And just like that the world changed overnight…
With the current situation facing the globe with Covid-19 (also referred to as Coronavirus) it is worth looking at things we can do to keep ourselves healthy and free of illness.
There are some very simple things we can do to give ourselves the best opportunity to stay healthy during this trying time, and it doesn’t involve buying toilet paper in extreme amounts or fighting over hand sanitiser.
Let’s have a look at basic nutrients to boost immune system. In an article published by Cleveland Clinic in January 2020, they recommend Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E. Now growing up, many of us where told that Vitamin C was good for us and helped us to get over a cold, when in actual fact, it is the avoidance of the cold in the first place. According to the article, being deficient in vitamin c is actually what can potentially lead to being sick.
So, while healthy, ensure adequate vitamin c which you can find naturally in most citrus fruits, bell peppers, spinach, kale or can be taken as a supplement. Because the body doesn’t store or create vitamin C, it is important to be consuming it regularly.
Vitamin B6 is beneficial as it supports many of the biochemical reactions of the immune system. You can find B6 in foods such as Green vegetables, or Chicken, tuna or salmon. Vitamin E rounds out this trifecta as it is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body to fight off illness and can be found in nuts, seed and spinach.
Another very simple way to improve your immune system is to ensure you get better sleep. It states : “During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep.
Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.
So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.” The simplest way to improve your sleep is to improve sleep hygiene by doing simple things like avoiding stimulants too close to bed time, reducing exposure to blue light before bed (turn off the tv and put down the smart phone), practice meditation to relax the mind.
So in summary, to keep yourself healthy during this concerning time, please ensure you’re consuming plenty of nutritious foods that provide not only adequate macro nutrients, but micro nutrients also, and get plenty of sleep.
Links/Citations to Studies:
1. Cleveland Clinic https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-vitamins-best-boosting-immunity/
2. Eric J Olsen MD from the Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757
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