep our immune system high.
The importance of probiotics for the protection of our immune system in times of the coronavirus
Probiotics are essential for bacterias we need to keep our gut flora healthy. Especially if you have taken antibiotics, it´s important to keep extra probiotics afterwards. Even Western medicine is recently confirming that our intestinal flora is directly linked to our immune system. Products to avoid are processed foods high in sugar, too many alcoholic drinks and sparkling soft drinks.
Tip 3: Use ginger and add other herbs to detox your gut for a better immune system
This is directly related to the above point. If your intestinal system contains a lot of toxic elements, it is not able, once again, to absorb and distribute the good qualities taken in from the fruits, vegetables or even supplements you might take to improve your health and immune system. Ginger is amazing to clean toxins from your system and you can take it in many different ways. You can make ginger tea, chai teas, you can just chew it raw or add it to soups or rice dishes. Ginger is so amazing because it has a lot of extra benefits as well.
Other benefits of ginger for your health during the time of the coronavirus
Other than helping to detox your intestinal system, ginger also fights bacterias and is good against a cold or painful throat. And if you can avoid a throat infection or a flue this way, you can avoid the intake of antibiotics, which closes the circle again with tip number two. Always be aware of your body type before you take a lot of random herbs. For myself, among other favourites, I really like the combination of turmeric with black pepper. Try to avoid things as antibiotics and acid blockers if possible, since they have a very negative effect on your gut.
Tip 4: Extra vitamin intake to boost your immune system in the time of the coronavirus
If you are exposed to a higher risk of viruses, you might like to take extra vitamins and minerals, but do it only when your intestinal system is balanced. Everybody knows that the consumption of fruits and vegetables contributes to our overall state of health and has a positive effect on our immune system. Personally I prefer to do that by eating more fruits and vegetables or make more fruit juices or smoothies. To keep our digestion balanced, it´s best to take fruits before the meal or in between meals because fruits are easy to digest.
If you prefer to take supplements to boost your immune system
Some people prefer to take supplements, but once again make sure that your body digests them well. You can put one supplement in a glass of water overnight to see how it breaks down. Because if they don´t digest well, it can also create toxins and do more harm than good on the longer term. If you feel they cause problems in your digestive system, take them less often than recommended or use ginger, once again, because ginger also stimulates your digestion.
Tip 5: Don´t stress about the coronavirus because it has a negative impact on your immune system
Some people can become very stressful about the coronavirus crisis, but I believe that stress impacts our immune system even more than we think. The news is mostly about the coronavirus, but this creates a lot of fear. They show more statistics about the people who die from it than the people who heal from it. It´s not to dismiss the seriousness of the situation, but I think all this panic and fear has a big impact on our immune system. So try to put things in perspective for yourself and accept that there is a limit in protecting yourself from the outside.
Relax your mind & stay active to improve your health during the coronavirus
If you are someone constantly googling the facts and the news, try to search for articles that show how many heal from the disease. Try to relax your mind as well and consciously disconnect yourself from the news and media or limit yourself to check it only twice a day. Try to stay active, exercising your body or even just going for a walk, help to lower your stress levels and contribute to overall health. Other ways to relax your mind are by doing things you like.
Smile more & meditate for protection through a higher immune system
Maybe you are forced to stay at home than try to focus on things that make you feel good. Pick up that book you are planning to read since a long time, do some yoga at home, make that painting, put on your favourite music and don´t forget to smile in the midst of this. Even research now shows that smiling and laughing have a positive effect on our immune system and overall health. And last but not least: meditate! I can´t imagine my life anymore without meditation, and I recommend it to everyone, but especially in times when we get bombarded with negative news which creates fear and anxiety. You don´t have to sit cross-legged on the floor to meditate. You can do it during a walk in nature and by connecting to the plants and trees.
Bonus tip for staying happy during the coronavirus
Do you think that it´s bad to eat chocolate? Of course, all the processed chocolate full of sugar will do more harm than good to your health. However, a bit of raw dark chocolate, preferably organic, is good for your mental health and has a positive effect on your overall health as well. Just google it, and mostly enjoy it too!
Conclusion about how to keep your immune system high and our health strong in the time of the coronavirus
Rather than freaking out about how to protect ourselves from the outside, I think it´s as important to take responsibility for our own health and immune system, especially in a time with this coronavirus. People who actually die from coronavirus are mostly people with a low immune system. Like my favourite writer and motivational speaker, Wayne Dyer, always said: You can´t always control what goes outside of you, but we can always control what goes inside! And it´s in our own hands to choose a happy, healthy lifestyle in the midst of this coronavirus panic.
Additional information about Splashpacker
If you´re interested in another post about Ayurveda, you can click on this link. You can also sign up for my mailing list below. Although I usually write about sustainable travel & scuba diving destinations, I sometimes share tips about keeping a healthy lifestyle. I became motivated to study Ayurveda after I lost my both parents of cancer, you can read more about that in my book Safety Stop. My blog is created for the conscious traveller. Happy reading!