Just Look Up and Breathe: Silver Linings During this Difficult Time

Right now the air is cleaner than it has been in several decades. In fact, global air pollution is easily the lowest it has been this century. This has profound physiologic implications on the human body, particularly in the lungs and hearttwo organs that covid-19 uses to take over control.

Factories and packed traffic lanes are no longer an issue for the world.  For a deep dive into how air pollution is no different than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, check out our previous blog post here

Bottom line:  the skies have opened, and the air has never been cleaner to breathe. 

In a rare shot of the skies above Los Angeles, notice how much cleaner and clearer the view is because of lower automobile use and local manufacturing.

Even more rare:  the snow-capped Himalayas are now visible for the first time in 30 years for residents in north India's Punjab. The beautiful snow peaks of the Himalayas are about 200 kms away, but have been obscured for decades due to the state’s heavy high pollution. India, with 1.3 billion residents, is consistently rated as one of the worst polluted countries in the world, but the nationwide covid-19 lockdown has curtailed the daily hustle and bustle. 

THowever, these improvements will only come if drastic action is taken. Any and all of the improvements in air quality will easily be wiped out by efforts to ramp up economies, with many governments more likely to relax regulations in order to jump-start businesses.

In other words, for countries like China, where economic production and GHG emissions crashed, efforts to reignite their economy just might make climate change worse. Thus, the coronavirus pandemic would be a step backward for all of us. If history is anything to go by, green solutions fall to the wayside when a nation struggles to save its economy. These are myopic approaches to real, long-term solutions with global consequences. 

Lead analyst of the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, Lauri Myllyvirta stated that China responded to the 2008 financial crisis with the "biggest, dirtiest stimulus program in the history of mankind," adding that the “overall impact was to nudge China on a more carbon-intensive, fossil fuel-intensive economy path."

What can you do?

The single most important change you can make is with your diet. Eating the right foods keeps your lungs healthy, especially during times like these. Right now, consume mostly plant-based whole foods since they support your immune system and decrease your exposure to pathogens like COVID-19.   Plants are the main food to undergo photosynthesis and produce readily available oxygen. They help decrease the damaging effects from ROS. We want to support people shifting to be more plant-based since increased oxygen production and less consumption of any form of animal protein will directly help greenhouse gas emissions. 

Focus on having lots of green veggies (especially leafy greens) with a side of beans (i.e., lentils) and ancient whole grains (i.e., amaranth, millet, quinoa, oats).  Dress meals using plant-based oils (i.e. olive, avocado, coconut) and spices (i.e. turmeric, black pepper).  

Try to avoid refined sugars, flour (especially from wheat, all-purpose, corn), processed pre-packaged items since they’re. Inflammatory and drastically increase your risk of getting sick from pathogen exposures.

Strive to have more locally grown plant-based food since less travel time means it is more nutritious plus composting since together it will help lower your carbon footprint.

Shift away from pesticide-heavy items, irrelevant if organic, grass-fed, cage-free, pasture-raised, or wild:  

The most commonly used pesticide in the U.S., Roundup, contains a dangerous carcinogen called glyphosate which binds aggressively to animal protein and GMO items. Cells are unable to easily metabolize glyphosate when bound to these items, leaving the cells overwhelmed, and more vulnerable to diseases such as cancer, heart-lung-kidney disease, learning disorders (i.e., autism, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia), and mood disorders (i.e., anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder). 

Dr. Bhandari and the Advanced Health Team Are Here to Support Your Health and that of the Planet.

Our expert team of integrative holistic practitioners work with patients suffering from chronic health concerns.  We take the extra step to understand the root cause and how to optimize every organ’s functioning. By better understanding how your environment directly fits into your overall well-being, we create personalized treatment plans which drive away sickness. To learn more and book an appointment, contact Advanced Health or call 1-415-506-9393.

Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to www.sfadvancedhealth.com.

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