The current situation has many thinking about boosting their immune system.
How do you go about it? Sales during the COVID crisis showed a spike in orange juice sales.
Conventional wisdom mostly created by advertising says Vitamin C is the most important and orange juice is the best way to get it but is this true? The following is my opinion on the topic of immune support. Disclaimer I’m a health coach, not a viral infection expert or doctor.
Before you focus on boosting your immune system take a look at things that burden your immune system like the following:
- Dehydration and I don’t just mean guzzling water in large amounts
- lack of sleep, get 7-9 hours of quality sleep when you can
- junk food, or food-like products
- chronic high-intensity workouts with insufficient recovery
- limit intake of simple carbohydrates, sugars, especially if there is no demand
- chronic high stress without an outlet to process
- environmental factors, pollution, fumes, artificial scents, chemical loaded personal products
- move frequently at low intensity
- get sun on your skin without getting burned
- eat whole minimal processed foods, like quality meats without hormones or antibiotics, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cauliflower.
Notice I don’t recommend juice?
The blood sugar spike may be counterproductive and produces unnecessary strain on your body.
Studies support reduced carbohydrate intake result in reduced vitamin C requirements.
Partially because glucose competes with Vitamin C for access to the same metabolic pathways, it also seems that high carb intake produces more oxidative stress.
Consider the vegetables mentioned above for the vitamins needed.
Minerals to support your immune system:
- Magnesium is critical as it is important for many processes in the body including absorption of other vital minerals. Magnesium also acts as an antioxidant by limiting the damage caused by reactive oxygen species AKA free radicals. In addition, it plays a role in the way your immune system responds to viral and bacterial infections. Also see https://robsprimallife.com/cycling/magnesium-keto/
Good sources are Avocados, pumpkin, almonds, nuts, seeds, broccoli, dark chocolate, seafood, apricots, cheese, liver, heart
- Zinc is a vital nutrient that influences immunity, gene expression, wound healing, skin health, cell growth, and may decrease inflammation.
Good sources include meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole eggs.
- Copper also an essential nutrient typically sufficiently supplied by foods, it is important to note it the copper-zinc relation is antagonistic.
Good sources are liver, oysters, shellfish, nuts seeds, leafy greens, dark chocolate.
- Selenium is a component of glutathione your body’s most powerful anti-oxidant. Deficiency has been associated with lowered resistance to infections.
Good sources include brazil nuts, salmon beef, pork, shellfish, oysters, mushrooms.
Important side note to minerals:
Grains contain antinutrients that keep you from absorbing some of the vital minerals, for example, a study showed eating a shrimp cocktail with corn chips blocked the absorption of the zinc found in the shellfish.
This is one of the reasons I’m grain-free with one exception.
Vitamins to support your immune system:
- Vitamin D is one that I find most important your body produces this Vitamin actually more of a hormone from sunlight and cholesterol. It is responsible for thousands of processes in your body including mineral absorption cell formation and checking (potential anti-cancer functions through the P53 gene), reduces depression, helps maintain bone health, aids in fighting a disease like colds and the flu and more.
Good sources are Herring, sardines, egg yolk, mushrooms, pork, Milk, Salmon
- Vitamin K2 helps in placing the calcium into bones and teeth where its needed thus potentially reduces calcification of the arteries. It is vital in blood clotting, heart health, and bone health.
Good sources include liver, egg yolks, butter, beef, leafy greens
- Vitamin A aids in the function of lungs’ intestines, eyes, and production of t-cells to protect your body from infection. The form found in animal products is directly absorbable.
Good sources are Liver, dairy, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers
- Vitamin B6 plays a major role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, mood, depression brain health, and heart health.
Good sources include liver, salmon, turkey, legumes, bananas
- Vitamin C and anti-oxidant that boosts the immune system by reducing oxidative stress that can lead to chronic diseases, may help with elevated blood pressure, heart disease, and gout. It improves the production of white blood cells to fight infections.
Good sources are broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cauliflower, lemons
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your cells from oxidative damage and thus prolongs cell life, benefits may include reduced artery hardening and thus reduced blood pressure. Aid in protection from damage caused by pollution.
Good sources include nuts, seeds, avocados, squash, trout
Stay safe and healthy my friend