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Immune support and boosters

Positive steps during covid-19 outbreak

Immune Support and boosters
31 March 2020 Haidee Harvey-Brown
With the world finding itself in this quite surreal and worrying situation thanks to Covid-19 I want to do what I can to help us feel empowered in taking some positive actions.
 
There is a lot of uncertainty and factors out of our control but we are definitely not helpless and there is plenty of positive things we can focus on doing to support ourselves, and others.
 

What we do know

It’s a virus, we may not know the specifics of treatment/prevention yet (though this is quickly changing as we speak) but we do know how the body’s immune system works in response to viruses and things we can do to keep this strong.
 

But first….

SLEEP! Nutrition and food is my best topic and rant yet I’m still starting with getting those quality zzzzs! Do what you can to protect a bedtime routine, poor quality or lack of sleep compromises your immune function (it also makes us more likely to make poor food and drink choices, feel unable to cope with stress, and move less). Prioritise and protect it.

Nutrient super stars

I wanted to highlight some specific nutrients/supplements which are good all round immunity boosters (the key players, and deficiencies in these nutrients being linked to lowered immune function)
 
Vitamin D
We all know this…the sunshine vitamin – get outside, but it is March, some of us can’t) Food sources; oily fish like salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms – but we need the extra boost via supplements too in winter.
 
Vitamin A
Food sources: Liver is an incredible food source of this, and basically a natural multivit in itself! Oily fish/cod liver oil, egg yolks, orange and yellow veggies like sweet potato & carrots.
 
Vitamin C
Food sources: citrus fruits, broccoli, leafy greens (note: lots lost in heat of cooking, if you have cold/flu symptoms higher dose via supplements likely useful).
 
Zinc
Good quality free range meat, seeds such as pumpkin, seafood, beans and pulses (if supplementing best to find a zinc picolinate, and some contain copper too which is good for mineral balance)
 
Selenium
Again oily fish, brazil nuts, you only need 2-3 a day to get in a good dose of this too!
 
Probiotics
While we are going crazy with the antibacterial products let’s remember that the friendly bacteria in our gut are our body’s first line of defence – around 70% of our immune cells (so immune system) is located in our guts! Let’s make sure the good guys are topped up so that if we come into contact with the virus (or any others) our body can get to work fighting it off and leaving us with a stronger, smarter immune system.
 
Some tops foods to include where you can;
 
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Turmeric
  • Leafy greens
  • And a wide variety of veg and fruits (think vitamins, minerals, and fibre for gut health)
  • Fermented foods
  • Oily fish or cod liver oil
  • Liver
  • Other healthy fats like coconut oil
 

Extra tips

Get some fresh air and sunshine on your face if possible, it’s about much more than just vitamin D.
 
Create a fun distraction; switch off from the news for a bit to enjoy a funny show, cook up a storm, enjoy a creative activity.
 
Find a positive to your situation – if you are stuck at home; learn to cook some new healthy recipes, get really good at press ups or handstands, work on getting the splits, do some writing or reading, video call family and friends who are far away or you cant visit (essentially reeling off what I would want to do if I had to stay in all week).
 
Be a good human (also includes not buying enough toilet roll to build a bathroom fort)
 
And we are so adaptable!
(On the plus side not one person has complained to me about the weather for a couple days)
If you have any specific questions or queries please hop over to the contact page and film in the form. For interest in working with me or if looking for a personalised nutrition plan you can also email – [email protected] 

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