The coronavirus appears to be all we talk about these days. More and more people are getting infected around the world. Now I am no doctor and i’m not going to influence on this beyond the scope of my understanding. Hence, this post is about boosting the immune system with the right nutrients to fend off viral infections. I wanted to share a few strategies that I use personally to both avoid getting sick and recover fast when once I have been.
Consumings foods with anti-viral nutrients should be prioratised here. Making sure you get plenty of good quality sleep and drink enough water goes without saying. Here are some no so obvious pointers:
Let’s go for an Italian! This is an easy one for me. Growing up in an Italian household we always had medeterian meals full of garlic. Garlic is well known for anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities. However the challenge for most people is going to be this; in order to get the best out of the garlics’s anti-viral properties it recommended to have 2-3 raw cloves a day. Now that’s a stinker… I personally dice the garlic and shallow fry it in very low heat. Another way to get around this is to get a garlic supplement. Some people get an upset stomach when they have raw garlic, not to mention what happens in the breathe department. Getting a supplement that has garlic in it is a good way to work around this
Vitamin C! This is a no brainer, there are plenty of studies showing vitamin C helps improve your immune system by strengthening your t-cells and phagocytes, which play a role in eliminating pathogens that occupy your body. Biggest mistake I see people make here is they will have an orange and claim they have had their vitamin C for the day. If only! Each human body needs a certain quantity of vitamin C. This depends on your lifestyle. Checkyourfood.com is a great source to find out exactly how much vitamin C you need.
Since I have a very active lifestyle, I supplement vitamin C three times a day as I need a large amount of vitamin C to keep up with my high demanding active lifestyle.
Good natural sources of vitamin C include: cherries, berries, kiwi, mango, citrus, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts and broccoli.
If you still struggling after consuming these foods consider getting a supplement.
Zinc! Zinc is a crucial mineral needed by the body that a lot of people miss out on. Zinc is vital for the function of our immune cells. For this reason whenever there is the flu season or a viral outbreak I make sure to get plenty of Zinc in my diet. foods high in zinc include eggs, whole grains, shellfish, organic yogurt, nuts and seeds. Be mindful though, zinc in large quantities can be toxic and block the absorption of other minerals, so best to find out how much zinc your body actually needs using a reliable source such as Checkyourfood.com and get it through whole foods.
Magnesium! Not only does it assist in bone formation, heart health, reducing inflammation, and relieving stress, but also keeping the flu at bay. Predictably, it is a crucial mineral when it comes to immune strength, with research showing that it plays a vital role in managing the immune response. Eating a wide range of magnesium-rich foods is best to increase the body’s magnesium levels. Magnesium also helps improve quality of sleep. Some of these foods are bone broth, spinach, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, legumes and avocados
Vitamin D! Similar to vitamin C, vitamin D has shown to reduce the length of the flu and other chronic viral infections.
Sadly vitamin D is naturally available in few whole foods. Most of it is absorbed through sunlight. This makes it more challenging in the winter months so supplementation needs to be taken into consideration. Some vitamin D sources include egg yolks, mushrooms, sardines, salmon.
Herbal Teas! There are plenty of antioxidant boosting herbal teas out there such as lemon and ginger, dandelion, ginseng and green tea. These are all great to boost the immune system. Combine this with a local raw honey and you got yourself a great immune booster. Honey has been used for thousands of years to fend off viral and bacterial infections, so do not underestimate the power of a good local raw honey. Get yourself to the farmers market to find a local raw honey.
In Conclusion, in these viral outbreak times it is important to prioritise self care. Get plenty of quality sleep, drink water and herbal teas. Regularly wash your hands. Eat nutrient rich foods and finally consider supplementing some of the above nutrients.