15 Ways to Boost Your Immune System In the Time of COVID-19 - with Special Considerations for Autoimmune Folks
By Caylee Clay, RDN CDN ©
Life as we know it is rapidly shifting due to the rampant spread of COVID-19. With the medical community scrambling to find a medicinal cure and vaccine (Godspeed to them!), for now our best option is to lean into alternative healthcare modalities to help ourselves weather the worst of the storm.
There is an incredible amount of things you can do to support your immune system functioning - enough to fill a book or more. In this article, I aim to present strategies that you can do from home that are low cost, safe, and easy. Therefore this is by no means an exhaustive list, and additionally as new information about COVID-19 floods in seemingly by the hour, the below information may later become dated or found to simply be inaccurate. The information presented in this article is reputable to the best of my knowledge at the time of this writing. I have included links to research whenever possible, and aim to explain my reasoning behind each suggestion.
Did you know that psoriasis sufferers are 1.5 - 3x more likely to develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease? The exact reason why is not known (citation) - but what that says to me is that anyone dealing with psoriasis should be taking special care of their liver! There are many ways to take better care of your liver, like: eating more veggies/fruit, eating more fiber, exercising regularly, drinking alcohol sparingly if at all, avoiding/reducing toxin exposure, taking supplements like milk thistle (citation) - and one more step that I take is not using antiperspirant deodorant. Antiperspirant stops you from getting sweaty pits, which might sound nice, except there's a catch.
Repeat after me: Roasted carrots are a staple. Roasted carrots are a staple. Roasted carrots are...
In all seriousness, roasted carrots are simply the bomb. You know how long carrots last in your fridge - practically forever. Pair these hardy root veggies with any combination of seasoning - curry just happens to be one of my favorites - and toss together in the oven for a simple, delicious, and nutritious addition to your dinner.
Let me just say: these energy balls are truly absurdly delicious. I've converted everyone from disbelieving dads to picky small children to set-in-their-ways grandparents on these mouth watering balls of yumminess. Hung up on past memories of energy balls that tasted mediocre or worse? Put them to rest with this excellent, easy recipe.
Homemade veggie broth is:
Here's how you do it:
In honor of psoriasis awareness month, I wanted to share some more photos of my own psoriasis. Over the past 5 years, I've experienced periods of chronic patches lasting for years each on my elbows, forearms, ankles, feet, & inside my belly button (gah!). I've also had many periods of transient patches, that pop up most frequently on my face but also my toes, wrist, & upper arm.
If you live with plaque psoriasis, then you know it can be quite painful. As your psoriatic skin flakes off, it exposes premature raw flesh underneath that just doesn't seem ready yet for fresh air. Certain areas are worse than others, and something you otherwise wouldn't think twice about - like putting your elbows on the table (sorry, Mom!) - suddenly sends a painful reminder that your poor skin is suffering.
As someone who also has dealt with the pain of living with psoriasis, I've discovered a few simple, natural ways to topically manage these unsightly spots. While none of these suggestions will cure your psoriasis - as psoriasis is just a symptom of a larger problem anyways, and treating just your skin alone won't cure it - they will hopefully ease some of your discomfort.
eat yer veggies
Caylee Clay is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist & yoga teacher specializing in psoriasis & food sustainability. By following her own health path with a goal of naturally putting her psoriasis into remission, she is a top resource for other psoriasis sufferers. Also, she believes that healthy living & sustainability go hand-in-hand — every bite you take has the power to improve both the world and your health!