Friday, January 31, 2020

Pandemic Prophylactics

If there is one bright spot in the 2019 Coronavirus news it is that this disease does not as adversely impact younger people with healthier immune systems as did SARS and Swine Flu. The mechanisms for this anomalous behavior are disputed, but it seems that it is partially on account of the body's own immune system believing it is attacking a different pathogen that it already recognizes, and this leads to the immune system to damage the bodies' own cells/organs. Luckily, this coronavirus follows the logical path, which is that if your immune system is healthy - then you can stop being concerned about yourself and start being concerned about the others' around you with less healthy immune systems or those who are older.

The problem with being neurotic though, is that one's anxiety and negativity can weaken one's immune system. So during this outbreak, I have taken a few concrete steps to ensure that I am able to do my best in avoiding being anxious about the Coronavirus. Aside from the classic tips of washing hands, not touching your face, running at full clip in the opposite direction whenever you see someone cough or sneeze, these are some tips that I take to keep my immune system in tip-top shape.

 Although of course, if one is sick there are old conventional wisdoms stating "feed a cold, starve a fever" and then more recent science trying to address this claim by assessing how diet composition (ratio of fats:proteins:carbohydrates) can be used when afflicted by a bacterial or viral infection. Even down to specific classes of foods being pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory which are not necessarily opposing forces but play critical roles in ramping up bodily response to infection and slowing it down. All this to say, this is by no means a solved problem (and I'm not a doctor, just a concerned neurotic citizen), so all I can give advice on is what you should do when you aren't sick and want to make sure if you get sick, it's as mild as possible.

Diet: 
-Avoid added sugars
-Do eat fresh leafy greens every day
-Do eat Blackberries/Blueberries a few times a week
-Do eat nuts/seeds every day
-Periodically eat probiotics such as kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.
-Keep snacking to a minimum - if needed snack on cheap fruit like bananas/apples
-Eat many different colored vegetables every day.

Exercise:
-Get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day (I like running)
-Lift weights a few times per week.

Rest:
-8 hours of sleep
-Meditate and Deep Breath each time you feel any anxiety

This advice does not prevents virus' from spreading, but it does reduce my anxiety which will both help my immune system and help me deal with the turbulent times ahead.

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