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Intermittent Fasting during Coronavirus Pandemic

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The COVID-19 virus pandemic, also known as coronavirus, has taken over our beautiful planet and, most importantly, our people and our lives.

While scientists are working extremely hard to find cure and vaccines for the virus, it might still take some time until there is a way to stop this. 

So, is there anything you can do yourself to help fight the coronavirus, besides following the basic hygiene and social distancing guidelines? 

Yes, in times like these, it’s more important than ever to keep positive immune responses and stay as healthy as possible. Intermittent fasting is an excellent tool to boost your immune system and reduce the risk of developing severe health conditions if you catch the coronavirus. 

In this article, you’ll find information on how Intermittent fasting can help you fight coronavirus, how to best practice intermittent fasting in light of COVID-19, and what other six health measures you should take to improve your and your family’s situation. 

Disclaimer: This article is not intended as an alternative to recommended official government guidelines. I am not a doctor and anything mentioned in this article or the website should not be taken as medical advice. For more updates and information about the coronavirus, visit the WHO website and follow the instructions of your national and public health authorities. 

Who is more susceptible to Coronavirus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following people are at a higher risk of serious health complications coming from COVID-19:

  • People over 65
  • People who are immunocompromised or are undergoing a treatment that weakens their immune response
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) 
  • People with severe heart conditions
  • People with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, lung diseases, high blood pressure, and others. 
intermittent fasting coronavirus covid-19

Keeping this in mind, we should all put effort into staying on top of our health and boosting your body’s defense system – your immune system.

Coronavirus and Intermittent Fasting: How Can Intermittent Fasting Help you fight Coronavirus?

Intermittent Fasting has been known for ages for treating and preventing many health conditions. And while intermittent fasting alone won’t prevent us from catching coronavirus, it can definitely help us reduce the risk for developing severe implications.

Some of the most essential benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  • Reduced blood sugar levels and risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Boost in the immune system
  • Reduced inflammations
  • Boost in fat burning and weight loss
  • Induced cellular repair processes, protecting against diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s
  • Increased longevity.

Heart diseases and chronic illnesses impose us at a higher risk of severe complications to any virus, not just COVID-19. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting is a powerful way to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, causing serious heart conditions.

intermittent fasting coronavirus pandemic

Obesity is another risk factor for coronavirus and heart diseases. Studies and feedback from thousands of people have shown that intermittent fasting is a great way to shed unwanted weight.  

Autophagy – a process critical for cell health and renewal – is another benefit worth mentioning. Intermittent Fasting activates autophagy, during which cells destroy viruses and bacteria, and get rid of damaged structures in your body.

How long should you fast to get the health benefits?

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help improve the immune system; however, we do not recommend very long fasts at this moment. Sticking to a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule — that is fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours —  is more than enough to keep the system healthy and still supply enough nutrients daily through a healthy diet. 

Also, it’s the most sustainable and easiest method to start with. 

If you are serious about starting intermittent fasting and making it a sustainable lifestyle – our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting challenge is a perfect starting point for you. Over the years, we’ve seen hundreds of people successfully reach their health and weight loss goals with the help of this challenge.

6 Health Rules To Fight Off The Virus

What else, besides fasting, can you do to improve your and your family’s situation? 

Below are the additional six measures recommended to anyone who is looking for ways to boost their immune system.

#1. Keep moving

We know your gym might be closed, and walking outside increases the risk of infection, but you need to keep your body fit, especially now. 

This a great time to do some quick home-workouts. We really love this 7-Minute Workout App: download for Apple | Android here. 

covid-19 intermittent fasting and exercise

#2. Eat clean and healthy

Your diet determines how healthy will your blood, muscles, arteries, brain, and the whole body be. Access to certain goods might be limited now, especially when shopping daily is not recommended, but these difficult times are not a reason to go off-the-rails with your food choices. Now it’s more important than ever to eat enough fresh veggies, fruits, legumes, and proteins during your eating window. 

Make sure to include vitamins and minerals in your diet, necessary for your body and immune system to function properly, such as:

  • Vitamin A found in leafy greens, pumpkin, carrots
  • B vitamins, in particular B6, B9 and B12, found in leafy greens, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs
  • Vitamin C found in citrus fruits, berries, broccoli and tomatoes
  • Vitamin E found in leafy greens, avocado, olive oil and nuts
  • Vitamin D found in fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines or salmon, egg yolks and mushrooms
  • Iron found in red meat, fish, spinach, legumes 
  • Zinc found in seafood (especially oysters), meat, chicken, beans, and nuts
  • Selenium found in Brazil nuts, meat, and mushrooms.

#3. Try Keto diet

coronavirus intermittent fasting

A recent study found that mice who fed a ketogenic diet had a higher flu survival rate than mice fed food high in carbohydrates. This is tied to the fact that ketogenic diet activates T cells in the lung that improve barrier functions and therefore enhance antiviral resistance. While the study was done on mice who were infected with a lethal influenza infection, and not coronavirus, it gives us hope that the Keto diet can be a powerful tool for combatting viruses. 

What’s a Keto diet? A ketogenic diet, also known for Keto, is very low in carb, moderate in protein and high in fat. Combined with intermittent fasting, such a diet is extremely powerful in reducing blood sugar and insulin levels, reducing body inflammations and your weight. We’ve written a separate article on how to combine intermittent fasting with Keto for the best results here

If you want to give Keto diet a chance, sign up for our 21-Day Keto Fasting Challenge right now! The challenge will provide you with an introduction to what you should and should not eat while on Keto, followed by a daily meal plan with easy delicious recipes and daily motivation. 

#4. Sleep well and rest more than usual

All doctors agree that there is nothing better for our bodies than a night of deep sleep. Our bodies might suffer inflammations, aches, illnesses throughout the day, but when we have a good rest and good night’s sleep, it’s when our bodies can concentrate on putting down all the fires that are happening at that moment. 

So make sure you get at least 8h of sleep daily and also do a quick nap during a day if you feel it’s needed. To improve your sleep quality, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including the weekends, to regulate your body clock. Also, restrain yourself from using any digital device (phones, TV, computers, digital watches) and social media for an hour before and after bedtime. 

#5. Control your stress level

In times like these, when the media is bombarded with worrying messages, it can be challenging to stay calm. Yet, more than ever, it’s essential to look after your mental health and manage your wellbeing.

Social-distancing makes it challenging to go on with your social life and can make you feel lonely. To avoid this, stay in touch with your family and friends on social media, e-mail, or on the phone. There are still plenty of ways to be close to the people who matter to you. 

corona virus health tips

Also, use this time to create a new daily routine that prioritizes looking after yourself – things like reading a book, daily journaling, practicing self-compassion, meditating, or learning something new online. Look at it as your chance to get more in-tune with your wellbeing and develop healthy habits.  

#6. Take steps to avoid infection

Last but not least – take steps to avoid infections such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water, avoiding touching nose, eyes, and mouth, following social-distancing rules, and others. 

For a detailed list of basic protective measures, regularly check the WHO website and advice from your national and local public health authorities.

is fasting good during coronovirus

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This article is not intended as an alternative to recommended official government guidelines. I am not a doctor and anything mentioned in this article or the website should not be taken as medical advice. For more updates and information about the coronavirus, visit the WHO website and follow the instructions of your national and public health authorities. 

RESEARCH and TEXT BY:

TAURAS SINKUS

TAURAS SINKUS

Tauras is the founder and face of the 21 Day Hero. While being obsessed with mind and productivity hacks, he is hooked up with HIIT type group training and cooking gourmet meals almost every day. Tauras is widely known in the startup community for his kick-ass social media and marketing skills too!

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