How To Boost Your Immune System During COVID-19
During such an unprecedented pandemic, we must all take personal responsibility for our health, not just for ourselves, but for our society. COVID-19 has brought some of the most powerful countries to a screeching halt. This can be anxiety-inducing for some, but the important thing to remember is you have control over your actions and your health.
Giving your immune system a boost is important on a daily basis, but it is crucial during pandemics like the one we’re experiencing. Below are some supplements and foods that give your immune system a boost.
Berries, in general, are high in antioxidants. Elderberries, in particular, are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc, and potassium. It has been shown to boost your immune system, reduce anxiety and stress, and have heart health benefits. Not only does it make you less likely to get bacterial diseases, but it can prevent viral ones as well.
Elderberry works by surrounding cells in a protective barrier so viral invaders cannot take over. In studies on rats, it has been shown to protect the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells.
Elderberry comes in many forms like freeze-dried berry, syrups, gummies, lozenges, tinctures, and capsules.
If you are consuming the berry itself a teaspoon is the recommended serving size. It can be steeped in tea or made into syrup.
If you would like to take elderberries in capsule, syrup, gummy, or lozenge form make sure the supplement has at least 450 mg of elderberry. More can be taken if you are feeling a cold or flu setting in or if you are trying to prevent the flu or other disease.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is a powerful herbal supplement. It is shown to have antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. This makes it a perfect supplement to combat COVID-19. Since this disease is viral, taking oil of oregano on a daily basis – or more than once daily can lower your risk of contracting COVID-19.
In research studies, it has been found that the compound carvacrol found in oil oregano is the component that most likely prevents viruses. Oil of oregano has been shown to be most effective against respiratory infections more so than viruses located in any other part of the body. This can be especially helpful in the wake of COVID-19.
In addition to the benefits listed above, it has also been shown to aid diabetics in controlling blood sugar levels, it reduces inflammation, and it can even have anti-cancer properties.
If you are using oil of oregano topically, it is recommended to dilute the solution to only 1% oil of oregano. Carrier oils like coconut, almond, and jojoba oil are good things to dilute the oil of oregano with.
Oil of oregano comes in liquid and capsule forms. To combat COVID-19 liquid nasal sprays are a very good option to consider.
There is no recommended daily dose of oil of oregano. Most take one dropper full if they are taking the liquid form. Capsules will have the recommended dose on the bottle. Since these are natural solutions it is important to remember you can’t overdo it, unless you have specific allergies to the herbs themselves.
Note: Look for oil of oregano supplements that have the Latin classification of Origanum vulgare. When looking at the ingredients list that should be the only ingredient on the list. If there are other oils listed that means it is meant to be used in an essential oil diffuser.
This is the immune system booster that is most commonly referenced. It boosts the number of white blood cells in your body. These white blood cells are called lymphocytes and phagocytes and when the number of these is high your body’s ability to fight off infections is increased.
The recommended daily dose of vitamin C for adults is 1000mg. Since vitamin C is water-soluble anything your body doesn’t need will be excreted through urine. During times like the pandemic we are in, flu season, and if you are already sick you should increase your vitamin C intake at your own discretion.
Children under three years old only require 400 mg of vitamin C, while children 14-18 years old can take 1800 mg.
Vitamin C has been shown to reduce cold severity and length.
It comes in many forms. Capsules, liquids, powders, chewable tablets, and gummies are some of the options.
Like vitamin C, zinc has been shown to improve immune health and reduce inflammation.
Zinc is high in antioxidants, which can protect cells from external stressors. This makes zinc a great supplement when preventing or fighting a virus or common cold. Antioxidants present in zinc also reduce inflammation, showing it may also prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Zinc can be found in capsules, lozenges, and gummy forms.
Since zinc comes in many forms like picolinate, citrate, and sulfate, the dosage will vary. It is best to take the dose recommended in the nutrition fact section on the bottle.
Similar to many of the things mentioned in this list, echinacea is rich in antioxidants. This allows cells to fight against oxidative stress.
One of its main benefits is the positive effect on the immune system. This is why you will often see vitamin c, zinc, and echinacea together in cold remedies or daily immune-boosting products.
Echinacea comes in capsule and tincture forms.
Follow the recommended dose listed in the nutrition facts section on the bottle.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms contain a wide variety of different mushrooms that have wonderful health benefits, but turkey tail mushrooms have been shown to have positive effects on the immune system.
They contain polysaccharide-K which is what jump-starts the immune system. Turkey tail mushrooms have been so effective at jump-starting the immune system in cancer patients in Japan it is now commonly prescribed for those recovering from chemotherapy.
Turkey tail mushrooms come in a few different forms such as powders, capsules, tinctures, and dried mushrooms themselves.
Follow the serving size directions on the package for the recommended serving size.
Eleuthero is an adaptogen. Adaptogens help your body manage stress. When you experience stress your hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands go into somewhat of a frenzy, but adaptogen herbs like eleuthero work to combat this frenzy mode and stabilize the parts of the brain that regulate stress responses.
When your body is less stressed it can function at peak performance. This in and of itself can be beneficial to your immune system. Like the aforementioned items, it also has been shown to have a high antioxidant count which reduces oxidative stress allowing your white blood cells to continue to do their job in protecting your body from viral and bacterial invaders.
Eleuthero comes in a tincture, capsule, and bulk herbs.
The serving size will be listed for capsules and tinctures on the bottle. If you are consuming the bulk herb in tea form, then place a teaspoon in a tea ball and steep for five minutes.
While this can be a stressful time, it is important to remember what we have control over as individuals. That is how we take care of our health and treat one another. Tend to your mental health during this time, practice empathy towards others, and practice social distancing as much as possible. As a society, we will come out of this pandemic better on the other side.
I wish everyone health and happiness during these times.
For more information check out this link: https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/doctor-offers-coronavirus-protection-advice
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