It is important to keep ourselves fit by being active and our immune system strong, from not just Covid-19, but also regular colds and coughs.
While we may be staying at home due to the ‘circuit breaker’ measures and cutting off social contact, that does not mean that we are completely safe from catching Covid-19. This is especially so when we have family members leaving the house to buy food or groceries.
As much as we continue to keep our bodies active (such as working out at home), practicing good personal hygiene, keeping our homes clean and disinfected, it is also important to take note of what we eat. As the saying goes, we are what we eat, food is an important source of vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies healthy.
As Covid-19 comes with cold and flu-like symptoms, Vitamins B, C and D, as well as zinc may be helpful in boosting your immune system and fighting the illness in the same way they can help you get over a cold or flu.
Here are the vitamins and minerals you should take to keep yourself in good health:
Vitamin C is on almost every list of vitamins and is probably the best known of all vitamins. As an antioxidant, it helps in the protection of your cells from free radicals and for them to function normally, thereby maintaining your body’s immune system.
What are free radicals? “Free radicals” are generated when your body converts food to energy. The scavenger free radical molecules are missing an electron in their outer shells and will steal electrons from your body’s cellular structures. This may damage DNA, proteins (enzymes), and cell membranes. Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital cells are damaged.
A deficiency in vitamin C can even make you more prone to infections.
Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits. Oranges have the highest amount -- you can get plenty of the vitamins by eating the fruit directly or drinking juice made from grapefruit, lemons or limes. Other fruits such as kiwis and pomegranates also contain vitamin C essential for your health.
Grape Seed Extract
Taking grape seed extract could help strengthen your immune system's line of defence.
Grape seed extract is made by removing, drying, and pulverizing (reducing to fine powder) the seeds of grapes and used as a supplement. Grape seeds are rich in powerful antioxidants and promote a healthy immune system to fight bacterial and viral infections by protecting your cells from free radicals.
They are generally consumed in the form of a supplement available in capsule form, tablet form or as a liquid.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E works as an antioxidant that strengthens your body’s resistance to infections. It supports your immune function and neutralises free radicals just like other antioxidants.
Vegetable oils are a major dietary source of vitamin E, as well as nuts such as almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and walnuts. So are spinach and broccoli if you prefer to increase your intake through meals rather than snacks.
Zinc is an important mineral that helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body needs zinc to produce white blood cells, or T lymphocytes in this case, that fight infections.
T lymphocytes, or T cells, are a type of white blood cell that is of key importance to the immune system and is at the core of adaptive immunity, the system that tailors the body's immune response to specific pathogens. The T cells search out and destroy the targeted invaders -- bacteria and viruses.
Oysters are the best source of zinc. Red meat, poultry, seafood such as crab and lobsters, and fortified breakfast cereals are also good sources of zinc.
L-Glutathione is one of the body’s most important and potent antioxidants, which reduce oxidative stress by combating free radicals in the body.
While most antioxidants are found in the foods you eat, glutathione is produced by your body. It is primarily made up of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine and cysteine.
Your body’s glutathione level may become depleted through a few reasons such as poor diet, chronic disease, infection and constant stress.
Sulfur-rich vegetables such as garlic, onions, parsley and cruciferous vegetables are particularly helpful in providing the body with the nutrients it needs to create glutathione. Avocados, squash and tomatoes work as well.
Iron is an important mineral used to produce red blood cells, which store and carry oxygen in the blood. If there are fewer red blood cells in the body than is normal, the organs and tissues would not get sufficient oxygen. A deficiency in iron can make you more susceptible to illness and infection, as a lack of iron affects the body's natural defence system (the immune system).
Foods rich in iron include liver, red meat, beans, nuts, dried apricots, brown rice and dark green leafy vegetables such as spring greens, kale and spinach.
We only get about 20% of the amount of vitamin D our bodies require, from food, so you should get the rest from sunshine (a natural producer of vitamin D) and supplements.
During the cold and flu season, Vitamin D helps our immune systems stay balanced and healthy. One of the important functions of vitamin D is to help activate T lymphocytes, or T cells, to detect and destroy foreign pathogens -- like viruses.
Fatty fish and seafood are among the richest natural food sources of vitamin D.
Nutrients May Be Lost During Cooking; Supplements Get You The Amounts You Need
There is no doubt that the best way to load up on essential nutrients is to get them straight from food. However, you have no idea how much you’re actually getting from food and some nutrients may be lost through cooking. Taking supplements is a good way to ensure you are getting the amount you need.
The Dr Ora AURA White Supplement contains essential ingredients such as Vitamin C, Grape Seed Extract, Pomegranate Extract, L-Glutathione that help strengthen your immunity. Though it is marketed as a skin supplement, it contains a few of the nutrients mentioned in the list that help to build up your body’s line of defence. The supplement is consumed in powder form and you can conveniently add it to your smoothie or have it with water.
Alternatively, you can also make fruit-infused water by adding different combinations of fruits in water to infuse it with their nutrients. Infused with nutrients, fruit-infused water with the Dr Ora AURA White supplement gives your metabolism a nice boost, hydrates your body, aids in digestion, flush out toxins from your body and give you the vitamins and nutrients you need!
Either way, its powdered form allows for quick and effective absorption, which is what you are looking for.
While we are in self-isolation to curb the spread of Covid-19, being at home should motivate us to exercise regularly (via home workouts), make our own nutritious meals and keep ourselves positive so that after the pandemic ends, we can emerge as stronger and healthier individuals.