During this unusual time, staying free of illness is something we’re all thinking about.
To add some more healing wisdom to your medicine chest, below I’ve shared a video snippet from a recent interview we did with bestselling author, Dr. Mark Hyman, who knows a LOT about immunity and staying healthy.
In this brief but powerful clip, Dr. Hyman shares immune-strengthening secrets and offers a primer of the best ways to keep healthy now. And it’s really not so hard!
[Nick Polizzi] So just to start, you know, ten thousand foot view. We’re all being told a lot of different approaches to staying healthy right now. Whether it’s from the president, whether it’s from the CDC, whether it’s from our
favorite health guru. There’s a lot of information going around right now. How on earth do we navigate this as lay people? How do we figure out what we should be doing to stay healthy and stay sane?
[Mark Hyman] Well, you know, Mark Twain said that, ‘the problem with common sense is it’s not too common.’ And I think if we all slow down and follow common sense, we’re gonna be okay. Uh. The things that actually we know already, um, clearly from science that support our health and our immune system are now more important than ever, right. I mean aside from the social distancing and hand washing and the masks, how do you actually make yourself more resilient?
How do you support your immune system [to] be able to fight COVID 19. Because, you know, 97 % of the people who die are sick – they’re either obese, overweight or they have a chronic disease that’s related to being older, which is usually associated with poor metabolic health. Which is basically like being obese so it’s called being over-fat. So if your metabolic health is poor, you are a sitting duck for the coronavirus, it will attack you and you basically will lead to a more catastrophic result, more serious illness. Uh. In fact, people who are overweight or who are obese or chronic diseases are basically pre-inflamed. So their immune system is already jacked up.
Belly fat is an inflammation factory and and that’s 88% of America [US], okay. So we’re kind of in a bad situation that’s why we’re seeing, you know, so many people dying and so many people in hospitals. And, and I think the the key here is to how do you, how do you create a healthy immune system? And it’s it’s simple, it’s eating a whole foods, plant-rich diet and there’s a lot of tweaks on there about how to do that. And I’ve written an entire blog about how do you build a resilient immune system, you can find it at drhyman.com/ c19, about which foods to eat to help and so forth, which spices to use.
But essentially it’s cutting out the crap – processed food, comfort foods. I’ve seen people, you know, putting on the COVID 19, right. I mean these are,
these are people who are just eating to comfort themselves in a time of stress and it’s the worst possible time to do that. So it’s time to double down on your health in terms of nutrition and that’s really, really critical, important. And sugar and starch are immune destroyers.
People who are overweight shed virus longer, their immune systems are suppressed, they’re more likely to be sicker and ending up in the hospital, in the ICU and have respiratory failure. And they also are not as effectively responding to vaccines, so people don’t understand that if you are poor metabolic health or if you’re older you might not respond well to a vaccine.
And then it’s the other obvious things – make sure you get adequate sleep because sleep is important for immune system function. Make sure you meditate or do some form of deep, profound relaxation because that’s when your stress levels go down and that helps your immune system. Make sure you exercise, not run a marathon but do moderate exercise every day also helps your immune system. Take some basic supplements that help, we know that from the research that these do have impact in the risk of viral infections and the recovery from viral infections.
I was speaking to one of my colleagues at Tufts, the Dean of the Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy, who is trying to do a trial on 2,000 patients of some really key nutrients that we know may have important impact – zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, green tea catechins, quercetin – simple stuff that you can take without breaking the bank or taking 4,000 pills. And those are really the simple things.
And the other part is stay connected because our emotional health and connecting to people we love is so important, you know. I, I found a friend of mine in town, uh, we, we stayed six feet apart, we had masks on, and we went for a hike, uh, and we called another friend I hadn’t seen since this all started. And we just had the greatest time being out in the woods and sharing time together. Now there’s lots of people who say we don’t do that but I think even by zoom or other FaceTime technologies. We can actually start to connect with each other more.
So I think all those principles are really critical if we’re going to, uh, understand what to do. And then of course there’s all the nonsense about this drug and that drug and, you know, should you inject disinfectant into your blood or should you, you know, should you, uh, you know, get a vaccine. You know, those questions are are challenging and I think, um, there’s, there’s a lot of, uh, a lot of challenge with, with treating viral infections with medications can be done sometimes but it’s it’s a nominal effect.
The only drug that’s been sort of provisionally approved is Remdesivir which, you know, didn’t have any mortality benefit, meaning it didn’t save anybody’s life and it had reduced the hospital stage in the ICU from 15 to 11 days, which is not really dramatic let’s say. Uh. And, and so we really need to be focusing on what we do for our own health. Um. And of course then there’s actually around testing and yesterday on social distancing and the issues around when we were open and then the fact is that we just don’t know, this is a moving target and it’s changing constantly.
I spoke to a researcher in Italy, who was a little bit ahead of us in this curve, and he was saying things that were just shocking to me, like a lot of patients who have COVID 19 but their tests are all negative and they’re very, very sick but they can’t find the virus. So they present exactly the same way, exactly the same symptoms, um, but it’s it’s it’s a moving target. So I think we’re, we’re learning and we’re adapting and if anybody tells you that he knows for sure or anything, then just don’t listen. And ignore all those conspiracy theories because, uh, it’s just such a distraction and I think we need to be focused on and what we can do to our health. And I, you know, I think, you know, um, I, I’ve done a lot of thinking about this, but the fact that we are are such a sick society.
The fact that we come pre-inflamed. The fact that 75% of us are overweight and 42% are obese. The fact that six out of 10 Americans [US] have a chronic disease. It’s mostly caused by bad food, um, in a sense the reason we’re shut down, the reason, you know, we can’t be at work, the reason our economy has lost trillions of dollars, the reason our our world is sort of falling apart in some ways is because of our food and our food system. And if we all had a great diet this would be, you know, a nominal infection that would be more or less like the flu but it’s not because we’re all so sick. And, and it and it preys on people who have poor metabolic health.
So it’s important to think of COVID as, as a diet controllable and related disease, both in terms of the macronutrient food you’re eating and the quality of the food, and also micronutrients. So jacking up your nutrition now is more important than ever. And every day I’m cooking up a storm with all kinds of foods that I know are going to boost my immune system. You know, ginger and garlic and rosemary and spices and turmeric. And I make a lot of Indian curries and just tons, like, I made Chinese food last night with, you know, basically ginger and garlic and red peppers and spices. And I think, you know, this is what we can be doing now to actually help ourselves.
Host of Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science
& Founder of The Sacred Science