I was asked to share this. It is an article I sent out to all our Kahane Law Office family. People found it helpful so, as we end another crazy week, I just wanted to send out this simple reminder about staying healthy. To be very clear, I am not a Doctor, I am a lawyer. As a lawyer, I know how to research and try to find studies that have proven evidence but I have absolutely no medical training. Therefore, I have to add a caveat that you should consult with your doctor before you implement any of this! (Some people may have allergies or conflicting medications, etc and who wants a lawsuit!) Also, nothing in this list, or any list, can 100% guarantee immunity to sickness or disease. But even if it helps 55? 10%? 50%? why not try?
The best medicine, these days and always, is to look after yourself. Of course, we should always lessen our risks in any situation but here are a few reminder of ways to just live healthy (now and forever).
Get Your Sleep
Many factors, including stress, can rob you of sleep and sleep is key for your body to stay healthy and keep your immune system working at its best. Go to bed at the same time each day (weekends included) and sleep in if you can. Naps also help. Do not use electronic devises or watch TV for an hour before you go to bed.
We all know this but often forget. Drink at least two liters a day. (That is 8 cups in non-metric). Drink it everyday. It keeps your immune system working (actually, it helps all your systems) but also the body’s natural mechanisms moist and hydrated which is key to blocking a virus from entering the body.
No excuses. Moderate exercise keeps inflammation down, chronic disease at bay, reduces stress and reduces the release of stress hormones and accelerates the circulation of white blood cells which Go out side and keep your social distancing but get out and walk each day at least 30 minutes. Maybe even a little more on the weekend!!! Remember moderate exercise. You do not want to strain your body. And do not exercise if you have a fever. A mild cold…. Keep it up!
Eat Green Vegetables
Green veggies have vitamins that boost the cell surface proteins needed for efficient immune system functioning. (not eating them can lessen the proteins by 70-80%
It is still winter and we do not get enough from the sun… even if you walk more as above). Vitamin D is important for good immune functioning. What can you do? Supplements or eat egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon, canned tuna and beef liver.
Wash Your Hands
I know… you keep hearing it but this is one of the best was to avoid getting any cold or flu always! Use soap and warm water (if you can but cold is better than nothing) and wash for at least 20 seconds. Wash between your fingers, under your nails, our wrists. At our house, we come in, disinfect our phones and wash out hands before anything else.
Don’t Touch Your Face
If a virus does not get to your eyes, nose or mouth, (or open wound?) it is very unlikely to infect you. True for any cold, flu or virus.
Spacial Distance (VS. Social Distance)
I feel like I would be shunned these days if I left this out. If you are sick, or for as long as health authorities advise, keep your two meter distance from other people.
Turn Up Your Humidifier
Lower humidity dries your nasal passages. This makes it hard for your nose to trap viruses. This goes hand in hand with drinking lots of water.
Clean Infected Surfaces
Someone who is sick touches your pen, desk or doorknob, then it only makes sense to clean that surface as viruses can live on a surface for a while (it depends on lots of factors like the type of surface, the environment, the virus itself, etc).
Say No To Booze
People feel stressed and sometimes turn to the bottle. Other people just like a drink or two. Booze damages dendritic cells. This is a key part of the immune system. Studies show that even a vaccine is less effective in people with alcohol addictions.
Deal With Stress
Yoga, meditation, exercise, journaling, talk to someone, etc. Cortisol helps fight inflammation and disease. It is good in short doses when you need it but chronic high levels is bad for your body (increase rate of infection, impaired brain function, chronic disease like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and more, weight gain and tiredness). Everyone deals with stress differently but please do what you can to minimize it. Other fun ways to reduce cortisol? Dark chocolate, bananas, pears, probiotics, drink lots of water, black tea and green tea, etc. Read an article or post that freaks you out… Text it to me. I have been digging deep into the data, sources and claims of cause and effect since this started. Only be stressed over accurate information. Do not get stressed over a crazy headline that, when you read it, talks about someone with very mild symptoms, felt sick for a few days and took a couple of Tylenol and got better.
Green tea has high levels of antioxidants. So do blueberries and other fruit. The Flavonoids help with overall health.
Another vitamin in healthy eating that helps decrease the growth of viruses. The slower the viruses replicated, the more time your body has to develop the antibodies to kill them. This means you either ravoide being sick, avoid symptoms, or lessen potential symptoms. Supplements are good for zinc but so is eating meat, tofu, oysters, and lentils.
Mentioned elsewhere here but they are a superfood. This helps your GI track fight things and boosts your immune system. One study showed: “even though college students taking probiotics or a placebo caught colds at a similar rate, those taking probiotics experienced less intense symptoms (like a stuffy nose or sore throat) for a shorter amount of time.” Look for Bifidobacterium lactis. It is in some yogurts and Kefir. Also eat sauerkraut.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids act. These acids act as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body and assist in boosting the immune system and guarding the body against infection.
Plant based foods offers these. Most important… Eat 25-38 grams of fiber a day! A good source of prebiotics includes prunes, onions, beans and legumes.
Speaking Of Onions
Eat onions! Not only do they add flavour but they also help increase nitric oxide production in cells. Many body systems use nitric oxide to help boost your immune system.
The other side of the onion. The compound allicin found in garlic helps to boost the immune system to fight against infection. Feel free to hang the garlic and onions from your door way but note that other than as a placebo (see below), I found no serious studies to show that this help.
Lots of healthy foods including those with vitamin C. While Vitamin C does not necessarily reduce how long a cold lasts, studies show that it does help the immune system to fight off colds and flus… especially people who are stressed.
Research shows that it help. Video call loved ones, have a driveway beer with a friend (keep your social distancing and only one beer if you are driving…), play a board game with those you social distance with (family), etc.
The studies are mixed on this one. Some show some ability to slightly boost the immune system to fight virus (cold and flu) infections. Others studies show not statistically significant benefits. The issue may be the type ofused, the part of the plant used, etc., or that it just does not rally work other than by a placebo effect. Known side effects are low but the data is not 100% there yet.
Seriously… this is important. I harass those of you who do (from a place of caring) but it really really is important! Other than in the 1940’s, I have yet to see serious health claims to support that smoking is good for you. Non-smokers get sick less, have healthier lungs (very important with a virus that affects the respiratory system), and it causes cancer (along with everything else depicted on the cigarette package)
Keep Your Home Clean
Yes, we hand sanitizer and wash hands out of the house… but what happens when you get home. Make a new habit of sanitizing your cell phone and washing your hands as soon as you get home. My beautiful fiance goes as far as turning her pants inside out and putting them in the laundry hamper as soon as she gets home and changing into fresh clothes. We also leave shoes in one spot at the door. Leather and / or plastic purses…. Wipe them down too.
Watch a comedy show, play with a pet, anything pleasurable! There are many studies that show that humour and positive outlook, are good for your health. It is also a lot more fun that just being bummed.
Many studies show that feeling you have control over a situation. The studies often involve cancer treatment and health outcomes. People taking control and having a feeling of control, even when that control has a medically insignificant ability to help, the results showed that people with the feeling of control did much better in terms of recovery and overall health. So take control… this list is all things that help, and at worst… cannot hurt (see the legal caveat above…) !!
Ok. How can you add this to a list? Studies do show that placebos work up to 30% of the time. These are proper blind studies where there is no medical reason for any improvement compared to medicine. What does this mean for you?? Unless something is harmful to you or others, and you believe it will help you, ie hanging garlic and onions from your door, or having chicken soup, or putting a green stone under your mattress, why not do it. Your belief that it can help may actually help, even in there is no science to support it. At home we call it the chicken soup rule. “Can it help? Maybe. Can it hurt? No. Do try it”.
Thank you for getting to the bottom of this list.