Wednesday, March 25, 2020

COVID-19 strategy: Build immunity in your kitchen!

It’s easy to feel helpless while we wait for an effective treatment for COVID-19 or any other infection, but look at it this way: better health through home cooking has never been more convenient!  The kitchen is the best place to work on strengthening the immune system, and it just so happens that most of us have some extra time right now.  We also all have some adjustments we can make to our food and activity choices to boost our immunity and lower our risk factors, and preparing our own meals from scratch is one of the most powerful single adjustments we can make.  Choose from a wide range of whole foods, culture a healthy intestinal tract (“gut microbiome”), avoid refined carbohydrates and sweet drinks, get daily exercise, and schedule 7-9 hours of sleep at night: these steps all help our immune systems beat back bad bugs.  You’ll find a prescription for improving immunity and reducing inflammation on pages 22-23 of Good Food, Great Medicine (4th edition).  By the way, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are both associated with weakened immunity, and the steps to boost immunity are the same ones you would take to reverse these two conditions: simply treating them with medications does little to improve immunity. For a 14-step plan to reverse type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, turn to the Risk Reduction Action Plan on pages 90-110. The best time to start is now!

My recommendation:
We’ve talked about what to do, so now let’s talk about putting it into action.  Grab your copy of Good Food, Great Medicine and turn to the section called Practical Eating (pages 111-150): it’s full of tips on shopping for ingredients and equipment, menu planning, meal suggestions, and cooking.

Miles Hassell MD