Can you really boost your immune system and enhance your body’s ability to fight contagious illnesses?

The answer is a resounding yes!

How Does Coronavirus Affect the Body?

Coronavirus is officially known as SARS-COV-2. The “SARS” in its official name stands for sudden acute respiratory syndrome.

Step 1: Once the virus enters your body, it attaches to the epithelial cells (the cells that make up the lining on the inside of your lungs) and begins replicating.

Step 2: Your immune system is alerted to these foreign invaders and launches an attack – deploying immune cells and a cocktail of chemical messengers preparing the body to fight.

Step 3: In an exaggerated response to the virus, your body releases too many chemical messengers called cytokines too quickly – resulting in what’s known as a “cytokine storm”.

Step 4: As these cytokines and immune cells flood into the tissues of the lungs, it causes uncontrolled inflammation which leads to oxidative injury and damage to the alveolar-capillary barrier (the membrane where gas is exchanged in your lungs).

Step 5: This combination inhibits your body’s ability to move mucus out of the lungs and essentially halts its ability to properly transport oxygen to the rest of your tissues.

Can You Really Boost Your Immune System?

Your immune system is a complicated network of specialized cells, chemical messengers, tissues, organs, and glands that work together to protect your body from harmful foreign invaders. In order for your immune system to perform to the best of its ability, it needs to be balanced – meaning, it’s not overactive or underactive.

The value of “boosting” or strengthening your immune system is to give your body the nourishment it needs to maintain a balanced immune response. There’s not one single way to strengthen your immune system – it requires a total balanced approach to give your immune system all the support it needs. 

Reducing inflammation is vital to your immune health and gut health is a major key as 80% of our immune cells live in our gut.

VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is particularly important when it comes to immune function. Vitamin D impacts immunity by:

• Activates and regulates your immune response
• Enhancing the function of specialized immune cells like T-cells and macrophages that attack foreign invaders.
• Provides anti-inflammatory properties
Low levels of vitamin D have been directly linked to an increased risk of respiratory infections and the development of acute respiratory failure.

Foods: Pastured raised organic eggs, cheese, mushrooms, fatty fish- salmon, liver and fermented cod liver oil, exposure to sunlight is important too.

Vitamin A
Maintains the structure of the cells in the respiratory tract and gut and forms a barrier which is your body’s first line of defense. Foods- nuts, seeds, amaranth (red or green), oily fish, egg yolks, cheese, liver, dark leafy green vegetables(spinach and kale) and yellow/orange vegetables like pumpkin and carrots contain beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A.

Vitamin B 
vitamins play a role in converting food into energy, create new blood cells and increase the production and activity of our “natural killer” cells.
Foods- eggs, chickpeas, dark leafy green veggies, salmon, beef, liver, oranges, sweet potatoes, whole grains, bananas, lentils, avocados, and almonds.

Vitamin C
High dose IV Vitamin C has shown promise in treatment of COVID-19
Foods: Guava, kiwi, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, papaya, broccoli, tomato, kale, grapefruit, persimmon, spinach, pineapple.

Quercetin
Laboratory and animal studies have shown that quercetin may inhibit a wide variety of viruses, including a coronavirus. In mice injected with influenza, quercetin was shown to restore diminished concentrations of many antioxidants in the lungs including catalase, reduced glutathione, and superoxide dismutase. Researchers concluded that quercetin may support antioxidant capacity and protect lung tissues.
Foods: Leafy green vegetables, broccoli, red onions, peppers, apples, grapes, black tea, green tea, red wine

Glutathione
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found in most cells in your body. Glutathione plays a few major roles in immune function by:
• Acting as a signaling molecule – restoring balanced inflammation levels by regulating immune system response
• It reduces oxidative injury and neutralizes oxidative stress.

There are several ways you can boost your glutathione levels: Decrease your overall toxic burden, Limit alcohol consumption and eat an antioxidant-rich diet- color of the rainbow.

Zinc and Selenium These minerals are needed for immune cell growth.Zinc is important for an individual’s ability to mount an adequate immune response to infections. Shown to be effective in blocking viruses from multiplying.
Foods- shellfish, chickpeas, lentils, hemp, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, almonds, potatoes, dark chocolate.

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidative stress and helps defend your body from chronic conditions. It is an anti-viral. Food- Brazil nuts, tuna, shellfish, eggs, sunflower seeds, and shiitake mushrooms.

Coconut oil
Coconut oil is generally considered anti-viral. The compounds in coconut oil lauric acid and the derivative monolaurin impair viral replication and break down the lipid envelope of viruses.

Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus 

A primary characteristic of any infection at the cellular level is increased oxidative stress.   We must also address hormone imbalances, chronic infections, detoxification, gut function, and optimize levels of Vitamin D to assure a strong immune system. We must also manage our mental stress.
 
Prioritizing your health and keeping your immune system healthy is one of the most powerful ways to protect yourself. Implementing some of the immune-boosting tips outlined above along with maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, is one of your best defenses.

BWell Always,

Bridget

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