Eating and Staying Healthy During Covid-19 is Essential
During the Covid-19 crisis, I have noticed something that is not being addressed. While we are talking about ‘stay at home’ orders or a ‘shelter in place’ order, and the need for a vaccine, we are not talking about the need to stay healthy and how to achieve that. As statistics have shown that Covid-19 does not discriminate amongst race, religion, as it can affect anyone. What it does discriminate against is the unhealthy. It takes the most vulnerable population based on underlying conditions. This is where acupuncture, holistic medicine and preventative medicine are highly valuable.
We have been living in a society where we eat junk food, processed food, food with hormones, food with pesticides and herbicides, and fast food. Our society has become unhealthy and overweight as a result, and many people simply go to the doctor once there is a problem with this idea that the doctor is going to ‘fix’ them. We as a society are not engaging in the ‘right’ action, we are engaging in the ‘easy’ action. But is eating junk food really the easy way out? It seems that we are seeing the result of that with the population that Covid-19 is preying on. Unhealthy bodies are susceptible bodies. An unhealthy body already has stress in its vessels for having to over-pump blood and oxygen to the organs. Due to the excess sugar, the pancreas is working overtime to produce insulin. Due to the excess fat, the body is undergoing metabolic processes to store the fat, adding pressure to each organ in its functionality. Due to the excessive processed food, the body is stressed in deciphering between the nutrients and waste, and having to filter the chemicals through the liver. In the end result, the lungs and the immune system are taxed. When a virus such as Covid-19 enters the lungs, the body is overwhelmed. Viruses prey on the weak, those who they can use as a host, multiply and then transmit to the next host. A virus’ main goal is to wipe out a society.
So, how do we fight back? By getting super healthy. A virus cannot live in a person whose lungs are clear, with high immune functioning, with antibodies that fight back. A virus cannot live in a person whose organs are in top notch shape. We attain that with 2 simple physiological responses: by eating nutritious food and exercising. It sounds so simple but it is a daily effort to chop vegetables, lean meats, and good grains. The basic way to ‘eat clean’ is to have the majority of each meal be vegetables, and smaller portion of protein (chicken, fish, shrimp, turkey is better than red meat or pork), and a small amount of whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, barley, cous cous). In Chinese Medicine theory, cooked food is better than raw food for digestive purposes and nutrient assimilation. This is because the body does not have to exert as much energy to break down the food. This is especially important during these times for two reasons:
- The Covid-19 virus is capable of living on food, plastics, boxes, counter-tops. When cooking the food, it cooks away the virus that could be on the food from the grocery store.
- While trying to enhance immunity, it is best to have the body to not be exerting unnecessary energy. Think back to when you had a normal flu–the last thing a person would eat is a raw salad. One often reaches for soup, stews, cooked items. This is what the body craves because it is easy to break down and the body can continue putting its effort into making antibodies to fight the virus.
Also, it is important to eat protein in general at this time. Protein makes antibodies. While a person does not need to eat a giant steak (which is taxing on the digestive system and kidneys), it is advised to have lean protein.
Many people ask about fruit and its level of nutrition. Fruit does have vitamins in it, yet it is also very high in sugar so it is advisable to watch your fruit intake. One piece a day is plenty. Otherwise this sugar can overwhelm the pancreas and increase insulin levels in the system to balance out the sugar load.
Exercise is crucial. It has been confirmed by scientists worldwide that exercise is the single most important factor to anti-aging. It keeps blood and oxygen flowing in the system which affects all of the organs. It keeps the mind alert and active as well, far better than crossword puzzles. It is this combination of eating healthy and exercising daily that is most crucial for immunity. This allows the body to be functioning at its optimal level, which gives it the ability to fight back to a harmful and deadly virus such as Covid-19. Although this virus is killing some of the young and healthy, the majority of the healthier population are able to fight it off. It is those who are overweight, and slowly allowing their bodies to decay,that are the most vulnerable. Try for at least 20-30 minutes of cardio per day. This is 20-30 minutes out of the entire day. Doing this will help you to look and feel great!
Eating healthy and exercising is not easy. It takes concerted effort. It takes will power. But it is this will power that will get us through life, living our best lives as our best selves. It is easy to eat junk food. It is easy to be depressed during these times. Those who are getting through the best during this lock down, are those who are sticking to a schedule, finding inspiration while isolating, seeing the positive of life amidst the crisis and doing their best to keep their minds and bodies healthy.
How do you achieve this? Meal prep vegetables in different containers with different veggies. Set out different proteins of fish, chicken and eggs. Take one protein, cook it and set it aside. Saute the vegetables. Add them both together with a stir fry sauce, thai sauce or indian sauce. Add a grain. These are very simple, easy ways to get the nutrients you need while having different flavor varieties.
We are still open at our Acupuncture clinic in Franklin TN. We are offering acupuncture treatments for those who have a medically necessity with approval from our acupuncturist. We are also doing tele-health appointments online via face time, skype, or by phone. Feel free to call us to discuss your needs.