Coronavirus by Ed

Here our resident nutritionist and facilitator Ed gives his thought on the Coronavirus, immune system and the role of the microbiome.

The emergence and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus has sparked alarm worldwide. This global pandemic already leads to major disruptions in daily life. To better understand how to protect ourselves and to not get into ‘panic’ mode, it’s good to look at some of the facts.

COVID-19 is an abbreviation for Corona Virus Disease 2019, it’s a new strain of the Corona virus family, which is known to cause the common cold and the flu. There are hundreds of different types of these viruses, and the genetic code of these viruses often adjusts to its environment which leads to the emergence of these new strains, like COVID-19.

When you become infected with the virus doesn’t necessarily mean that you become sick. Over 80% of all cases are described as mild and the infected people don’t need any special treatment to recover. Some people infected with the virus have no symptoms. Symptoms associated with the virus are fever, tiredness, coughing, nasal congestion or a runny nose. For most people this viral infection is not that dangerous, but people with a weakened immune system, like the elderly or people with other health conditions, are more likely to develop a serious illness which leads to difficulty in breathing.

Although over 80% recover from the disease, still 1 in 6 people who get infected develop serious illness which needs critical medical care. So the concern regarding the virus is well deserved. Off course the internet is abound with miracle cures, but as of now there still is no cure or vaccine for this strain of the Corona virus. The best thing you can do is to boost your immune system.

Our immune system has several layers of defence against any foreign pathogens. The outside of our body is protected by the skin, and on the inside of our body, the digestive tract, the first layer of defence is the mucus layer. Beneath this layer we find our microbiome, all the bacteria that live throughout our body. The third layer is the epithelial cells of our intestinal tract. These form a very hard to penetrate inner lining of our intestinal tract for viruses and other pathogens. These cells even produce antiviral compounds to keep for example the Corona virus out. If the virus would breach this layer and reaches the blood, it still has to deal with our white blood cells, the immune cells in our blood.

Give your immune system a boost with a juice detox at Moinhos Velhos, and get all the tools you need to maintain your healthy bodies defense system after the retreat.

The microbiome in our body has a very important role in our immune system. Not only do they form a protective layer, they also regulate our whole immune system. Which makes sense as the biggest part of our immune system is in direct contact with the microbiome in our intestinal tract. A juice detox will have a beneficial effect on your microbiome, as we work on getting rid of the high counts of disease causing bacteria and to establish a healthy balanced microbiome. The addition of the clay and dietary fibre in the juice detox all work towards this end. When you’re not fasting the single best thing you can do for your microbiome is to eat lots of high fibre foods. It’s not necessary to go completely plant-based but the more plant foods, the better.

For your immune system to work optimally, you also need to be physically fit. Yoga has been practised for thousands of years for it’s beneficial effects on the body and mind and Yoga is an integral part of our juice detox with daily classes.

Evening sessions of our detox programme include different types of meditation which will all increase your ability to deal with stress. We know that high levels of stress can compromise your immune system as well. For example the stress hormone Cortisol, which is released with stress, has a negative effect on our immune system.

And of course the secluded location of our retreat centre surrounded by a nature reserve and a fresh breeze from the ocean is all very beneficial to get out of the often hectic daily life.

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