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How to optimise your immune system during COVID-19

COVID-19 has been a part of our lives for more than a year, and still people get infected with this virus on a daily basis.  There is no evidence to say nutrition or a healthy lifestyle will stop you getting it although more than ever if you are overweight or have type 2 diabetes you are at an increased risk of serious complications if you catch it so looking after yourself, losing some weight and gaining better blood glucose control through diet and exercise is key. Furthermore, it is very important to keep yourself as healthy as you can for if you do contract the covid 19 virus by controlling what you eat and drink, so that, should you get it and, Your immune system will be in better stead to fight the virus and recover .

SUPPLEMENTS, NUTRIENTS, AND FOODS TO SUPPORT IMMUNE FUNCTION

There are numerous nutrients, plant-based botanicals, and additions that can increase immune function and deliver symptom reprieve during infection and might  shorten the period of disease. For avoiding and treating viral upper respiratory infections, consider the following:

Vitamin C: This vitamin may aid you in preventing and fighting infections, including those caused by bacteria and viruses.  Adding a regular source of vitamin C to your diet can strengthen against the duration of colds and flus, and upping your dose when you are ill, will act as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory agent.  Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruit such as orange and orange juice, peppers, strawberries and broccoli and generally five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Vitamin D: This vitamin, also known as the vitamin of sunshine, is one of the most powerful nutrients for the support of your immune system.  It reduces the risks of colds and flu, something that has been shown in numerous studies. Vitamin D is a natural hormone that has anti inflammatory effects so therefore reduces inflammation within the body.

Fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon contain this vitamin D and Omega 3 which also causes an anti-inflammatory effect. You should consider swapping red meat and processed meats for fatty fish in your diet .

Vitamin A: Supplementing your diet with Vitamin A can be very helpful in supporting your body’s capability to combt infections, particularly with regard to respiratory infections, such as COVID-19.  Good sources of vitamin A to add to your diet include eggs, cheese, oily fish, milk and yoghurt.

Zinc: Zinc plays a noteworthy role in enhancing your body’s immunity. It is often available as lozenges, and it aid your body to decrease the frequency of infections, as well as the period and harshness of the disease when taken within 24 hours of onset.  Natural sources of zinc include meat, seeds, eggs and nuts. 

Selenium: Selenium, a main nutrient for boosting your immune sytem and how it functions, is also an antioxidant that aids and boosts the body’s defences against bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. It may predominantly help to protect against certain strains of flu virus. Selenium is effortlessly gained from foods, with the most common source being Brazil nuts. The good news about selenium is we only need to consume it in small amounts to achieve optimal levels.

Honey: Honey, when used preferably raw, is a good demulcent (it relieves slight pain and swelling of mucous membranes with it’s anti inflammatory properties), has properties of antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties. It has been shown in some studies to help support immune function and soothes sore throats and coughs. It can be added to tea but let the tea cool down to a warm rather than a hot temperature to not destroy the very helpful bacteria in raw honey. The bacteria in raw honey has anti-inflammatory properties and as a bonus has been shown to fight H. pylori bacteria which is associated with stomach ulcers in the stomach and help to heal the stomach lining. Remember, alot of our immune system comes from the gut.

I’ll leave you all with this and have a great day!

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