kris ulland

Your Nutrition Partner

President Donald Trump wasted two months trying to downplay the new coronavirus. As the virus spreads around the globe, denial and disinformation about the risks proliferated.

Trump is backpedaling now but his public remarks on the life-and-death subject have been false, misleading, and full of dubious claims.

For example: “You know in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather.” Trump told state governors: “You know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April.” And he said at a campaign rally: “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. I hope that’s true.”

World Health Organization says that from the evidence so far, that the coronavirus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather.

Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV. It will take time. It will not be ready in a couple of months – definitely not before the elections in November. President Donald Trump pressed pharmaceutical executives and public health officials to develop and get the vaccine out as quickly as possible.

The World Health Organization has already said it will take up to 18 months to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, a time frame much shorter than the usual two – to five – year window. There are straightforward reasons it’s impossible to roll out new vaccines for public consumption overnight: They need to be developed, tested for effectiveness and safety during trials, approved by regulators, manufactured, and then distributed. Each of those steps takes time.

At one point during a recent meeting, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tried to explain to the president that it would be at least a year and probably closer to 18 months before a coronavirus vaccine could be available to the public. But Trump didn’t want to hear it, and kept pressing the executives to come up with something before November’s election.

“I mean, I like the sound of a couple months better, if I must be honest,” Trump said, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the “couple months” time frame execs mentioned referred to a vaccine being ready for trials.

The most effective way to protect yourself from the virus is to wash your hands with soap and water frequently throughout the day. Do not touch your face, especially your eyes, and stay away from large crowds. Strengthen your immune system with exercise, healthy foods, and sunlight.

There are nutritional supplements you can take to boost your immunity and protect yourself from the virus.

  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC) boosts production of glutathione, an important antioxidant that helps reduce free radical damage and plays a role in the detoxification of heavy metals and other harmful substances. NAC encourages glutathione production, thins mucus, lowers your chances of influenza infection and reduces your risk of developing severe bronchitis. For an average adult – 1,200 – 1,800 mg day.
  • Elderberry extract is known to shorten influenza duration by two to four days and reduce the severity of the flu. According to the authors of a recent study: “Given that elderberry is a very rich source of anthocyanins, there is reason to suspect that its impact on viruses might be mediated, at least in part, by ferulic acid, a prominent metabolite that appears in plasma following anthocyanin ingestion.” Take 600 – 1,500 mg of elderberry a day. Stop elderberry if you come down with coronavirus.
  • Spirulina reduces severity of influenza infection and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. In a human trial, spirulina significantly lowered the viral load in patients with HIV infection.The recommended daily dose is typically 3 to 5 grams, taken two or three times a day. Start with a small dose and work your way up to see how your body responds.
  • Beta-glucan reduces the severity of influenza and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. Beta-glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley. Because beta-glucans might stimulate the immune system by increasing chemicals which prevent infections, they are sometimes used as medicine. You can take 250-500mg of yeast beta-glucan daily in capsule form.  
  • Glucosamine up-regulates mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS), reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. You can take 3,000 mg or more a day.
  • Selenium helps combat infectious diseases and viral infections and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to boost immune function. You can take 50 -100 micrograms a day. Brazil nuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and garlic all have good amounts of selenium.“Selenium deficiency also increases the rate at which viruses can mutate, promoting the evolution of strains that are more pathogenic and capable of evading immune surveillance.” In other words, don’t be selenium deficient!
  • Zinc supports “effective function and proliferation of various immune cells,” lowering mortality in the elderly by 27%, according to a recent study. If you have taken zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold or to help shorten the duration of a cold, flu or infection, you already recognize zinc’s role in strengthening your immune system. Zinc plays a vital role in activating your body’s T cells, certain white blood cells tasked with destroying infected cells. If you have frequent bacterial infections or colds, your body might be trying to tell you it needs more zinc.  Your body does not store zinc. Instead, it has to be consumed daily, either through the foods you eat or a high-quality supplement. Plant sources such as asparagus, beans, green peas and spinach contain zinc. You can take a supplement of 30 – 50 mg a day.
  • Lipoic Acid activates the immune responses in the body. Lipoic acid limits the spread of infection. Cells produce a small amount of alpha lipoic acid. However, the amount of ALA your body produces declines as you age or when your immune system is compromised. You can take1,200 to 1,800 mg.
  • Sulforaphane helps boost type 1 interferon response. Interferons are a group of signaling proteins made and released by host cells in response to the presence of several viruses. Interferons are named for their ability to “interfere” with viral replication by protecting cells from virus infections. Broccoli is a great source of sulforaphane.  To boost the benefits of sulforaphane in broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, pair them with a myrosinase-containing food.  Examples include mustard seed, daikon radishes, wasabi, arugula or coleslaw, with mustard seed being the most potent. Adding a myrosinase-rich food is particularly important if you eat the broccoli raw, or use frozen broccoli. Ideally, broccoli should be steamed for three to four minutes to increase the available sulforaphane content. This light steaming eliminates epithiospecifier protein which is  a heat-sensitive sulfur-grabbing protein that inactivates sulforaphane while retaining the myrosinase in the broccoli.  Steaming is important, because without myrosinase, your body cannot absorb sulforaphane. If you opt for boiling, blanch the broccoli in boiling water for no more than 20 to 30 seconds, then immerse it in cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Supplemental vitamin D has been shown to reduce pandemic fatality rates, which makes sense considering how important vitamin D is for controlling infections and lowering your risk for influenza and the common cold. Research shows high-dose vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of respiratory illnesses and lung infections in the elderly by 40%. Get 15 minutes a day of sun on your skin before applying sunscreen. You can also take a vitamin D3 supplement. As a general guideline, get your vitamin D level tested twice a year, in the winter and summer, to make sure you’re in a healthy range of 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL year-round.

Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an herb commonly used in savory cooking. It is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean. Rosemary is a key ingredient in many pasta sauces, pizza recipes, and vinaigrettes. It was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.

Rosemary grows in bushes with wood-like stems and short, pine-like needles. Rosemary is a perineal evergreen that is often grown as an ornamental shrub because of its ability to withstand harsh conditions.

Rosemary is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, along with many other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender. When it blooms, its flower are white, purple, pink or deep blue.

Rosemary is known to have one of the highest antioxidant properties of spices and can combat fungus, bacteria, and cancer.

The antioxidant properties of rosemary extracts differ due to:

  • Genetic and growth conditions
  • Geographical origin
  • Climatic conditions
  • Extraction process
  • Quality of original plant
  • Harvesting date
  • Storage and processing

Rosemary can be taken in a wide range of forms including:

  • Powder
  • Tea
  • Extracts
  • Oil

The different forms of rosemary can produce different effects. The extracts especially differ depending on how the rosemary is extracted and what compounds are extracted.

One study that involved 28 older adults found that a consumption of a low dose, but not a higher dose, of dried rosemary powder, was associated with significantly improved memory speed.

Some research looked at how the smell of rosemary affects cognition. Participants were exposed to the aroma of rosemary while performing visual processing tasks and serial subtraction tasks. With higher amounts of the rosemary aroma, both speed and accuracy in the tasks increased. Interestingly, mood also improved with exposure to the rosemary aroma.

Research that was presented at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society also highlighted the benefits of the aroma of rosemary. Research included 40 school-age children who were placed either in a room that contained the rosemary aroma or another room without an aroma. The results found that those in the rosemary aroma room demonstrated higher memory scores than those in the room without the rosemary scent.

Another study was performed with 53 students who were between 13 and 15 years old. Researchers found that their memory of images and numbers improved when the essential oil of rosemary was sprayed in the room.

One study involved 80 adults who drank 250 milliliters of rosemary water or mineral water. Those who drank the rosemary water demonstrated improved cognitive functioning as compared to those who drank the mineral water.

Several other studies have been published in peer reviewed journals about the effect of rosemary consumption, with results that fairly consistently show benefits in memory associated with rosemary.

Research by Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center shows that rosemary appears to lower anxiety, which in turn, may increase the ability to concentrate.

Rosemary is also used as a perfume and added to shampoo, conditioner and soap.

While rosemary shows some promise for boosting our brain power, it’s important to check with your doctor before you begin supplementing your diet heavily with it. It does have the potential to interact with other medicines including blood thinners, ACE inhibitors (for treating high blood pressure), lithium, diuretics (such as Lasix) and diabetes medications.

How to Buy

You can find dried rosemary in the spice section of a grocery store. Fresh rosemary may be sold with other herbs in the produce section. It is often sold in bunches or small packages containing a few sprigs.

It is easy to grow rosemary either outdoors or indoors. It may not survive over the winter outdoors in northern zones and should be brought inside.

 

 

How to Store

Rosemary should be kept refrigerated, either in the original packaging or wrapped lightly in a tea towel. Fresh rosemary is hearty and when stored properly should retain flavor and potency for up to two weeks.

Dried rosemary should be kept in an air-tight container away from light and heat. If it is stored properly, it will retain flavor and potency for up to a year.

When you have too much rosemary, it can be easily dried at home for storage and later use. To dry rosemary, tie sprigs together and hang the bunch inverted in a dry place. Make sure to keep the rosemary away from moisture to prevent mold and fungus growth. Once dried, store the rosemary in an air-tight container away from heat and moisture.

 

How to Cook

Chopped rosemary can be added to bread or biscuit dough, and the flavor will infuse throughout during cooking. I like it in shortbread cookies with fennel. Potatoes, beans, and lentils also pair well with rosemary. Rosemary can be quite potent and is therefore usually used sparingly.

Because rosemary has a low moisture content even when fresh, it retains its flavor after drying. Both fresh and dried rosemary can have a tough, pine-needle like texture, and it is usually chopped or crushed with a mortar and pestle before adding to recipes. Sprigs of rosemary with the stem intact can be added to soups and stews and then removed prior to serving.

To remove the leaves from a rosemary stem, simply pinch the tip of the stem and pull back toward the base and the leaves should easily pull away. The leaves are usually then chopped further to prevent using large, tough pieces of the herb.

Rosemary, along with other herbs, can be used to flavor olive oil.

Oat and Lentil “Meat Loaf”

Plant Strong by Engine 2/ The Game Changers Recipes/ photo credit

6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 10 ounces firm tofu, drained
  • ¼ cup walnuts, finely ground
  • ½ cup cooked brown lentils
  • 1¼ cups quick-cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce or ketchup (plus additional for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sage
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC.
  2. Sauté the celery, onion, and garlic on high heat in a skillet with a few drops of water for 5 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Mash the tofu in a large bowl. Stir in the cooked mixture and remaining ingredients, and combine well.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a parchment-lined loaf pan. Top with a layer of BBQ sauce.
  5. Bake for 55–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • This meatloaf is wonderful the next day pan-fried on whole grain bread with mustard, pickles, and ketchup.

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