Boosting your Immunity during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Parul Shah RD/LD
Coronavirus– a name that sends shivers down everyone’s spine. It's overwhelming with so much worry, anxiety, confusion, and changing regulations on a daily basis. Here are a few steps we can follow during this time of uncertainty:
- Wash hands thoroughly as per CDC guidelines for 20-40 seconds with soap and warm water
- Social distancing as the virus spreads through human contact
- Sanitize hands frequently with an alcohol-based sanitizer of at least 60% or greater
- Clean and disinfecting touched objects- phones, laptops, doorknobs, keys, light switches, and any others.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose
- Stay indoors and avoid large gatherings
- Stay at home, work from home as much as possible
There is NO vaccine right now to prevent this virus.
Coronavirus usually affects people with low immunity so the best approach for prevention and a speedy recovery is BOOSTING YOUR IMMUNITY by following the CDC precautionary guidelines, a healthy diet coupled with targeted supplements:
Include foods rich in Vitamin C – Oranges, lemons, kiwis, strawberries, cantaloupe, lemon, lime, tomatoes, red, green or yellow pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and sweet potato are all loaded with VITAMIN C. Use them fresh in fruit bowls, juices, and smoothies. Use a lot of fresh vegetables in your daily diet.
To supplement your diet, use an extended-release 500mg to 2000mg Vitamin C supplement in divided doses with bioflavonoids to improve absorption.
Herbs and spices - Our kitchen has so many herbs, flavorings, and spices that can come to our rescue. Garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, basil, rosemary, thyme, curry leaves, and neem are all wonderful to add to your food not only to flavor it but also to boost your immunity. Make fresh ginger turmeric tea.
Include Beta-carotene rich foods for your lung health and protecting lung function. Make Carrots, sweet potatoes, and other bright orange-colored vegetables a regular part of your diet. Use these in your salads and as sides. Fresh sweet potato soup is perfect at this time.
Antioxidant-rich berries are powerful to boost your immunity. Use them in smoothies or eat them fresh.
Probiotic rich foods- Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, kombucha, Keifer
Taking Broad Spectrum Probiotics
Targeted supplements –
- A probiotic every day for gut health as 80% of immunity depends on our gut health.
- Zinc is very important for boosting our immunity. It is mainly in seafood and other animal sources or pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Take a supplement 25 to 50mg daily. Be sure to take zinc with food to avoid feeling nauseous.
- Elderberry and echinacea are great immune boosters and you can find them in tablet or syrup form
- Maintaining your Vitamin D at an optimal level helps develop a healthy immune system so take your Vit D supplement as advised by your doctor.
Along with the above also focus on:
- Avoiding sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sodas, processed foods, and alcohol and smoking as they rob nutrients and weaken the immune system.
- Reducing stress in life!
- Exercising- Yoga, Meditation, Walking, and getting some fresh air will stimulate your lymphatic system.
Focus on whole foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, natural herbs, spices. Healthy lifestyle habits of washing your hands and getting adequate sleep to improve your health.
Cheers and good health to you and your family!!