We know that COVID-19 mostly affects those whose immune systems are both suppressed and inflamed at the same time. Obesity and chronic disease are inflammatory states predominantly caused by our modern diet. While there are other causes of inflammation—toxins, allergens, infections, and stress—food plays the greatest role for most of us.
In Functional Medicine, we believe that most modern diseases are rooted in inflammation: depression, cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, allergies, and autoimmune diseases.
Right now, we are dealing with an intersection of the virus pandemic on top of the pandemic of chronic disease and obesity. The reason we are dealing with an influx of sick people in the hospitals is not just because of the virus; it’s because of the host. When you’re inflamed because you’re overweight or obese or have chronic disease caused by metabolic dysfunction, this creates a body ripe for an inflammatory response from COVID-19.
Unfortunately, only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy, making most of us pre-inflamed. Even many of those who are thin on the outside have the same markers as someone who is obese. In this situation, the immune system is suppressed, you’re more likely to spread the virus, and you can’t respond to the vaccine the same way a healthy person would. Bottom line: this is bad news. Getting metabolically healthy long term is critical in managing the effects of this virus and saving our planet.
The only way to tackle this issue of rampant inflammation is to start with food.
Despite the arrival of the COVID vaccine, many of us won't be eligible to receive it until much later this year.
Here are 5 steps you can take RIGHT now to reduce inflammation and boost your immune system.
1. Reduce sugar
Why? It's inflammatory, addictive, robs your body of minerals, rots your teeth, stresses your nervous system and adrenal glands, negatively impacts normal hormonal function, and just makes you feel yucky after the initial jolt subsides. Currently, the average American consumes around 152 pounds of sugar per person per year.
2. Reduce excess carbs in the form of breads, pastas, chips, crackers, etc.
Why? Our bodies do NOT need them. Gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don’t have full-blown celiac disease.
In my own practice, I’ve noticed that gluten is one of the most common food sensitivities. It isn’t just your bowels that can become affected; so can your mood, your energy levels, and a host of other problems. Starchy carbs convert to glucose more quickly than fruits and vegetables (also carbs, but these are the complex carbs, the good ones), thus increasing your blood sugar.
3. Reduce processed foods
Why? You are what you eat and digest. Do you want your cells made from damaged fats, chemicals whose names you can't pronounce? Honestly, do we need all of these chemicals in our bodies?
Easier said than done, right?
This is a BIG ask and one that many find too overwhelming to even think about.
I have two options in the form of a class/workshop to get yourself on track to a well-functioning immune system.
A. The RESTART class.
5 weeks, 1.5 hour classes on ZOOM. Class schedule doesn't work for your work/life schedule? No problem. Contact me to arrange a private class for yourself and 5+ friends/family. Your fee will be waived. Visit www.carolelayton.com/restart for additional information & testimonials.
B. Intuitive Eating and Empowerment Workshop
Ready to let go of negativity and shame around food?
I can help you dig to the core of your emotional attachments to food, discover a new level of self awareness, and become Finally Free to live your best life.
My Mission * To use our relationship with food and ourselves as a vehicle for self-discovery and transformation. * To help you discover who you are beyond negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, and untrue stories. * To take you on a journey of self-discovery from the head to the heart. From this place, there is no need to feed, soothe, or avoid anything. * To provide a foundational platform of self-awareness and love.
Next class begins in 2 weeks!
SCHEDULE FOR 2021 GOOD DECISIONS WORKSHOPS
4. Supplement with Cod LIver Oil
This winter feels longer than it normally does due to COVID, and many of us here in the Pacific Northwest who like to travel to sunny destinations in the winter have cancelled travel plans due to the pandemic. Our bodies need sunlight and we just don't get as much sunlight here at 47 degrees north latitude in the winter - especially those of us who live on the west side of the Cascades. If the "winter blues" affect you, and you are staying safe and not travelling, I recommend cod liver oil.
Here are just a few of the incredible benefits Rosita Cod Liver Oil
Immune System Support
Naturally containing vitamin A, it provides you with a daily dose of immune system support. Vitamin A is also critical for eye health. *
Cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help with mild inflammation that is often caused by cold winter weather.*
If the shorter days and lower temperatures put a damper on your state of mind, this potent source of omega-3 fatty acids may support a positive mood.*
More Hydrated Skin
Cod liver oil is a wonderful source of vitamin A, which can help support healthy skin when the bitter cold brings dryness and irritation.*
A Ray of Sunshine
With naturally occurring vitamin D3 (the same type generated from the sun), this supplement can make up for the lack of sunlight in the winter.
The vitamin D also supports bone health!*
5. Supplement with Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is often called the “sun vitamin” because it can be synthesized in the skin upon exposure to full spectrum sunlight. With cold and flu more prevalent during winter months, it has been suggested that this may be due to a lower level of sun exposure at that time of year, and therefore reduced vitamin D production. Daily intake of vitamin D in the range of 1,000 – 5,000 IU is considered safe and supports many functions, including bone formation as well as immune function. I don't take vitamin D in the summer because I'm outdoors a lot more, and between 2,000 IU and 5,000 IU per day during the winter.
February is Heart Health month!
To support our hearts as well as our immune system, I am offering a 15% discount on Rosita Fish Oil
and Metagenics Vitamin D3 + K
for purchase on my new online shop!
Until it's our turn to get the vaccination, boosting our immune system is the best thing we can possibly do to maintain our health during the pandemic.