Boosting immunity in the COVID-19 era

Boosting immunity in the COVID-19 era

Coronavirus – not something we had heard of this time last year. Unless you are all about the science, or had some sort of inside ‘scoop’ on all this, you were no doubt in the gang of ‘didn’t see this coming’.

Whilst lots of people were buying loo roll and pasta, I was thinking over and over about all the ways I have been trying for years to boost our immunity. I was reading and researching and checking and making sure I had stocks of all the bits and bobs I thought would help – not stockpiling, just making sure we had enough. Vitamin C

Vitamin C was something I really struggled to get hold of at the start of lockdown. We normally buy the effervescent tablets you just pop one in a pint of water and it helps with hydration as well as your Vitamin C intake each day. These come in plastic tubes of 20 tablets. We had a couple of tubes in but it’s only been the last month that I’ve been able to buy these again. They were out of stock for weeks both online and in our local stores, so I guess lots of other people were doing the same. Vitamin D

Keeping our bones, muscles and teeth healthy is really important. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that regulates the intake of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, whilst also supporting a naturally effective immune system – helping to protect against infections.

The nutrient works to increase the production of antiviral proteins and also decreases ‘bad’ cytokines, the immune molecules that can cause dangerous inflammation in the body – it is our body’s inflammatory response that can lead to critical conditions, rather than viral infections themselves.

New research published in the Irish Medical Journal also suggests that vitamin D has a vital role to play in the fight against respiratory infections (such as coronavirus), and a further preliminary study on a cohort across 20 European countries has demonstrated a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and high mortality and COVID-19 infection rates.

Public Health England recently updated its guidance, urging the nation to consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement for the duration of the ‘stay home’ period, as many people will be exposed to much less sunlight by remaining indoors as we move into the springtime – when we would usually begin rebuilding healthy vitamin D stores.

Vitamin D deficiencies can present with many symptoms, yet these indications can often be attributed to other illness or lifestyle factors and can therefore go un-diagnosed. Symptoms include; catching frequent coughs and colds, bone ache or soreness, muscle stiffness, headaches, fatigue and even low mood.

For many people, supplementing vitamin D to maintain optimal levels is essential. However, using traditional methods of supplementation can be challenging – particularly for those with dysphagia, children and people who suffer from malabsorption issues, including; IBS, Chron’s, Colitis and Coeliac disease.

Pill-free supplementation, such as BetterYou’s DLux Vitamin D Oral Spray range, provides an effective alternative to traditional tablets and capsules. An oral spray delivers nutrients to the bloodstream via the buccal membrane of the inner cheek, offering a convenient supplementation solution.

These are so easy for the whole family to use. They are suitable for everyone and there is even a Vegan version, to ensure you cater to all needs. The spray tastes great and doesn’t leave an unpleasant after taste, meaning this gets a thumbs up from the whole family. Sambucol

Sambucol is something I’ve used with the family for a few years now. As Covid-19 continues to pose a significant challenge to our health and well-being, safeguarding our body’s own natural immunity has never been more important.

While it is really important to say that currently no research supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically, Sambucol can play an important role in supporting a healthy immune system, so it’s better prepared to fight new infection. Studies have shown that it acts by helping to regulate the inflammatory response, producing a low-level stimulation, which, in turn, activates our natural immune response.

Sambucol was developed over 20 years ago, by a leading virologist, who discovered that Black Elderberries had significant anti-viral and antioxidant properties. Via a unique formulation and extraction process, Sambucol has preserved and maximised the naturally occurring health benefits of the berries. Rich in antioxidants (anthocyanins), Sambucol provides a distinctive mode of action called AntiVirin®, which works via three simultaneous ways, it inactivates infectious viruses, helps protect healthy cells and boosts immunity.

Sambucol also contains Vitamin C , a well-known principle antioxidant, important for your immune system, which can help prevent or reverse cellular damage caused by free radicals – unstable molecules that can damage cells. Sambucol Immuno Forte range and Sambucol Extra Defence also have added Zinc . A deficiency in this nutrient has been shown to significantly affect the immune system’s ability to function properly, resulting in an increased risk of infection, including pneumonia. Juices and smoothies

While products like Sambucol offer tried and trusted immune support, healthy immunity can be attributed to general all-round good health. From a nutrition point of view, try to stick to a varied diet high in fruits and vegetables and wholegrains. Healthy sources of Omega 3, such as oily fish and dairy are important too.

If you aren’t that good at getting a range of fruit and vegetables into your daily diet, try to do this by juicing or blending smoothies . It’s possibly a new routine you could get into during this extra time at home? Increasing energy levels

If you are looking to give yourself a natural energy boost as well as build up your immunity, you could give some Ginseng a go. Change up your morning coffee routine to a healthier alternative proven to build your immune system while adding a spring to your step.

The amount of natural health supplements available can be overwhelming but with thousands of years of use across the world, herbal supplements should form part of our well-being routine.

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