October 3, 2023

3 Things You Can Do to Stay COVID and Cancer Free

Dr. Roy Vongtama

Your immune system works to fight both cancer and COVID-19, at the same time.

1. Boost your immune system with powerful food choices

People say, you are what you eat. I reverse that: Eat what you are: You're alive, so eat what's alive: Especially fruits and veggies. Taken from Dr. Joel Furman, a simple mnemonic to remember the powerhouse superfoods of immunity: G BOMBS. 


G: Greens (Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, Cauliflower, spinach) and Green tea

B:  Berries (esp Blackberry, raspberry, blueberry)

O: Onions, garlic (the alliums)

M: Mushrooms (well studied in Asia for anticancer and pro immune)

B: Beans

S: Seeds and nuts (RAW only! Roasted are dead.)


If you have gas issues, cut out the "COG, B” of the GBOMBS:  Cauliflower, Onion, Garlic, Beans.  (High in FODMAPS, which are gas producing sugars. One notable low FODMAP exception bean wise is lentils.)


*If you have clotting/bleeding issues, don't eat the dark leafy greens. 

**Food allergies for anything on this list, DO NOT EAT IT.  Ask your doctor if you're unsure.


2. Get Outside to Boost Your Immune System.

Especially for city dwellers, the air is cleaner now. The sun is good for you, in small doses. In summer, most places give enough UVB to convert Vitamin D into the active form. In non summer months, below the 37 degree latitude (SF to Richomond, VA), the sun can provide enough vitamin D for your body, which is critical for the immune system. 10-15min a day three times a week is a common recommendation but the truth is the correct amount is very individualized.  How long you could/should be out there and how much you absorb depends on your skin color and other individual factors. The sun is also good for your circadian rhythms, keeping your sleep awake cycles correctly oriented. 


3. Exercise. Moderate exercise (under 60 minutes near daily with elevated heart rate 60-70% of your max intensity) improves immune function.

It decreases inflammation and decreases respiratory infections. If you can't tolerate what I described as moderate, then use common sense, do what you can. Even a simple walk has benefits. By the way for overly intense exercisers: it drops your immune system. It's like anything else, be balanced.