The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) presents many uncertainties, and none of us can completely eliminate our risk of getting it, but one thing we can do is take the necessary precautions.
If we do catch COVID-19, our immune system is responsible for fighting it. By boosting our immune system, we can keep strong and healthy, and in so doing, strengthen our defence against the global pandemic in which we find ourselves.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been given a lot of sound advice on how to combat this dreaded disease – from practising social distancing to sanitising our hands frequently. But not much airtime has been given to how to boost our immune systems. After all, if we are exposed to the virus, we need our bodies to be able to fight back!” says Catherine Clark, owner and founder of The Harvest Table.
If we do catch COVID-19, our immune system is responsible for fighting it.
She adds that according to the US's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, are at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. “This makes sense because as we age our immune systems grow weaker, which makes it more challenging for older adults to fight off infectious diseases. On the other hand, chronic diseases can compromise the immune system, and make people more vulnerable to serious complications.”
Catherine offers five ways to strengthen your defence against COVID-19 and boost your immune system:
- Hit snooze on that panic button: When you stressed, your immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced, making you more susceptible to infections. So, if you feeling a little stressed, consciously take time out to employ some calming or relaxing stress-reduction techniques.
- Look after your gut: Did you know that good immunity starts in your gut? Consider adding bone broth to your diet as it ensures a well-functioning digestive system as it is said to seal up holes, healing the lining, and nourishing the gut with important nutrients. You can make your own bone broth or buy Bone Broth powder which you can add to everything from soups and stews to water and even your morning coffee!
- Consume immune-boosting vitamins: Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system. Consider eating foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Alternatively, you can supplement with Blueberry Powder (freeze- dried blueberries) which is packed full of vitamin C and antioxidants, making this booster pure dynamite. Be wary of synthetic vitamin C supplements that could upset your system. Rather look for natural sources.
- Take anti-viral supplements: The antiviral properties of Maitake mushrooms (a mushroom that grows wild in parts of Japan, China and North America) were confirmed by the National Cancer Institute and the Japan Institute of Health in 1992. Maitake mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, beta-glucans, vitamins B and C, copper, potassium, fibre, minerals and amino acids and are known for their positive overall effect on immunity.
- Modulate your immune system: This means the regulatory adjustment of the immune system. Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant carotenoid, plays a major role in modulating the immune response. Astaxanthin is found in a product known as Collagen X and is 6 000 times stronger than vitamin C in terms of its antioxidant properties.
“While the above suggestions are not guaranteed to prevent you from contracting the virus, they are certainly ways you can keep your body in tiptop shape and ready face and fight whatever comes its way," says Catherine. "In addition to supplementing your diet, continue to implement all you’ve been taught about sanitisation and social distancing and together we can weather the COVID-19 storm."
By Catherine Clark, owner and founder of The Harvest Table