There has been a lot of news lately about how we can keep ourselves healthy during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
While there is a lot of good advice regarding how we can protect ourselves with good nutrition and sleep, adequate face covering and regular hand-washing, there are also a lot of cures being touted that offer no benefit or, in worse cases, can actually be harmful.
It is important to first state that as of publishing this post there is no confirmed vaccine available for COVID-19. Scientists and researchers across the globe are working on a number of different approaches that may lead to a vaccine, but this process takes time in order to ensure any vaccine being developed is both safe and effective.
To address the many myths being circulated about the coronavirus, the World Health Organization has created its own myth busters page to confirm the following:
In addition to a well-balanced diet and getting the recommended hours of sleep each night (aim for 7-8 hours), there are some vitamins and minerals that are proven to support immune health. While this may not prevent catching a virus, being in optimal health will give your body the best chance of fighting the disease and result in less severe and shorter duration of illness.
Vitamin C is at the top of most people’s list for its immune-boosting properties. In addition to be being beneficial for tissue repair, wound healing and collagen formation, Vitamin C has been shown to reduce effects of common cold and flu as well as help in the recovery from the types of respiratory infections associated with COVID-19 patients in critical care.
Zinc is also a powerhouse nutrient when it comes to fighting infections and has been proven to shorten the length of colds by 33 percent. Zinc aids in the production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense against disease, and also helps control blood sugar and blood cholesterol to improve overall health.
B-complex vitamins provide a host of benefits to the body including energy conversion from food, reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals, production of red blood cells, cell growth and neurological function. In addition to keeping the immune system in great shape, B-complex vitamins are also associated with reducing stress and improving mental health. Found in a variety of foods including meat, eggs and leafy vegetables, B-complex is also a popular supplement for IV Vitamin Therapy.
In addition to getting the right nutrition, one of the best things you can do is exercise. Exercise provides so many health benefits, it’s probably wise to think of it as a form of medicine. In addition to improved heart health, blood lipids, and weight management, it is also linked to reducing stress and improving sleep – all of which mean your immune system will be in the best possible shape to fight illness.
If you choose to exercise outdoors, you also get the added benefit of Vitamin D. Produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D plays a large role in supporting the immune system – just remember to practice social distancing!