Forget rushing out for toilet paper. As coronavirus spreads in Australia, these are the immune-boosting supplements that are worth hitting the store for.
You don’t need to take them all but do consider some.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient found in fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, blackberries, lemons, bell pepper etc. It acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are produced either from normal cell metabolisms in the body or from external sources (pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation). Vitamin C is also necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in the formation of collagen, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of the bones, and teeth. This essential vitamin encourages the production of white blood cells, which help protect the body against infection. It also plays a part in helping these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by free radicals.
Vitamin D deficiency is increasingly linked to mood disorders. Studies in older adults and pregnant women have shown how vitamin D may improve mood. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D. Sunscreen, darker skin pigmentation, clothing and reduced daylight, especially during winter diminish the skin’s ability to make vitamin D. Taking a high quality Vitamin D can be very beneficial as it also helps the immune system to function properly.
Eat your beans! Beans, especially chickpeas are a great source of zinc. This essential mineral is involved in the production of certain immune cells. Even mildly low levels of zinc may impair your immune function so you want to make sure you keep your zinc levels high, especially in times like these.
It is the second-most-abundant trace mineral in your body and is present in every cell. Your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, so you must obtain it through food or supplements. Other foods high in Zinc are eggs, oats, quinoa, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and meat or shellfish.
Foods like leafy greens, avocados and bananas are a great source of magnesium. Magnesium can help alleviate tension by relaxing the muscles. It is also a nervous system relaxant and mineral that assists with anxiety, irritability, and restlessness. Low magnesium intake is linked to chronic inflammation, which speeds up the ageing process and can cause chronic disease. Studies have shown that magnesium supplements can reduce markers of inflammation in adults.
Brazil nuts are nutrient dense and an excellent source of selenium, a mineral essential for immune health . They may help regulate your thyroid function, reduce inflammation, and support your immune system. A properly functioning immune system is better able to combat stress. Don’t eat more than 3 or 4 brazil nuts per day!
Medicinal Mushrooms & Super Greens
Mushrooms like reishi and cordyceps may boost the immune system through their effects on white blood cells. Don’t forget about super greens like spirulina and also to eat lots of colourful foods.
Those of you who know me well know what’s coming next – berries – fresh or frozen or in powdered form – eat berries! I also recommend glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding stick with a pregnancy multivitamin or breastfeeding formula from a reputable company as some vitamins, minerals or botanicals are not recommended during this time
You might also want to consider the following botanicals: olive leaf extract, andrographis, liquorice and echinacea.