Vitamins and Supplements That Will Help Boost Your Defense Against COVID-19
COVID-19 took the entire world by surprise. Lock-downs have been imposed worldwide as millions of people have been infected with the virus, and hundreds of thousands have already died. Furthermore, a cure has not yet been developed, and pharmaceutical companies working on a vaccine are yet to produce one that is safe and effective.
The most anyone can do right now is to make sure they are observing safety protocols such as physical distancing and the use of protective equipment (masks, gloves, face shields). In addition, we must work towards strengthening our immune system with the help of vitamins and supplements.
Vitamin D is a significant factor in enabling our body to fight against infectious diseases. Sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin,” it is mostly produced by our skin as a direct response to sunlight. Additionally, vitamin D can also be ingested through the food we eat.
One of the main benefits of vitamin D is the enhancement of white blood cells which are essential to boosting our immune system. These cells help decrease inflammation during a viral attack on the body, thus signaling a heightened immune response.
People who have lower levels of vitamin D are found to be more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections such as influenza and allergic complications to asthma.
Although nothing beats getting vitamin D from sunlight, it can be hard to do on a regular basis. This is why vitamin D rich foods are vital in making sure you have sufficient vitamin D levels.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin D include:
- Egg yolk
Vitamin C is considered by experts to be one of the most effective nutrients in boosting the overall immunity of the human body.
Vitamin C acts as a support to various cells that promote better immunity. Furthermore, it is a necessary nutrient for cellular death, which allows the body’s immune system to remain in top shape, as old cells get replaced by new ones.
Vitamin C is also an essential antioxidant, helping the body lessen the damage induced by oxidative stress, which happens due to the accumulation of free radicals.
Moreover, vitamin C decreases the severity of upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold.
Some of the best sources of vitamin C are:
- Orange juice
- Tomato juice
- Red cabbage
While consuming vitamin C rich food is important, the easiest and most convenient way of getting the daily recommended intake of 500mg is to get a good supplement.
Zinc is another common vitamin used to boost the immune system. Zinc helps with the development of cells responsible for immune protection
It also helps in cellular communication and promotes better inflammatory response. Once the inflammatory response has been lessened, the symptoms would be less severe, if not completely gone.
In a 2019 study, a total of 64 children diagnosed with acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRIs) took 30 mg of zinc supplements and saw a decrease in the duration of the disease in an average of 2 days.
Foods that are high in zinc include:
- Red meat
- Nuts and seeds
Folic acid is a vitamin B derivative that works to help the body promote cell turnover rates as well as red blood cell health.
Folic acid also prevents any changes in the body’s DNA in order to avoid cancer development.
Folic acid is frequently found in a supplement, along with other B vitamins. Folic acid in foods can be found in whole-wheat products, liver, beans, spinach, and other vegetables.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is one of the essential B vitamins that have several functions in making sure that the body stays in perfect condition.
It plays a large part in the production of red blood cells, neurotransmitters, and the metabolism of essential nutrients like fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Vitamin B6 cannot be naturally produced by the human body; therefore, while a proper and healthy diet should give the body sufficient levels of vitamin B6, some people take supplements to reduce the risk of deficiency.
Food rich in vitamin B6 include:
Echinacea is from a group of plants that are rich in antioxidants and is commonly served as a type of herbal tea which is used as an over-the-counter medication for the common cold.
Being rich in antioxidants, it is believed to help the body fight against inflammatory conditions that are often caused by respiratory viruses.
COVID-19 is a new disease today’s expert have yet to fully understand. As we all wait for a cure to be developed, the best that anyone can do is to boost their immune system, thereby lessening the impact of the virus.