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We have just participated in a “Stay-At-Home” order for our health, something we have never experienced as a whole community. Hopefully, when we have been sick in the past, we have practiced our own version of staying at home and staying away from others. Because we encounter many germs each day, the biggest factor is not really trying to “stay away” from all germs as an effective means of staying healthy. The best way is to have a body equipped to “fight” and protect us. Our bodies were created with an immune system, and unless we have an immune-compromising condition, our immune system, when healthy and fueled with the proper nutrients, works to fight off any invaders that we encounter. We MUST keep our immune system working at its best and support it even further during a “fight” to help our immune system do exactly what it was designed to do.
The way we do this is two-fold:
First, keep our immune system healthy every day by following several basic principles:
- Eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, organic whenever possible, to help us to get the thousands of micro-nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy
- Keep our digestive system healthy with pre- and probiotic foods such as yogurt, onions, garlic, cabbage/sauerkraut (see my previous article on this topic)
- Sleep at least 7 hours a night, preferably in a very dark, cool room
- Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes
- Reduce stress by prayer, meditation, delegating and letting go of some things
- Laugh and sing and enjoy life with a positive outlook.
Second, there are times when we may need to take supplements to get additional nutrients. As a huge proponent of getting our nutrients from whole food, I am also realistic that there are times and factors that influence our need to add additional sources of certain nutrients to our routine to keep us healthy. Cold and flu season is probably one of those times. We cannot always get enough of certain nutrients from food while we are in the “fight” and it is widely known in the medical field that certain nutrients support our immune system during those times.
- Vitamin C has long been known to help support our immune system while we are fighting off an infection, particularly viral. It has been shown to be helpful against many viruses, including COVID-19. At the first sign of a cold or flu, many health professionals recommend taking additional Vitamin C in addition to eating foods high in vitamin C. Liposomal Vit C is absorbed at a much better rate without digestive upset at higher doses. We can safely take 1000-4000 mg per day during times of “fight”, spread this out during the day and take with food. For daily maintenance, I recommend Juice Plus+ as it provides all the thousands of phytonutrients along with vitamin C, but because it is whole food form, it is very bio-available and doesn’t need high dosing
- Vitamin D is very well documented to modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses in our body. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection. In northern climates, it is difficult to get enough sun exposure to synthesize vitamin D in adequate amounts to support our immune system, and there are few foods that offer enough vitamin D to keep our blood levels high during the winter. Supplementing with liquid Vitamin D and K2 combined maximizes absorption, as well as taking with food.
- Zinc has been in the news lately as one of the treatment modalities some doctors are using, but it has long been recognized as important for helping us during the seasonal “fight”. There are many forms of zinc as a supplement, sulfate and picolinate are the most common. Zinc picolinate seems to be the best absorbed when taken orally. Taking 50-100 mg per day is widely recommended during the “fight” and seems to be very effective in breaking down viruses. It is helpful to take zinc on a daily basis, 30 mg per day, for maintenance since we don’t store zinc in the body. Quercetin and green tea are shown to help with absorption, and cellular uptake of zinc, so take your zinc with green tea or an apple, which is high in quercetin.
I have used and recommended a product called Juice Plus+ for many years. It is a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, juiced, dried and put into capsule form. It is supported by vast amounts of published research and shown to be bioavailable, to support our immune function and help to keep us healthy overall. Visit my Juice Plus+ website to read the research and find out more about using this product to fill in the nutrient gaps we all experience every day.
Stay healthy by taking charge of your own immune system and supporting its ability to “fight” when it needs to. Blessings of great health to you!
If you think you have any symptoms of COVID-19, or are feeling ill in any way, contact your health professional.