How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Scientists predict that 40% to 70% of our population will be affected. Those with a chronic disease and immunocompromised are at a greater risk. 

People with a chronic disease are almost 10 times more likely to die. Those with obesity are 3 times more likely to die. It is critical now more than ever for our us to focus on their own health and reduce the burden on our health care system.

How Can I Protect Myself, My Family and My Friends? 

The first is prevention on how to avoid it in the first place and the second is how to strengthen your immune system so we are more resilient to it.

How to Avoid Infection with COVID-19 

  • Social Distancing. 2 metres apart and don’t shake hands. Work from home if you can. Use common sense at all times
  • Wash hands regularly. Wash your hands for min of 20 seconds with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when out and avoid touching your face especially eyes, nose and mouth as they are areas where the virus can enter. 
  • Protect those at Risk. If you have elderly parents, grand parents or friends who are immune compromised try support them in any way you can such as helping them with shopping while avoiding unnecessary contact.  

How to Strengthen Your Immune System 

  • Eat nutrient dense whole foods, Our immune system requires nutrient-dense foods to work properly. Deaths from infections in developing countries is often not due to the infection itself but the body’s inability to fight it because of nutrient deficiencies. When our immune system is strong we can fight off infections much quicker and give us the best chance.
  • Limit sugar and refined starches. Studies have shown that refined sugars such as from junk food can weaken your immune system for hours after ingesting. Limiting starch and sugar will help your immune system function better and your overall health improves. 
  • Good levels of protein. Protein is important for proper immune function and studies show protein malnutrition is a big risk factor for death from infections. We recommend approximately 1 gram/kg of protein a day of clean animal protein. Plant-based (legumes, nuts/seeds) proteins are adequate if consumed in enough quantity. 
  • Use garlic, onions, ginger, and spices such as oregano, turmeric, rosemary to your meals, good to add these to your soups and vegetable dishes as garlic and onions offer powerful antimicrobial properties. 
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. If you do not like the taste make smoothies from frozen fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat more fermented probiotic foods, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, miso, tempeh, unsweetened yogurt, kefir, asparagus, artichokes, plantains, dandelion greens, leeks, onions, garlic, bananas, apples, jicama, flax seeds, and seaweed.
  • Drink plenty of water and herbal teas. like ginger and turmeric tea. Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the high sugar content is harmful for the immune system. 
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep heals the body which allows the immune system to function properly. 
  • Consistent exercise. 30-45 minutes of mild exercise helps boost the immune system. 
  • Lower stress via meditation and yoga. The studies show stress weakens the immune system which increase chances of viral infections. In one study, volunteers had cold viruses injected into their nasal passages. Meditation and Yoga have proven to lower cortisol the body main stress hormone.
  • Stay connected. Staying in touch with family and friends is important for your mental and emotional health. Regular phone calls and FaceTime will help.
  • Get into nature. Walks in the park, get fresh air and sunshine.

How to Supplement to strengthen the Immune system 

Let’s start with an overview of the vitamins, minerals, and herbs you need and why they are important. 

  • Multivitamin & Minerals - are the foundation your body needs to keep your immune system to function well. 
  • Vitamin D3 - recent research shows a link between Vitamin D3 deffiency and high Covid19 death rate. Other studies have shown that people with vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more likely to get a cold or flu and supplementing with vitamin D3 can reduce colds and flu by 42%. It is best to get your blood levels of 25-OH vitamin D checked for accurate dosing. Blood levels should be above 30 ng/ml however optimal levels are probably closer to 50ng/ml for most. Many need 5,000 IU or more of vitamin D3 a day in the winter. Start with 2,000 IU for adults, 1,000 IU for children.
  • Vitamin C - The role of vitamin C in helping the immune system has long been known. Take 500-1,000mg throughout the day with food. 
  • Zinc - helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The 3 best zinc supplements that are most easily absorbed by the body are Zinc Citrate, Zinc Acetate, Zinc Picolinate
  • Probiotics - give the immune system a boost and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria. Probiotics also have shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body which help fight off invaders such as viruses and bacteria. 
  • Fish Oil - includes Omega 3 fatty acids which help boost the immune system. Cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D for added immune protection.  
  • Mushroom Extracts such as reishi, maitake, shiitake, turkey tail, and cordyceps - These are excellent at providing immune system boosting properties. 
  • Selenium - plays an important role in supporting the immune system and thyroid. It is an essential trace mineral that lowers oxidative stress, lowers inflammation and improves immunity.  

To keep your immune system strong and protect yourself it not necessary to take all the above. However a good starting point would be taking a Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium and fish oil which is a great start. 

Important for us to stay calm even in uncertain times, limit our intake of the fear based news and use our common sense. Studies have shown strong emotions such as fear and stress lower our immune system and make us more vulnerable. 

Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to provide medical advice and any changes should be done with the consultation of your Health care practitioner. Also please do your own research and follow what makes sense to you.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published