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You are what you eat...well sort of.

We've all heard the expression, "You are what you eat." But have you ever thought about what it is that you are eating, it's the nutritional value, how and how much of it your body will absorb, what your body will do with those foodstuffs once it is all broken down, potential health benefits, or health risks? Probably to some degree, right?

What about nutrition and COVID-19?

With no known COVID-19 viral-specific drugs currently available treatment, you can only rely on proactive, active, or supportive measures to prevent or minimize the effects of the invading SARS-CoV-2 virus, like vaccination and keeping your body optimally healthy. Only your immune response, controlled by your immune system and nervous system can keep you healthy or recover quickly, or not.

Now is a very important time to think about sanitation, nutrition, exercise, rest, healthy stress coping techniques, and general wellness. We're all at home, many of us working from home, watching news updates, worrying about loved ones and the rest of the world. We're eating creatively from our past shopping trips, grocery deliveries if you're lucky, or take-out and delivery food from restaurants.

Let's get started with the number one, most essential nutritional item that you already have: Water.

Tips for drinking more water: Know how you like to drink water, and prepare enough for one day all at one time. Room temperature water is easier to drink for many people. If that works for you, fill a pitcher or jug of water and leave it out in your kitchen near the fridge. Every time you go in the kitchen, drink some water. Leave a bottle of water on your nightstand. Water 1st thing in the morning is an ideal way to start your day. It gives you a headstart on all-day hydration and all the benefits that come with adequate hydration: improved neurological function, improved immune system function, reduced inflammation and pain, improved muscle function, less fatigue, improved metabolism, improved mental function and less irritability, healthier-looking skin, and many more benefits. If you hate the taste of water, add some citrus juice to it, or cucumber slices, fresh herbs, herbal tea or hibiscus flowers. If you only like cold water, keep your water in the fridge. There are almost no excuses for not drinking enough water in our community, and yet 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

What else can I add nutritionally to help keep me healthier during times of viruses like coronavirus and the flu, and what does the research say that supports it? Here are the brands and examples of supplements that we have researched and our family consumes?

  • Biotics Research - Bio C Plus - Vitamin C - research - Amazon link: click to buy
    • Nothing beats the taste of fresh-squeezed OJ, but that comes with a hefty dose of sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Most berries are also an excellent source of vitamin C. When you don´t have daily access to fresh fruits, I recommend Biotics Research Bio C Plus.
  • Biotics Research - Bio-D-Mulsion Forte - Liquid Vitamin D - research - Amazon link: click to buy
    • I definitely recommend Biotics liquid Vit D in a squeeze bottle format for ease of use. Living in the PNW means that 40%+ of us are vitamin D deficient even in the Summer months, and many more are deficient during the other 3 seasons. Many of us should be taking Vitamin D year-round, and nearly all of us should increase our vitamin D levels during the Fall. I theorize that several factors contribute to an increase in the contracture of the flu and other viruses, including a return to school and social approximation of students, and a drop in outdoor temperatures, and increased use of indoor heating, thus causing lower indoor humidity levels, less fresh air due to closed windows, increased dust and dust mite levels (If you have forced-air heat, think of the smell of turning your furnace on for the first time each Fall.), nasal mucosae fissures, increased ambient viral loads due to respiration, coughs, and sneezing around people with viral infections. Use a humidifier and take adequate vitamin D.
  • Biotics Research - KappArest - Antioxidants with phytonutrients - research - Amazon link: click to buy
  • Biotics Research - Biomega-1000 - Omega-3 fatty acids - research - Amazon link: click to buy
    • Omega-3 fatty acid capsules for brain and nerve function, mood enhancement, improving anxiety and depression, & serotonin function.
  • Biotics Research - Mood Enhancer - Serotonin precursor - research - Amazon link: click to buy
    • Neurological health, nootropics, brain health, 5-HTP, serotonin precursor, St. John’s Wort, neurotransmitter function, memory, mood, sexual health, and sleep support.
  • Biotics Research - Histoplex-AB - research - Amazon link: click to buy
    • Less severe immune response and allergy response.
  • Drucker Labs - Intramax 2.0 - Register here using new patient access code: PIE5761 

How to handle stress-eating:

Adjust your nutrition to your exercise levels, or even better, adjust your exercise levels to your nutrition. Let's face it, the pleasures of eating and drinking are tied to memories of our families and loved ones in our lives, celebrations, rewards, holidays, and seasons. The smell alone of certain foods can trigger the release of hormones associated with happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, and enkephalin. Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins. Feel good about eating your favorite foods by exercising in a way that calorically balances the energy intake, and enjoy the endorphins from both activities.

Food and home goods, inventory and delivery may be temporarily unavailable at Fred Meyers, Safeway, Whole Foods, Amazon Prime Now, and elsewhere. Now what?

Remain calm, plan out your shopping trip accordingly, bring your PPE (mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer), leave the rest of your family at home, shop for several weeks to a month, buy in bulk and freeze items when you can like meats, fruits, and vegetables, don't horde items like TP and hand sanitizer, buy a few luxury food items like your favorite dessert, remember the basics especially if you're a daily coffee drinker, and don't forget the essentials like hand soap, toiletries, dish soap, cooking oil, butter, salt, and your favorite spices. Some food items you can pick up in bulk for less than a dollar/pound and they should last you for many weeks if stored in a cool dark place: potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage, squash, and apples. Other fresh foods that are still very affordable with a moderate shelf life if refrigerated include: Lemons, limes, oranges, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, yams, sweet potatoes, whole heads of broccoli, whole heads of cauliflower, celery, and one of my personal favorites: beets. Buy a bunch of fresh red or gold beets with the greens attached, trim the greens, wash them well, chop the greens up and steam them or put them in a salad and enjoy. Place the beets in a bowl and fill 1/3 of the bowl with water. Your beet will continue to grow fresh greens for months. After a few months harvest you beets and bake, pan-fry, or juice them and start over with new beets. The same green growing concept will work with trimmed scallions placed in a glass partly filled with water.

If you've ever been to one of my nutrition seminars at Chiropractic First, LLC since 2001, then I've taught you much of this information before, long before COVID-19, and hopefully, you've already incorporated the following nutritional recommendations into your nutritional routine. If this is your first time hearing this information, it is time to play catch up in a hurry.

You may be taking your multivitamins more diligently than usual or find yourself craving fresh juice with hopes of absorbing more vitamin C. Hopefully, you've been drinking more water than usual, especially if you're drinking more alcohol than usual to cope with the increased stress. Perhaps you've heard some things about Vitamins C and D and their effects on fighting viruses as mentioned in the research literature and by the NIH and CDC.

Intravenous high dose vitamin C is a drug, not a supplement. The quantity of vitamin C administered intravenously in Shanghai, China to COVID-19 / Coronavirus patients is significantly higher than what doctors in the US are using, and both countries' intravenous high dose vitamin C protocols are 1-2 magnitudes greater than you would ever consider taking as a supplement. Taking the RDA of vitamin C as a supplement is a part of a healthy diet. Eating fresh ripe foods high in vitamin C is even better for you. Taking mass amounts of vitamin C supplements can actually have negative effects on your health such as competing for glucose cell receptor sights, lowering levels of cellular energy production, and even causing excess cell lysis (exploding cells from H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) production), as well as diarrhea.

You may have heard Dr. Anthony Fauchi of the NIH mention vitamin C usage and the many studies in which vitamin C helps to fight off viruses. This is true and well documented.

You may have also heard Dr. Tom Frieden the former Director of the CDC mention how vitamin D3 usage helps to reduce the risk of respiratory infection. This is also true and well documented. Most of us living in the PNW with our grey and dreary Winters understand the need for sunlight and supplementing with additional vitamin D for its beneficial effects on mood, preventing S.A.D., and for those of us with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions its effects on respiratory health, especially during flu season.

Its not too late to get your garden started & grow your own vegetables this year. Amazon has Miracle-Gro products including organic soils & fertilizers.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your physician or nutritionist regarding a healthy nutritional plan that works best for you and your family.

When it is your time to get vaccinated for COVID-19, please do so in a timely manner to help protect yourself and everyone else around you.