Did we think we’d be here, in 2022, still writing about COVID-19? Nope, but thanks to the latest variant Omicron, we’re eager to show our immune systems a little TLC.
No matter how much we wish it did, all the supplements and vitamins in the world aren’t going to completely cure or prevent us from contracting COVID-19. However, it’s still as important as ever to ensure we are keeping our bodies fighting fit.
As the symptoms of coronavirus typically mimic those of the flu (think fevers, sore throats and dry coughs), supplements like vitamin C, D and even zinc will work to enhance our immune system and better prepare us to fight respiratory illnesses.
And at the very least? It’s a bit of peace of mind. “Right now, if you’re concerned about catching the coronavirus or any other virus, taking a basic multivitamin every day is a safe way to potentially ensure you’re not deficient in any area [of basic vitamins/minerals],” said Dr. Tod Cooperman to Everyday Health. Not only that, “eating well, getting good sleep, and exercising will also help keep you [stay] as healthy as possible and keep your immune system strong,” he said.
So after consulting with your doctor, here are three nutrients and minerals that’ll help boost your immune system and keep your body in top form to fight any viruses that may come its way.
Antioxidants like vitamin C work to support your immune system and fight disease. A deficiency in vitamin C has long been associated with poor immunity and a higher risk of contracting infections. In more severe cases, a deficiency could lead to pneumonia or scurvy.
As a means of preventing respiratory illnesses, a study via the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews assessed marathon runners, skiers, and army troops who exercised intensely in very cold temperatures, and found that a supplement intake of 200 mg of vitamin C every day reduced the chance of contracting a cold by 50 per cent.
Better yet? Try incorporating vegetables high in vitamin C like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower into your diet.
If you’re blessed with year-round sunshine, skip over this. But for those who aren’t getting their adequate amount of UV rays (safely of course) a vitamin D deficiency might be on the cards.
Low levels of vitamin D are often associated with frequent colds and respiratory conditions. In fact, during a trial published by BMJ, it was found that vitamin D reduced the odds of respiratory infection by 42 per cent in people who were deficient at the commencement of the study.
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in the healthy functioning of our eyesight, brain development, immune system and wound healing. It even helps to promote the health of sperm.
As for its links to COVID-19? While there are no studies to prove its direct impact, zinc has long been touted as a method for warding off the common cold, particularly when taken within the first 24 hours of symptoms and even more so in the form of a throat lozenge like the Nature’s Way Zinc Lozenge with Vitamin C ($6.40, iHerb) which is said to work by inhibiting virus activity in the throat just as the infection is beginning to spread.
However, as our bodies only need a minimal amount of zinc, it’s important to consult your doctor to ensure you are only consuming the amount required.
Do you take any supplements? If so, which ones?