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The Latest
Published Friday Mar 20, 2020 by Mckenzie Hathaway

Food and Supplements To Keep Your Immune System Happy During COVID-19

Recovery
Food
COVID-19
Mindbody Community

The following is a guest article from our internal Mindbody community.

Even if you live under a rock, you know about COVID-19 and the accompanying global chaos. As someone dealing with chronic illness, I’m constantly thinking about how to keep my immune system from being compromised. While that sounds morbid, in times like this I am thankful for my chronic illness, because I can be a beacon of hope for others. As fear around COVID-19 has intensified this past week in the US, friends, and family have reached out asking me which natural remedies I support. So, I’ve put together a list of what to avoid, what to eat, and which supplements to take. These are my opinions, but I hope they help.

Everything I am about to share is learned from healthcare professionals and from my personal experience. I am not a licensed practitioner, so don’t take my word as canon, but rather take this as insight into how I stay healthy in a hectic world. 

Food

In addition to consuming more leafy greens and citrus, here are a few easy recommendations on how to nourish your body.

Lemon Water
I’m often asked why I put lemon in my water. Other than wanting a spa-like experience, there are studies that show benefits to adding lemon to your water. “Water coming straight from the tap or a bottle has lost its vitality and its innate living legitimate structure. By adding fresh-squeezed lemon juice, you “wake up” the water and bring it back to life. This allows it to travel more deeply into your tissues and cells and carry the essential nutrients and compounds you need in order to thrive.” 

Honey
Thank God. Not that we need scientific evidence to entice us to consume this sweet nectar, it’s just reassuring to remember these facts when I am on my third spoonful of the day. This review compared the beneficial effects of honey with common over-the-counter children’s cough remedies, a placebo, and no treatment. The authors found that honey appeared to be more effective than diphenhydramine and salbutamol, drugs commonly used in cough medicines. If you are going to consume honey I highly recommend local raw honey. If you’re not sure where to find local honey, go to your resident farmers’ market or this local honey finder — a tool that literally tells you where to find local honey in your area. You’re welcome. 

Celery Juice
I know — it’s popular and it’s everywhere, but this stuff works. I was a skeptic and doubter myself until I added this magic into my morning routine. Among a host of incredible benefits, celery juice kills off pathogens, including flu viruses. Its unique form of Vitamin C doesn’t need to be converted by the liver, which means it instantly strengthens the immune system. Read more from the source: Medical Medium

Cucumber Juice
This has anti-fever compounds and agents that help calm a fever like water on a fire. It’s also deeply rejuvenating and hydrating.

Ginger
This has its own signature variety of Vitamin C and helps bring the body out of a reactive state when you’re sick. Fresh ginger has anti-viral activity that supports to defeat human respiratory syncytial virus, check out this 2012 study if you don’t believe me. 

Turmeric Ginger Shots
I like to blend or juice 1-2 inches of ginger with fresh turmeric and two oranges. This shot boosts the immune system and can be sipped on all day for relief when you have a sore throat or other cold symptoms. 

Herbal Teas
If you know anything about me, you know how much I consume tea. Tea, specifically herbal tea, can heal anything. I swear by this statement. Tea leaves are abundant in natural plant compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins. These stimulate the immune system. Catechins, in particular, may protect against certain strands of influenza

Vegetable Healing Broth
This stuff is healing, cleansing, and nourishing all in one. It’s rich in minerals your body craves when you have a cold or the flu. Healing Broth is a powerful mineral-rich liquid that carries the essence of vitally nutritious vegetables, herbs, and spices in a way that is easy for the body to digest, assimilate and utilize. 

Raw Garlic
It sounds intense, but a clove of this is antiviral and antibacterial, killing off only unproductive bacteria. It’s also immune strengthening.

Beans
The best way to get out those toxins is through your bile, so fiber, fiber, fiber baby. Cute, I know. But, beans truly are the best form of soluble fiber, which plays an important role in digestion and toxin elimination. If we don’t eat enough soluble fiber, our bile will be repeatedly recirculated in our immune system,, instead of being ushered out of the body and then replaced with fresh bile produced by the liver. If your bile is repeatedly recirculated, it becomes more concentrated with toxins. So, go eat some beans.


Supplements

Supplements can be a touchy and controversial subject, and I’ve been on all sides of the arguments. From taking 10 supplements 3 times a day to cutting them out cold turkey, I have developed my thoughts about them. But, for this particular season in my health, this is what I’ve found to be helpful.

First things first: What are they? 

Essentially, supplements are a way to provide nutrients that you may not be consuming in sufficient quantities through food. They can be vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and other substances delivered in the form of pills, tablets, capsules, liquid, etc. I would check out the European Commission statement on supplements for the best up-to-date information. 
 

Zinc
Maintaining healthy zinc levels can help shield you from pathogens and decrease your chances of contracting future common illnesses. However, our bodies use up reserves of zinc at a rapid rate. It’s common to become zinc-deficient when you’re sick. It’s important to take zinc as soon as your first sign of a sickness develops. Having a bottle of high-quality liquid zinc sulfate on hand at all times is important. Squirt two dropperfuls of the zinc into your throat, let it sit there for a minute, and then swallow the zinc. Three hours later, squirt another two dropperfuls into your throat and let it sit there again for a minute before swallowing. Repeat every three waking hours for two days. Here are a few powerful articles on Zinc: Article 1 and Article 2.

Cat’s Claw
This stuff is STRONG and powerful. I don’t take it daily, but when I am starting to feel anything coming on I take this. Cat’s claw is a miracle worker, a special herb that supports a healthy immune system. It aids in alleviating almost any symptom, from neurological to digestive. Cat’s claw is unique, because bacteria cannot become resistant to it, like sometimes when taking antibiotics. The herb eliminates these and other bugs without the “Herxheimer die-off reaction,” that's common with antibiotics. The bioactive pharma-compounds in the herb regulate the destruction of pathogens at a level person can tolerate.

Lemon Balm
My daily love. I either have it in tea form, or tincture, depending on the time. Lemon balm is a heal-all, with a positive contributing factor to almost every part of the body. Extremely high in trace minerals such as boron, manganese, copper, chromium, molybdenum, selenium, and iron, lemon balm also has large amounts of the macromineral silica. Plus, it’s a B12-conserving herb—which means it monitors your stores of this vitamin and keeps your body from using it all up. 

B-12
This vitamin is praised by every doctor  I have seen, both Western and Eastern, and it makes sense why —- it’s incredible and I lack it naturally. This article goes into depth about the continual benefits researchers discover about the supplement. An ideal B-12 supplement includes both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. B-12 can help with neurological disorders and diseases, anxiety and panic, and the immune system.

Elderberry Syrup
Yum, syrup that heals you!. Elderberries contain special proteins and bioflavonoids that have the ability to destroy viruses on contact. Elderberries are also known to significantly enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines in the body. This syrup is super easy to make, just follow this recipe from my all-time favorite health guru, Rachel Pelisson.

I hope these suggestions have helped and possibly eased a bit of panic. Keep washing your hands and be smart. Sending love to you all! 

This article originally appears on healingmckenzie.com

Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, please visit them on Mindbody.io or in the Mindbody app and find your favorite classes or one you've always wanted to try. Also, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.

Mckenzie Hathaway MINDBODY
Written by
Mckenzie Hathaway
Media & PR Specialist
About the author
From working at a fashion magazine to taking on the tech industry, Mckenzie is passionate about all things Public Relations. Outside of the office, you will find her trail running, swimming in the ocean, or creating plant-based recipes as she heals her body from autoimmune diseases.
people on treadmills
The Latest
Published Tuesday Jul 21, 2020 by Sara Lesher

How to Find the Best Gym or Studio Membership For You

Fitness
Expert Advice

If you’re a commitment-phobe like me, you probably understand the stress of searching for the perfect gym or studio membership. When offices were open and I commuted to and from work, I especially struggled. Do I find a studio near work or home? If it’s near my office, I can go after work, but what about weekends? I don’t want to do that commute when I don’t have to!  

Then, add on the fitness type decision and try not to let your head explode. What if I get bored of cycling and want to try something else? What if I get super sore after HIIT and need a yoga class? Do I need to become a member at multiple locations?  

Maybe this is just a me problem... but I don’t think it is. I mean, that’s why the Mindbody app exists in the first place—so you can try out different classes and studios, commitment-free. Although it’d be nice if one membership could cover multiple fitness types, at some point, picking your favorite and committing just makes sense. 

So, how do you choose the perfect gym membership for you? 

 

Identify your needs 

What are you looking for in a gym, studio, or health club? What do you care most about? Is it a smaller, intimate workout setting with instructors who know you by name? A larger studio with tons of fitness classes throughout the day, so you can always find one to fit your schedule? What about the staff? Are there certain qualities you’re looking for in your instructors? Do you prefer soft encouragement while you exercise, or instructors who aren’t afraid to push you harder during training? Think about your routine. Do you prefer morning classes or evening? Are you looking for 30-minute, high-intensity classes you can squeeze in on your lunch break? Or longer, slower-paced classes to wind down after work? There are so many different factors that can affect your choice in studio, and with so many options, you can get pretty specific. 

What do you want from a studio that you just aren’t quite satisfied with at home? Think about your fitness goals. Maybe you get your cardio in the form of running outside, and you need some help with strength training. Maybe you invested in a fully decked out weight room in your garage when COVID-19 hit, but now you’re looking for a yoga studio to help with recovery

With all those options out there, it can be hard to even know where to start. So, asking yourself questions like these is a good first step. 

 

Check your budget 

When it comes to picking a monthly membership, of course, budget is important. Sit down with your spreadsheet, or app, or whatever the hell you use to budget your monthly spending and see what you can afford to shuffle around. Wellness is an investment, not just a one-time purchase, and weaving it into your monthly budget will help you prioritize it. 

Once you’ve determined how much you’re willing to spend per month, decide if you want any of that to be left over for the occasional drop-in class. You may want to spend most of it on a membership but keep a little extra for those days you’re feeling adventurous and want to try a new workout. Or maybe you’re a creature of habit, and you’re fine with just sticking to your favorite. That’s fine too! Just be sure to make those decisions early and factor them in while budgeting. 

 

Try before you buy 

Lots of studios on Mindbody provide Intro Offers, or special deals for new clients only that allow you to try out some classes at a lower rate. For example, some studios (like VibeFlow yoga in San Diego) offer your first class free, and others give discounted rates for your first 2 weeks or a month. When I was looking for a yoga studio to join, I tried just about every Intro Offer in my area. It’s a great way to save money and try out local studios before committing. Plus, it got me out of my comfort zone! I got to try so many different types of yoga before deciding which I liked best. Every instructor, studio, and class is so unique and different—it’s fun to get a feel for all the different mini fitness communities within your own larger one.  

For those that don’t have any new client deals, you can check to see if they have Last-Minute Offers. These are drop-in deals for one-time classes, that fluctuate in price depending on timing, number of spots left, etc. So basically, if there’s a class in your area that starts in an hour and still has several spots left, odds are, you’ll be able to join that class for a lower drop-in rate!  

And if you’re not quite ready to head back into the studio—or if those in your area have not yet reopened—another great way to try before you buy is virtual classes. Many studios offer live stream and on demand workout classes on Mindbody, so you can get a feel for the classes and instructors from the comfort (and safety) of your home. 

 

Be flexible 

I know I told you to identify your needs in step one. Find out exactly what you’re looking for a studio to provide. But, when it comes to picking a membership, it’s important to be flexible (and I’m not just talking about your yoga class). While identifying your needs is a great first step to narrowing down your options, you may find that while trying out different studios, those needs totally change.  

In my case, I thought I really wanted a membership to a hot yoga studio, but when I branched out and tried one that didn’t offer heated classes, I found a different kind of yoga environment I really enjoyed (and, of course, this made it really difficult to choose).  On top of that, I was new to yoga and a little nervous about how I looked in class. I wanted a larger studio where I could hang in the back and try not to be noticed. But then, during my second or third week of class using an Intro Offer at a smaller studio, the man at the front desk greeted me by name, and my perspective totally changed. I went into class and laid out my mat in the front row, ready for the instructor to give me tips for improvement—and I’m better for it.  

All of this to say, you never know what you’re going to find when it comes to trying new things. Have your list of wants and priorities, but don’t be afraid to tear it up and start over—and enjoy learning about yourself along the way.  

So, if you’re ready to face your fear of commitment and settle down with your soulmate studio, now you have somewhere to start. Whether you’re trying to be more cost-effective, craving a community, or just need a good old-fashioned routine your life, a membership is a great way to consistently prioritize your wellness. Not only that, but you get the awesome benefit of joining a fitness community where you’ll see faces you recognize, meet some workout buddies, and be encouraged by instructors to keep improving in your practice. So where do I sign up? 

 
Book classes on Mindbody to get started. 

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As Mindbody’s Marketing Content Associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).