Here in Canada, the coronavirus just got real. Our workplaces are providing safety guidelines and handwashing stations. The government is preparing national financial support for layoffs and shutdowns. Communities are learning to live by new social rules by nixing the handshake and living in self-imposed quarantine. Hospitals are increasing the capacity for testing.
Currently standing at 313 cases nationwide Canada is using every resource available to flatten the curve.
Aside from buying up all the toilet paper, what can we do to protect ourselves?
I am by no means a doctor of any sort, but here are some things I'm doing to get my immune system in top shape just in case this virus truly hits home.
1. Immune Boosting Medicinal Mushrooms
Mushrooms have been around and used in medicinal applications for centuries. Chaga from Russia as a healing tonic since the 12th century, Red Reishi (or Ling Zhi) has been called the "mushroom of immortality" all the way back to the Ch'in Dynasty 221-207 B.C.E. Maitake mushroom, native to northeastern Japan has been nicknamed the "dancing mushroom" as people would dance for joy upon finding it for its immune-boosting properties. Turkey tail has been used across many cultures for healing dating back to the 15th century ( if you want to learn more about this, check out Paul Stamets)
What do these mushrooms have in common?
They are adaptogens, and they all play a role to increase the body's ability to deal with many different types of stress.
What is an adaptogen? An adaptogenic compound is a non- toxic substance that adapts to your body's needs to achieve optimal function. Each mushroom has different benefits and I'm not going to explain all of them but these are my top 3 that I am taking to help prepare my immune system for the COVID-19 battle.
1. Chaga -
A powerful antioxidant, Chaga is said to exhibit the ability to fight off viruses such as the flu. This is possible because it aggressively attacks free radicals.
2. Red Reishi -
Reishi is known as natures Xanax. Who wouldn't like to feel a little bit calmer during a pandemic? Studies on reishi show that it can help reduce stress, improve sleep and possibly increase the number of infection-fighting white blood cells.
3. Turkey Tail -
There have been numerous recent studies on turkey tail and its ability to help fight cancer. It is packed with antioxidants, increases the number of Natural Killer cells to protect against tumors and viruses and might improve gut bacteria that in turn aids the immune system.
2. Vitamin Packed Smoothies
Good nutrition is key to a healthy immune system. It's important to give your body everything it will need to fight off nasty intruders quickly, and really who doesn't like a smoothie? Here's the break down of what I'm putting in mine -
1. Plain Greek Yogurt-
Not only is greek yogurt a great source of protein, but it is also packed with lactobacillus- a friendly probiotic bacteria that is naturally found in our digestive systems. It also contains vitamin B-12, Potassium, Vitamin A and zinc.
2. Berries - (especially blueberries)
Berries are well known for containing antioxidants, and also contain high amounts of vitamin C, Maganese and dietary fibre. Vitamin C protects against cell damage and helps your body antibodies that attack and neutralize microbes.
3. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are awesome because they are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, quality protein, fibre and minerals. The fatty acid content helps regulate the inflammatory response.
Many COVID-19 patients that are in critical care are there because their body is creating too much inflammation to deal with the onslaught of the virus.
3. Golden Mylk Latte's
Golden Mylk is an ayurvedic beverage created in India, that has gained quite a lot of popularity in recent years. Not only is it packed with health-promoting spices, its also freakin' delicious. This health tonic is made with turmeric, ginger, white pepper and is often brewed with a non-dairy milk beverage and sweetened with honey. Tumeric and ginger are both rich with antioxidants and are said to aid with anti-viral & anti-inflammatory properties. White pepper is added to increase absorption of turmeric's active ingredient; curcumin.
Here's the recipe I use for a golden mylk latte -
Golden Mylk Latte
1" Fresh Tumeric (or 1/2 tsp dry)
1/2 Cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground)
1/2" tsp Fresh Ginger ( or 1/2tsp dry)
Pinch of Ground White pepper
325 ml Oat milk (currently my favourite non-dairy milk)
1/2 tbs coconut sugar
If you're using dry ingredients, simply mix them together, add your hot milk and enjoy!
For fresh; Chop your ginger and turmeric root, add the cinnamon, white pepper and coconut sugar and simmer for 5 minutes. Then strain it before drinking.
Keep safe and stay healthy!
- Milk & Honey