Coronavirus and Strengthening Your Immune System for the Gainesville Georgia Community with Nutrition

Hello, and welcome everybody to another episode of the Winner Wellness Podcast. Today, I’m here with Jeanne Winner, our resident nutritionist and expert on all things nutrition. Jeanne, we have a question that’s very relevant today with the coronavirus and flu season. What are things that you suggest we do to improve our immune system?

Mike, that’s an excellent question. Because right now in the news we’re hearing about the coronavirus. We’re hearing about flu season and we do want to take steps to keep our immune system strong. So, that’s an excellent topic for our season right now. Number one, is definitely do wash your hands. Don’t just rely on hand sanitizers. I think that’s part of where we got off the track, that we started just using hand sanitizers and not washing our hands. So, wash your hands and have your children, teach them to wash their hands properly. Another thing, is we should be eating the foods that feed our immune system, and also learning a little bit about what is our immune system, and how does it work?

Because in your body you have these amazing cells called the immune cells. They are called lymphocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and they literally are a little army that resides within your body’s tissues. And if any virus, gets in or on you, they literally will pounce on that virus, engulf it and destroy it in a flash. But you have to feed them. They are living cells and they have to be fed. And unfortunately they don’t eat potato chips and soft drinks. I’m not saying never eat potato chips or never eat soft drinks, look at those as fun foods. They’re really not for nutrition, so avoid using those as a mainstay to keep your blood sugar balanced, but get in the habit of eating some good nutritious foods.

And by that I mean foods like broccoli. Broccoli is a wonderful immune boosting food. Spinach, yogurt, Greek yogurt without all the sugar is a great immune boosting food. You definitely want to make sure you have adequate protein in the form of fish or lean meats. You also want to make sure you’re having foods in their natural form. For example, the spinach, you should eat it in its raw form. And also with sunflower seeds. Other foods that are really good to boost your immune system are, papaya and kale, apples, walnuts, citrus fruits. Of course if you’re allergic to citrus fruits, you know who you are, then you will avoid those. Peppers are very good for the immune system, and so are teas such as ginger tea, green tea. Those are all good immune boosting foods.

On the other hand, you want to think about at some point doing a cleanse. Because our bodies accumulate toxic chemicals, debris, and you want to cleanse periodically. And a really good way to cleanse would be to abstain from processed foods for a period of time, and abstain from sugars for a period of time, and in that interim, eat only vegetables and minimal fruits in their raw or steamed form. Lots of pure water. Get some light exercise. And a big immune booster, especially with viruses, I want to mention, is sunlight. I know some people are afraid of sunlight, but sunlight is good for you. Now, I’m not talking about excessive sunlight, as lying in the sun for hours on end.

What I’m talking about is 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure every day. Now, that’s a challenge with the weather that we’ve had here, especially in Georgia, in the past few months because it’s been very dark for the most part, and it’s rained a lot so we haven’t had a whole lot of sunlight. Today we have some sunlight, so if you have sunlight, get out in it. And if you have a sunroom or a sun space, put on some shorts and a tee shirt or little robe and just lay in that sun, and let your body make some vitamin D. Now, why is that important? Because vitamin D is like a little truck. It’s a transporter. What does it transport? It transports calcium to your bloodstream so your immune cells can get it. You got it?

Now, obviously you have to have some calcium in your diet. Well, a lot of foods I mentioned do have calcium in them. But your best calcium source is calcium lactate. Because it converts to what we call the bioactive calcium, calcium bicarbonate in one step. And that’s another thing to talk about, chemistry of calcium absorption. Let’s get back to vitamin D. Now, vitamin D is necessary to transport calcium from your stomach and intestinal track to your bloodstream. Because once it’s in your bloodstream, your cells can get it, they can absorb it, and what that will do, is that will activate your immune killer cells. They need that calcium in order to be able to move quickly and engulf viruses.

No calcium, your immune cells do not move. They go dormant. And your body will tell you if your calcium levels are too low in your tissues or in your bloodstream, it will tell you that. What are the signals that your calcium levels might be too low? Well, one would be low blood pressure. If your blood pressure is low, that’s a signal that… And what I mean by low is 90, 95 over 40 or 50 that low. If it’s in the low 100’s or the high 90’s, you definitely don’t want it lower than that because you could pass out. But some people normally have low blood pressure, but it also could be they don’t have the calcium connection. So, low blood pressure is one signal that your immune system is down because there is not enough circulating calcium.

Also, another signal is muscle cramps. If you ever get muscle cramps, and I’m talking about those Charley horses, they often occur in your legs or feet or even hands. Some people get them all over. But those are a signal there is not enough calcium in your muscles. And that’s a red light, like your engine red light coming on that tells you, you certainly have a potential problem here. There’s not enough circulating calcium. The muscles are telling you that, and you need to get that calcium in there. You need to get the vitamin D transporting that calcium to the bloodstream, because if you don’t, you’re a wide open door for a virus attack. You see how that works. So, if you want to minimize, if you want to boost your immune system, and you want to not have to lower your risk for virus infections or bacterial infections for that matter, then you want to take these simple steps to be able to have an active immune system via your immune killer cells.

Well, that’s all great information. And obviously, if people have more questions, they can either come in and make an appointment at Winner Wellness with you Jeanne to go over and do the testing to see what they can do and what other type of supplements and things other than diet that would help them improve their immune system. So, this is very-

Oh, definitely.

Very valuable information for this concern that the whole world is about the coronavirus. And of course, it looks to me that any virus, like flu viruses are dangerous and should be dealt with. So, anything you can do to improve your immune system, we know that you guys at Winner Wellness have the solutions and answers to this problem. So, be sure to check out winnerwellness.com. And Jeanne, I look forward to our next podcast.

That sounds great, Mike, see you then.