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Coronavirus: Some Ideas for You

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently said it’s not a matter of “if” but of “when” the coronavirus COVID-19 hits the U.S. and they advise us to be prepared for a possible two-weeks-at-home quarantine period. We like to encourage preparedness, rather than fear, in dealing with the possibility of a pandemic, so the Evergreen staff put our heads together and came up with some ideas.

Be Prepared

Whether it’s a snowstorm, pandemic or earthquake, it’s good to be prepared for an emergency. For information on emergency preparedness in general, check out
Emergency Preparedness with Nutrient Dense Foods, a podcast by Nadine Grzeskowiak, RN, BSN, CEN. Nadine is nationally known as The Gluten-Free RN and is a nurse, author, public speaker and activist on behalf of people with food sensitivities and she’s right up the road from us in Corvallis. She stresses the importance of nutrient dense foods for post-emergency situations—both as nourishment and as medicine.

Some items that we stock would fit in quite well with Nadine’s plan. For instance, powdered superfood blends like Green Vibrance and Vitamineral Green are packed with nutrition. In addition to a variety of superfoods, they also contain probiotics and enzymes. Miracle Reds would be a good choice for children since it is packed with high antioxidant fruits and is quite tasty. In fact, you can make fruity ice pops that might soothe a feverish child (of any age).

Meal replacements or protein powders are other good options for your preparedness pantry. These powders have another advantage: for people who have lost their appetite due to illness, powders can be taken in small amounts so they get some nutrition to aid recovery.

Also, think about what comfort foods you
personally crave when ill. Chicken broth and garlic, for example, or maybe mashed potatoes. And don’t forget to stock plenty of tissues and hand sanitizer as well. The CDC recommends a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Staff Picks for Immune Support

Although the FDA states that there is
no vaccine, treatment or cure for COVID-19 — from drugs, homeopathy or other modalities — at Evergreen Nutrition we believe it’s important to support the immune system in general so we are better able to fight germs every day. Below are Evergreen’s Staff Picks for immune health.

We love mushrooms for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that many
medicinal mushrooms have antiviral action. Six of the seven mushrooms in Host Defense’s Stamets 7 Daily Immune Support have antiviral action: chagacordycepsmaitake, mesima, reishi and royal sun blazei. (The exception is lion’s mane.) MyCommunity is a 17-species formula for comprehensive immune support. It includes all the Stamets 7 mushrooms plus these antiviral fungi: amadou, shiitake, agarikon, birch polypore, oyster mushroom, split-gill polypore and turkey tail. In addition to being antiviral, agarikon is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Host Defense’s Breathe contains chaga, reishi and cordyceps, all of which have antiviral activity and offer respiratory support.

It is interesting to note that agarikon and turkey tail, among others, are mentioned in a
U.S. patent on “Antiviral and antibacterial activity from medicinal mushrooms.”

Other Favorites

  • Probiotics are another big favorite with us for immune enhancement, digestive benefits and more.
  • Moducare contains plant sterols and sterolins (from maritime pine) that have a variety of health benefits including immunity.
  • Gigartina, a red marine algae that is great for cold sores, also has activity against coronaviruses.
  • Vitamin D, 5,000 IU daily, is also recommended.

Some of our favorites are food items that are good to keep on hand anytime, but would be especially beneficial in a preparedness pantry.
Nutritional yeast is high in beta-glucans which suppress viruses by activating macrophages (“big eater” immune cells). Another pantry item, coconut oil, is a natural source of lauric acid which our bodies convert to monolaurin. Monolaurin’s antiviral activity comes from its ability to solubilize the lipid/phospholipid membranes that envelop viruses thereby causing them to break up. If you are allergic to coconut, we have monolaurin in capsules.

There are many herbs that support the immune system. Some of our faves are
olive leafgingerlomatium and osha. The last two are included in a great immune and respiratory formula, Loviral, from Herbs Etc. that also contains the immunity superstars umckaelderberry and andrographis plus other immune and respiratory botanicals.

Oregano, due to its high carvacrol and thymol content is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent and may be useful for keeping secondary infections at bay. Biotics A.D.P. is unique in that is is a micro-emulsified, delayed release form.

Garlic, one clove daily or an odorless aged extract like Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract and especially Immune Formula 103.

You might try adding some fresh garlic, oregano and ginger to chicken broth — comforting, warming and nourishing. Just the thing when feeling under the weather.

In addition, it’s worth mentioning that we all should
get adequate sleep and avoid stress (as much as possible) since both will support the immune system.

How Sweet It Isn’t — Avoid Sugar!

Sugar (sucrose) has many detrimental effects on our health, and the immune system is no exception. It can suppress the immune system in a number of ways. For example sugar …

  • reduces antibody production and interferes with the function of neutrophils and phagocytes (immune cells).
  • depletes copper (important for immune function) and other minerals.
  • causes excretion/depletion of calcium, magnesium, chromium and phosphorus; when we have a fever important minerals (electrolytes) are lost through sweating.
  • depletes vitamin E and B vitamins, some of which (B1 and B6) are necessary for optimal immune function.
  • interferes with the transport of vitamin C which, along with Vitamin E, helps us fight influenza viruses.
  • increases the production of cortisol which is itself an immune adversary.

For More Information …

Please see the Center for Disease Control’s website for important information about coronavirus. They include Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way and other tips for preventing the spread of all kinds of germs.

Although there is officially
no treatment or prevention of coronovirus, you can take measures to minimize your chances of getting sick. As the old adage says, prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

One last tip: LAUGH! Laughter really is good for the immune system.

A coronavirus walks into a bar. The bartender says, “We don’t serve viruses here,” and the virus says, “Well, you’re not a very good host.”