Are you doing everything for your immune system that you can to protect you from Covid 19 sickness? I will spare you the hand washing and PPE discussion since that is all over media, but here are some ideas for fighting off infection:
As much as this has been discussed here and in the media, we know it’s very supportive of the immune system
Food – To get vitamin C, fill your plate with kiwi, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, papaya, broccoli, tomato, kale, grapefruit, spinach, pineapple. Add in buffered, non-acidic supplements with bioflavonoids which are superior to others.
In a systematic review assessing the overall effect of vitamin D supplementation on the risk of acute respiratory tract infection, it reduced the risk among all participants (over 11,000 participants ages 0-95). The most benefit was seen in those who were very vitamin D deficient.
While not specifically an anti-viral nutrient, vitamin E is one of the most efficient antioxidants and plays an important role in lung and liver protection. Deficiencies can alter immune responses and contribute to increased viral load.
Food: Look for sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, spinach, butternut squash, kiwi, broccoli, olive oil, trout, and shrimp. Supplement with products with mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols.
Vitamin A is intimately involved in lung immune health, tissue integrity and repair. I recommend taking a minimum of 10,000 IU*
Zinc may improve the chance of avoiding respiratory tract infections in the elderly and those who are zinc deficient.
Food: Oysters, beef, crab, and lobster, and to a lesser extent chicken, cheese, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, cashews, and almonds Supplement Zinc at 20-30mg in a multivitamin, or as a lozenge.
Generally considered anti-viral, trials have been proposed to test the ability of compounds in coconut oil such as lauric acid and the derivative monolaurin to prevent the adherence of COVID-19 to tissues.
Food: Unrefined coconut oils contain the most lauric acid (virgin and extra virgin, unfiltered). Refined coconut oils and MCT oils contain very little.
AND, DON’T OVERLOOK THESE IMMUNE BOOSTERS:
• Hydrate – Drink plenty of filtered water.
• Cut out sugars to support immune system function – Eating sugar can suppress the action of white blood cells for hours after ingestion.
• Practice self-care and stress reduction – Stress is an important factor in immunity. Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol weaken immune function.
• Get adequate sleep, exercise, and rest – Doing so may promote feelings of wellbeing and promote a parasympathetic response. Social isolation can increase fears and feelings of loneliness, acting as immunosuppressants.
• Find ways to engage with loved ones – Share time with your favorite people, whether virtually or in person with those in close proximity. When we feel loved, relaxed, and happy, we produce neuronal signaling molecules such as serotonin, dopamine, and relaxin which have a strengthening effect on the immune system.