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  • Writer's picturekrisztatiwari

COVID-19! How to support your immune system to protect you from a virus?


I wish to be writing about some cheerful nutritional information to support you and your bebe, but considering the circumstances around the world I think information about immune support would be more relevant. I'm sure by now you've read every last bit of news about the Corona virus, so rather explaining that, I would love to explain how to best support your immune system during hard times like this.


Our immune system is a very complex network that protects us every second of the day from all kinds of invaders, including pathogens such as viruses. Most of the time this system does a wonderful job, but occasionally it can get overwhelmed and loose its strength to fight. Stress, inadequate sleep, toxins, trauma, poor nutrition and lack of hydration can disrupt this function and weaken our defense system. 70% of our entire immune system is found in our gastrointestinal tract, so we better take care of it!


To support and strengthen these vital body systems I recommend eating a wide variety of whole foods. The acronym S.O.U.L. is easy to remember when you are not sure what these are - Seasonal, Organic, Unadulterated, Local.

I like to think about the gut as a garden. The more plants and flowers we grow in there, the prettier and more colorful the garden will be. "Plant" your garden too with all kinds of pretty plants and flowers. 😉


Avoid sugar! Sugar feeds bad bacteria in the gut and lessens the number of both protective microbiome and lymphocytes. Low lymphocyte levels in our system leads to reduced production of antibodies which fights against pathogens. Glucose induced insulin spike can lead to increased elimination (you pee out too much) of essential minerals such as zinc, which are vital for immune function.


Getting adequate restorative sleep is crucial for our health. Fatigue suppresses our immunity and puts us at higher risk of infections, injuries and chronic illnesses. It also slows our recovery. When you have to stay home because you feel flu-like symptoms or your company wants everyone to work from home, try to keep a positive mindset and use the time away from everything as a personal retreat instead of "quarantine".


Fantastic Immune supporting nutrients:


Vitamin D3 is an anti-inflammatory, immune system regulating vitamin. Research shows that it can help protect against flu and respiratory tract infections.

Foods rich in vitamin D:

  • fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)

  • cod liver oil

Supplementation: look for a vitamin D3/K2 in a capsule or emulsified liquid.

Children:

  • 25 lbs of body weight: 1,000 IU

  • up to 125 lbs : 2,000 IU (e.g.a 50 lb child would need 2000IU)

Adults:

  • up to 4,000 IU

  • pregnant & Breastfeeding - up to 4,000 IU daily

Note: if the mom has sufficient amounts the baby most likely has enough too.


Vitamin A is the anti-infection vitamin. It is essential for the optimal function of the immune system.

Foods that contain vitamin A:

  • eggs yolk

  • bone broth

  • chicken fat

  • cod liver oil

  • grass fed butter

  • sweet potato

  • carrots

  • butternut squash

  • cantaloupe

  • spinach

  • pumpkin

Supplementation: taking a multivitamin (food based is best!) that contains vitamin A will provide you with adequate amount.


Note: pregnant women should omit vitamin A supplements. Take vitamin C and D instead.


Zinc deficiency is associated with suppressed immune function and increased risk of getting infections.

Foods rich in zinc:

  • oysters

  • beef

  • turkey

  • pine nuts

  • pumpkin seeds

  • cashews

  • chickpeas

Supplementation: use zinc only while the symptoms last and discontinue 2 days after symptoms are gone. Zinc should not be used long term.

Children:

  • 6–12 months 2-3 mg

  • 1–3 years 3 mg

  • 4–8 years 5 mg

  • 9–13 years 8 mg

Adults:

  • 30 mg up to two times daily


Probiotics for gut health and therefore as immune support. Spore based version is best that provides you with 4 billion or more units.


Essential fatty acids (Omega 3) are anti- inflammatory and vital for our brain, nervous system and immune system function.


Foods rich in essential fatty acids:

  • fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)

  • freshly ground flax seeds

Supplementation: good quality fish oil, cod liver oil (also contains vitamin A and D).


Vitamin C has fantastic immune support properties if it’s taken in the right form and dose.

Foods rich in vitamin C:

  • berries

  • fresh peppers

  • citrus fruits

  • papaya

  • kiwi

  • broccoli

  • cantaloupe

  • kale

  • tomatoes


Supplementation: It can cause loose stools so take it slowly. Start out with a lower dose and increase it gradually. If diarrhea occurs lower the dose and space out the timing of dosage.

Best absorbing forms: buffered ascorbic acid or liposomal vitamin C.

Children:

  • 2 years and up, consider 250 mg 1-3 times daily

Adults:

  • 1,000 mg 1-2 times daily


Hope you find this information helpful! If you have any questions, leave it in the comments below.

Stay safe loves!



🍉, Kriszta


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