With the prevalence and spread of coronavirus growing, now seems like an ideal time to look at all aspects of people’s lifestyle in order to reduce the risk. Clearly the first port of call should always be the governments’ and NHS’s advice on how to reduce the spread of all respiratory infection which include; cold, flu, pneumonia and coronavirus. These emphasise the importance of hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap or hand sanitizer, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze, put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards, try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell and stay at least 2m away from others when outside. TIP: dry your hands thoroughly after you wash them otherwise you could increase bacteria on your hands.
Even if everyone is extremely vigilant respiratory infections can still spread. But there are other ways in which we can reduce the risk of infection and reduce symptom severity. One of the easiest things to change is our diet and the supplementation of key Vitamins is essential. This is particularly important in subgroups of the population which may be at increased risk or naturally have lower vitamin reserves such as, the elderly and people with reduced immune function. If you want to help Granny boost her immune function then read on. Find out more about the key vitamins to boost the immune system and how Vit Stix help supplement these.
Just to note that obviously non of these tips have been tested to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19). But research has shown they can help against the flu, fever and other respiratory conditions, so they might help and these are useful nutrients to help boost immune function.
Find it in: Vit Stix, From the sun, and in small quantities in; Salmon, sardines, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods.
Even if you ate the ‘perfect diet’ you would not be able to get enough Vitamin D from food alone. This is because vitamin D primarily comes from sunlight coming into contact with skin cells. The Sun’s UV rays reacted with cholesterol and make vitamin D. For the majority of us who live in Northern latitudes we don’t get enough exposure to sunlight to create sufficient vitamin D.
Recent meta-analysis studies have shown that daily supplementation of Vitamin D can reduce the risk of respiratory tract infection by 12%. Not only does vitamin D reduce the risk of infection but it has been shown to reduce the duration of the flu and other chronic viral infections. Research like this shows that vitamin D has disease-fighting properties and can help boost immunity to fight off infections, meaning Vitamin D supplements are useful to avoid respiratory infections like; flu, cold or coronavirus.
Find it in: Vit Stix, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, pineapple, and bell peppers.
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants found in our diet and plays an important role in our immune response. Research has also shown that factors such as stress and infection dramatically deplete our Vitamin C reserves.
Research has also shown that supplementation of vitamin C improved aspects of the human immune system and plays an important role in controlling and fighting infections. It is therefore important to not only supplement Vitamin C before getting ill but to ensure, if you do get ill, to continue topping up your supplies.
Find it in: Vit Stix, Chickpeas, liver, tuna, salmon, chicken, and potatoes.
Similar to Vitamin D, B6 is very hard to extract from diet alone especially if you follow a vegetarian diet. Vitamin B6 plays a major role in our bodies, it is involved in brain development and nervous system functioning to name a few. Most importantly for avoiding Respiratory Infections B6 works closely with the immune system to ward off infections. In fact, one of the symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency is reduced immune response. To avoid exposing yourself to increased risk of respiratory infection it is advised to supplement vitamin B6, particularly during winter months when infections are more prevalent.
Find it in: Vit Stix, Legumes, seeds, yogurt, meat, and seafood.
Though you can get zinc from foods like sesame and pumpkin seeds, lentils and turkey the majority of us do not get sufficient amounts. This is particularly prevalent in more ‘at risk’ populations like the elderly. A number of studies have shown how Zinc supplementation can boost immunity to infection. Further to this adequate intakes of Zinc has been shown to help relieve symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections. All this suggests that Zinc is a vital element of our immune system and without sufficient amounts we are at an increased vulnerability to infection and to worsened symptoms.