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The Felicity Project

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4 Vitamins You Can Take to Improve Your Immune System

I am a firm believer that “what we eat is what we are”. That is why I try my very best to eat healthy and also I take vitamins everyday to make sure I get the right amount needed by the body to maintain good health and improved immune system.

I don’t really consider myself as a health buff and I’m definitely not a health guru. But through the years of trying on different kinds of diet.. you can say that I’ve come to know myself especially on how to maintain good health, how to control my weight gain and what to eat to accomplish it. What worked well for me is a combination of low carbs and fats (1/4 plate of rice- preferably brown/ pasta/ bread- whole wheat + lean meat + use of extra virgin olive oil), protein-based food (mostly chicken, fish or seafood), high vitamin C- rich foods (fresh fruits and vegetables) and lots of water (at least 8 glasses). No pop (soft drink/ soda) and no sweets (most of the time (wink)).

Thankfully, I’ve been doing good so far, with no long term medical condition, (still) within my ideal body weight and I seldom get sick with common colds or cough. But life here in Canada (or anywhere really) can be very hectic, there are days when I don’t have any time nor energy to prepare for work lunch/ snack. I just grab whatever I can or end up going to fast food restaurants and eat whatever looks or smells good, even if it’s unhealthy. The everyday stress also affects our quality of rest and sleep, so it goes without saying that the immune system is affected as well.  That’s the reason why I take vitamins on a regular basis. It’s been my practice even before this pandemic to stock up on Vitamin C ( for healthy immune system ), Multivitamins ( for overall health ), Zinc ( for healthy skin, immune function ),  Omega 3 ( for cardiovascular health ) , Ginkgo Biloba ( for improved cognitive function and memory ) and Vitamin B Complex ( for metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates ).

Here are more reasons why I believe that vitamins are important.. especially now with Covid-19 pandemic.

Vitamins are substances that are required in very small amounts, for healthy growth and development. They occur naturally in certain foods but are not synthesized by humans and therefore it is essential to include in the diet. Vitamins are either water soluble of fat soluble. In adequate intake of any particular vitamin in the diet causes specific vitamin deficiency disease. Vitamin supplements are taken to correct inadequate intake in diet and to treat deficiency.

With the continuous threat of Covid-19 infection on us.. having a healthy body and mind is very important. A strong immune system is what we should aim for all the time, not just in the midst of a global pandemic.

Because 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 top four vitamins that can help prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses

Vitamin C

Generally, vitamin C can help you fight a cold faster or ease your cold symptoms if you were taking it prior to getting sick. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help reduce inflammation—and lung inflammation is a severe symptom of COVID-19, which can lead to respiratory distress or even death. So if you’re still healthy, it doesn’t hurt to start taking vitamin C now.

Rationale for Using Vitamin C in Patients With COVID-19

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that is thought to have beneficial effects in patients with severe and critical illnesses. It is an antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has anti-inflammatory properties, influences cellular immunity and vascular integrity, and serves as a cofactor in the generation of endogenous catecholamines. Because humans may require more vitamin C in states of oxidative stress, vitamin C supplementation has been evaluated in numerous disease states, including serious infections and sepsis. Because serious COVID-19 may cause sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the potential role of high doses of vitamin C in ameliorating inflammation and vascular injury in patients with COVID-19 is being studied.

Vitamin D

The primary function of vitamin D is to help your body maintain optimal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous, which you can get through exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, or through supplements and the foods you eat.

Getting enough vitamin D can also protect you from respiratory infection. Vitamin D supplementation significantly decreases the chance of respiratory tract infections, based on clinical studies published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics.

This “sunshine vitamins” is tough to come by in the winter months but can also be found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and trout. It’s also found in lesser quantities in fortified milk, milk alternatives, and eggs.

 

B Complex Vitamins

Vitamin B6 is essential to keeping your immune system in top condition. Be sure to get enough vitamin B as a supplement, as part of your daily diet (you can easily get your daily intake from fortified cereals) or in a multivitamin.

Vitamin B complex contains all the vitamins in the B group. The B vitamins are related to each other and work closely in your body. For this reason, having all the B vitamins in your body helps your body work better.

There are many B complex supplements. They all have different amounts of the common B vitamins. Some also contain vitamin C and bioflavonoids. These are often called B complex with C.

The B complex includes: Thiamin (B-1), Riboflavin (B-2), Niacin (B-3), Pantothenic acid (B-5), Pyridoxine (B-6), Folic acid (B-9), Cobalamin (B-12).

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral. It is called an “essential trace element” because very small amounts of zinc are necessary for human health. Since the human body does not store excess zinc, it must be consumed regularly as part of the diet. Common dietary sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, and fish. Zinc deficiency can cause short stature, reduced ability to taste food, and the inability of testes and ovaries to function properly.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): While zinc may have benefit for the common cold and other airway infections, there is no good evidence to support using it for COVID-19. Follow healthy lifestyle choices and proven prevention methods instead.
Zinc is needed for the proper growth and maintenance of the human body. It is found in several systems and biological reactions, and it is needed for immune function, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function, and much more. Meats, seafood, dairy products, nuts, legumes, and whole grains offer relatively high levels of zinc.

Protect yourself from the dreaded Covid-19 virus by following safety protocols. Check out my blog on the ideal face mask to use when you’re wearing eyeglasses, cannot breath and talk well using the face hugging cloth masks and if you’d like an extra layer of protection with the copper content of the mask that kills viruses/ microbes in 4 hours.

 

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