Coronavirus: 4 Nutrients That Will Support Your Immune System Against Respiratory Infections
The Covid-19 spread increase and how to find ways to prevent it or cure it have caused a major influx of misinformation about immunity and respiratory infections. In my blogs I provide you with science-based guidance and the essential truths about your blood and genetic biomarkers—and now is time to do no different.
Your immune system is a complicated network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect your body on a daily basis from all infections and viruses. Respiratory infections (also called respiratory tract infections) may affect the sinuses, throat, airways or lungs, and include a range of illnesses from pneumonia to the common cold.
Research shows that certain supplements may lead to a reduced risk of infections and severity of symptoms. In this blog I will recommend scientifically-proven supplements and products or remedies that may safely support you and your immunity levels. It’s always recommended to consult a doctor before taking any nutritional supplements outside of your normal diet. In case you do have or suspect you have a medical condition, or taking any medication, please make sure you consult a doctor before acting on any of my recommendations.
A well-functioning and healthy immune system is probably one of our best weapons against the fight with viruses and diseases. Feeding our body certain foods and drinks is KEY to keep our immune system strong and increase the chances of not getting sick, especially at times like these with the massive concerns for the COVID-19 spread.
Here are 4 supplements or vitamins you should be looking to consume at times like this:
Zinc is a mineral. It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of zinc are necessary for human health. Since the human body does not store excess zinc, it must be consumed regularly as part of the diet. Zinc appears to lessen symptoms of the rhinovirus (common cold), but researchers can’t yet explain exactly how this works. In addition, there is some evidence that zinc has some antiviral activity against many viruses.
According to Diana Licalzi, MS, RD, LDN, “Zinc plays an important role in immunity, as it's involved in you'd body's cell-mediated and humoral immune responses (two types of immunity where a specific immune response is generated for a particular pathogen). Low or deficient levels of zinc, therefore, profoundly affect the number of your immune cells that are available to fight an invader. After examining 13 randomized placebo-controlled studies between zinc and the common cold, researchers found that taking zinc within 24 hours of the first signs of cold could shorten its duration and make the symptoms less severe.”
Licalzi stills complements “Men and women need 11mg and 8mg of zinc per day, respectively. It's found primarily in red meats and seafood, especially oysters and mollusks. Zinc is also found in plant sources like whole grains and legumes, but in much lower quantities and with lower absorption than that from animal products. Vegetarians and the elderly, therefore, are at particular risk for insufficient zinc intake from diet alone.”
2. Vitamin C
Just like zinc, vitamin C is an essential key micronutrient that we must obtain from our diets. It plays an important role in immunity by acting as an antioxidant, enhancing immune cell function and supporting anti-inflammatory pathways in the body. A vitamin C deficiency can therefore lead to impaired immune function and a higher susceptibility to infections. Many products that can be found on supermarket shelves are rich in Vitamin C. The researcher concluded that supplementing with vitamin C at around 100-200mg per day may prevent respiratory infections.
It’s commonly known that you should boost up your vitamin C intake after catching a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. I personally take Vitamin C every morning, regardless if I am sick or not. I also consume products that contain a high amount of Vitamin C on a daily basis just to make sure I have that box checked. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections. Popular citrus fruits include: grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and clementines.
If you don’t enjoy consuming the fruits themselves, I’d advise you to search for products that contain a high amount of vitamin C. I like to drink Hydra-Guard Sports Drink, orange flavor, because not only it helps me in the pool with my essential electrolyte replacement, but it also has the equivalent to 6 oranges in terms of Vitamin C.
3. Vitamin D
Studies show that people with optimal vitamin D concentrations are less likely to experience the common cold and other respiratory tract infections than those with low vitamin D. In a systematic review of randomized control trials (the gold standard of tests), vitamin D supplementation appeared to protect individuals from acute respiratory tract infections (aka the common cold). This was especially true for people who started out deficient in vitamin D from the onset.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Not enough vitamin D (a vitamin D deficiency) can cause pain, hormone problems, muscle weakness, and more.
Good Sources of Vitamin D are: Sunlight, Mushrooms, Egg yolk.
Humans need calcium to build and maintain strong bones, and 99% of the body’s calcium is in the bones and teeth. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function.
Every day, we lose calcium through our skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and feces. Our bodies cannot produce its own calcium. That’s why it’s important to get enough calcium from the food we eat. When we don’t get the calcium our body needs, it is taken from our bones. This is fine once in a while, but if it happens too often, bones get weak and easier to break.
Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are high in calcium. Certain green vegetables and other foods contain calcium in smaller amounts. Some juices, breakfast foods, soymilk, cereals, snacks, breads and bottled water have added calcium. If you drink soy milk or another liquid that is fortified with calcium, be sure to shake the container well as calcium can settle to the bottom. I also usually consume Hydra-Guard Sports Drink, which is super rich in Calcium and very low in sugar. One bottle has 20% of our daily needs for Calcium.
We should always remember that vitamin and minerals — particularly A, C, D and E, as well as zinc and calcium — play an important role in keeping the immune system strong and staying healthy. It's always important to remember that the supplement industry isn't regulated, so the onus is on you as the consumer to choose a reputable product that's backed by science.
Our body also needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best. That’s especially true when you’re suffering symptoms like fever, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting, which can easily dehydrate you. Proper rehydration helps with recovery. Drinks with essential electrolytes such as Hydra-Guard Sports Drink have been recommended by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics for decades to relieve symptoms associated with virus-related mild to moderate dehydration in both adults and kids. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink is a great way of replenishing your essential electrolytes after a workout but keeping the calorie count low and consuming only 5g of natural sugars per bottle. You could use the code JOAO10 for a special Discount on their website, and I also recommend you to subscribe to their newsletter because they are always releasing special codes for even higher discounts on their products.
The CDC says if you’re experiencing symptoms of coronavirus — including fever, cough, shortness of breath 2-14 days after exposure — seek medical attention immediately. Today is a great day to start taking the best care of yourself. Don’t skip on great nutrition, hydration, rest and exercise. Help others do the same. And, for the latest information from the CDC, please click here.