How Can We Help Ourselves in These Desperate Times?
It’s everywhere. The global pandemic of Corona Virus nCOVID 19 is upon us and we are all looking for leadership in these troubling times. Whether it’s hand sanitiser or the basic necessities, we are all having trouble accessing the things we need. This can lead to panic and an increase in stress levels.
Apart from the government advice to
- Stay Home
- Protect the NHS
- Save Lives
Here are a few things you can do to help yourself and naturally boost your immune response.
It is certainly true that Vitamin C plays a key role in immunity. Deficiency can lead to a higher susceptibility of a cold or virus. Try to take 1-2g of Vitamin C daily preferably in natural form will help boost your immune system. While it has not been proven to ward off infections, it may be helpful in reducing the severity and duration of infections. When ill, our bodies need almost double the amount of Vitamin C, so consuming large amounts when you do have an infection could be beneficial in reducing the length of time you are suffering by as much as 8% as an adult.
2. Physical Activity
While we are in ‘lock down’ in the UK we are allowed to do some physical exercise – and there is a good reason for this. Physical activity is a prime way to prime and rejuvenate immunity. Keeping our muscle active releases high levels of a specific chemical called interleukin 7 (IL-7) into the blood which helps prevent shrinking of the Thymus gland which produces T cells – the master controllers of the immune system.
3. Avoid Drinking Alcohol.
Alcohol affects sleep and sleep disruption is known to raise the risk of catching a cold or the flu. Alcohol can also harm the gut bacteria which benefit our immunity, and affects the function of the immune -regulating Liver
4. Zinc Supplements
Zinc is an essential mineral that’s needed by every cell in the body. It is important in the normal development of cells that are involved in immunity. Zinc is not stored in the body so regular intake is vital. Men need about 5.5-6.5mg per day and women 4-7mg per day. Zinc can be found in a range of foods such as meat, milk, eggs, fish, chick peas, baked beans, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, dried figs.
5. Try not to Worry
These are exception times so to lead with a sub heading try not to worry seems a little foolish. The evidence is however, that psychological stress does dampen your immune response and will make you more susceptible to infection. Take a step back. Limit the amount of time you watch the news bombarding yourself with information overload and anxiety. Recognise that we need to know what’s going on – but journalists have a job to do filling air time and newspaper columns, you don’t need to watch every minute – and if you have the cornovirus meter on your web browser, stop looking at it.
Now most of us have some time on our hands, why not take up something relaxing? Put on a nice piece of music, try meditation and breathing techniques, put on a show on TV that has a comedy element. Laughter releases good chemicals in your body and lowers this stress chemicals.
Stay calm, stay well. Together as a community we can all get through this.