Viruses are everywhere, however we do not get sick all the time because the cells of our immune system are working like an army ready to fight back anything that they feel is a treat to our body. Now is the time to help build up your immunity!
Coronavirus attracts the cells which line the airways. If the mucus leaks further into the airways then a cough happens. A cough expels particles of the virus out of the system to get rid of the virus. By giving your body the right nutrients and rest it needs, it will help to push out the toxins of viruses before it gets deeper into the system and before it affects the lungs where it can turn to pneumonia.
Ways of building up the immune system is by increasing the following:
Vitamin C - The potent antibacterial.
You would have seen the supplements go flying off the shelves! Your body uses up all its vitamin C stores first when a virus appears. Which is why it is vitally important you increase your body’s stores now. I would recommend taking two doses, split up into two over the day. So one in the morning and one at night. Do not go over 2,000mg - 3,000mg a day unless you speak to a qualified nutritional therapist. Food, on the other hand has a great slow release of vitamin C into the system which is good news for storage - Try to increase 2-3 of the following a day - Broccoli, lemons, kiwi’s, whole oranges, bell peppers, papaya, pineapple, cauliflower
Vitamin D - The happy vitamin.
Increases the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Vital for all babies from birth upwards. Vitamin D helps immune cells fight off infection. It's worth grabbing a bottle of vitamin D to take every couple of days (since we have less exposure to the outdoors at the moment) unlike vitamin C - which can be expelled in urine if you take too much. Vitamin D can become toxic if you take too much! This is unlikely if you take it every couple of days. Be aware of your outdoor exposure and try to get at least 10-20 minutes of sunlight directly on your face, arms or legs. Food sources to increase 2-3 times a week are: Salmon, sardines, canned tuna, egg yolks, shiitake mushrooms.
** Mushrooms have an ingredient called beta-glucan which is excellent for respiratory tract infections.
Selenium - Fights off inflammation.
Often a mineral that goes unnoticed.. It is critical for the functioning of the immune system. You will find this mineral alongside Zinc in some multivitamins. Food sources to increase twice a week - Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, turkey, prawns, cod.
Zinc - Wound healing.
In charge of the activity of over 300 enzymes. We need an increase of this mineral during cold and flu months and when we are sick. It helps fight off infection and gives the body the energy it needs to help the immune system cope better. Foods to increase twice a week - Beef, lamb, turkey, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, quinoa.
**If you are pregnant - please seek medical advice from a qualified nutritional therapist as many herbs and products are not advised.
Lipski, E, , Hyman, M, Ph.D., CCN, CHN, 4th Edition, Digestive Wellness: Strengthening the immune system and prevent disease through healthy digestion 4th ed. 2012