Global Pandemic. This is our current situation in the fight against Covid-19 – the virus that’s capturing all headlines. In the midst of the panic, we’re reminded of big Hollywood movies where the world grapples with a plague or viral pandemic as zombies take-over.
Don’t worry, this isn’t doomsday. With a mix of information available, it’s easy to get swept-up in the panic. So, let’s take a look at the facts, and see what we can do to help support a healthy immune system and increase our chances of staying fit and healthy.
What is coronavirus?
Covid-19 belongs to the coronavirus family, so named because of its crown shape. These can trigger illnesses ranging from common colds to more severe respiratory diseases.
Recently, it’s been suggested that those affected by Covid-19 fit into 4 broad categories.
1 – Those showing no symptoms
2 – Those with a mild respiratory infection showing signs of a cough, fever and sometimes a headache and conjunctivitis.
3 – A large group develop flu-like symptoms, the type that would usually keep them off work.
4 – Finally, the smallest minority could develop serious complications.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
While researchers are working hard to control the coronavirus outbreak, there are certain measures we can take to safeguard our health and powerhouse our immune system. A strong immune system increases our resistance to most disease, including common colds, flu and other viral infection such as coronavirus.
1. Load-up on Vitamin C
Vitamin C has a major regulatory role on our body and it’s essential in supporting a healthy immune system. Recent studies show that vitamin C could even reduce the length of time it takes to recover from a cold. It’s currently being tested on Coronavirus patients in China!
As our body can’t store most vitamins, it’s SUPER important to get sufficient amounts through our diet on a daily basis. We’re in luck here as clementines and oranges are very much in season!
We also suggest a cup of lemon water first thing in the morning. Reap double benefits as this supports both a healthy immune and digestive system.
Alternatively, if citrus fruit isn’t your thing, you can easily ramp-up your vitamin C levels with oral supplements or well-balanced multivitamins. We have these widely available in our Brentwood clinic if you’re looking to get your hands on some.
Garlic is one of those superfoods that is seriously underrated and tends to be overshadowed by other more exotic or colourful foods, but don’t underestimate its powerful benefits.
Also known as the Nectar of Gods, garlic contains potent medicinal properties thanks to the active ingredient – allicin, which is also responsible for its strong smell. It’s known to fight bacteria and promote healthy circulation and immune function. A recent study followed a large group of people supplementing their diet with allicin. They found that this control group was less likely to get a cold and recovered 70% faster if infected!
Cooking tip! It seems that more allicin is released when you crush garlic instead of chopping it.
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. Coronavirus might be out there but this isn’t an excuse to give-up your fitness routine and become a couch potato. Spring has sprung and you can still go for a run or walk in the fresh air. Among other vital benefits, exercise improves cardiovascular health and protects against a variety of diseases. In promoting good circulation, it may even help immune related cells and substances to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
If you are self-isolating then get in the garden or try some home yoga – you can check out some of our guided stretches here.
In our rush to find an antidote, we forget that certain patterns can also weaken our immune response. Stress is one of them! It can increase blood pressure, but it can also significantly suppress our immune system by destroying immune cells. This makes us the perfect host for diseases such as flu and Covid-19.
Check out this blog for more stress-related info.
It’s easy to stress with coronavirus lurking around, especially if you, or someone you know, is at greater risk due to age or an underlying condition. Our advice is to follow the basic preventative measures outlined but don’t obsess over the number of affected cases. Make the most of this time to be in the present and focus on health, wellness and more positive things in life.
Humans are very tactile – we want to touch almost everything we see.
There’s a lot hype around washing your hands lately, and avoiding touching your face. This super simple and basic habit is the main protective barrier against spreading germs. It’s been proven that washing your hands for 15-30 seconds is best practice.
In times like these it is SO important to focus on health, wellness and strengthening our own immune system. In doing so you’re protecting yourself and those most vulnerable.
You can find more info on the current situation and guidelines here