This year has been a rollercoaster for all of us, with confusing messages about what we can do to stay healthy. The good news is that there is more that you can do beyond wearing a mask or physical distancing. Now that we’re 6 months into the pandemic, there is a LOT that we’ve learned about how the virus acts and who is most likely to be affected adversely by it – those with autoimmune conditions, Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, or those who are overweight. However, regardless of your risk factors, there’s ALOT you can do through nutrition and specific supplementation that can positively impact your health outcomes and your innate immunity!
Here are the 6 Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies found in COVID-19 patients, which means that incorporating these nutrients through food and lifestyle can reduce the virus’ virulence and your symptoms.
- Melatonin. The sleep hormone and major antioxidant. Shown to reduce inflammation. The elderly or people who don’t get good quality sleep are vulnerable because they have low melatonin stores. You can rectify this by getting good quality sleep, i.e. in bed and asleep by 10pm. If you’re in the US, I like Best Rest Formula from Pure Encapsulations which includes Melatonin, as well as other herbal formulations to help you get to sleep – and stay asleep – easily.
- Vitamin A. Found in organic liver, orange vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, peppers and pumpkin. Vitamin A is anti-inflammatory, enhances immune function, and supports the lining of the respiratory tract. In the US, Pure Defense with NAC is a good place to get a range of immune supportive nutrients (Vitamin A, D, Elderberry, Quercetin and Zinc). Here is the link for getting it if you’re in the UK.
- Vitamin C. Contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of the immune system. The RDA of 1000mg simply isn’t adequate when we’re faced with illness, which is a physiological stress, so we need to be consuming more vegetables and, if possible, supplementing with Liposomal Vitamin C or using Vitamin Infusions, which were administered successfully in ICU units in Shanghai, New York and Philadelphia to COVID patients who recovered. In the US, Pure Defense with NAC is a good place to get a range of immune supportive nutrients (Vitamin A, C, D, Elderberry, Quercetin and Zinc).
- Vitamin D. Enhances immune system function, reduces viral growth, and can reduce upper respiratory infections. It’s particularly low in people with darker skin who live in the northern hemisphere so, yes more Blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Middle Easterners are affected, but they can increase their exposure to sunlight, consume more Vitamin D rich foods like mushrooms and eggs OR supplement with Vitamin D3 (with K1, and K2, and Magnesium) – the latter increases the bio-availability of the D3. If you’re in the UK, you can find our personal recommendation here.
- NAC or N-Acetyl Cysteine. Is a precursor to Glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant. It helps with clearing mucus from the lungs and is known as a bronchodilator. It’s also great for OCD and Anxiety. Consult with a Functional Health Practitioner for the correct dosing as this will depend on your specific need. In the US, Pure Defense with NAC is a good place to get a range of immune supportive nutrients (Vitamin A, C, D, Elderberry, Quercetin and Zinc). Here is the link for getting it if you’re in the UK.
- Selenium. Is a co-factor for Glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant. We want to be supporting Glutathione production as often as possible. Brazil nuts are a great food source of Selenium. Tylenol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and analgesics like aspirin will harm the liver and deplete glutathione levels. There are natural alternatives to painkillers like Tart Cherry or White Willow Bark. Again, consult with your Functional Health Practitioner for correct dosing!
- Zinc. A large body of research shows that zinc has strong anti-viral properties against many viruses. It’s not the easiest mineral to get from food, so supplementing is advised. In the UK, this is my preferred brand of Zinc. It’s also best taken with Quercetin, a bioflavonoid found in citrus, berries and onions, which you can find here if you’re in the UK.
And finally, I’ve seen one or two journal articles mentioning the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the Gastro-Intestinal tract of COVID patients. Remember, 90% of the immune system is in the GI tract. Which means we need to be eating foods that are anti-inflammatory and health promoting, rather than processed, high sugar or high starch. Choose lots of green vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats like Omega-3s, and include a good, therapeutic-grade probiotic.
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