At Tacoma Elder Care, your safety and security are one of our biggest priorities.
As part of our commitment to helping you through these challenging times, we want to share important information you may find interesting or relevant. Here is some basic information about how to stay healthy and boost your immune system.
During these challenging times, Bob Michaels is available for consultations in person, by phone, or using Zoom or Skype. Please contact Bob HERE to request a meeting.
Bonus tips for strengthening your immune system during the COVID-19 crisis.
Preparation is power, and there are some vitamins and supplements that can support your immune health. They don’t hold any special magical powers against COVID-19, but they can help your immune system do its job.
COVID-19 is still relatively new, but we do know this, according to the CDC:
Certain vitamins, minerals, and other supplements can support your immune system, even though they haven’t been researched for their impact on COVID-19 specifically.
“Our bodies burn through vitamin C at a much faster rate when we’re fighting off a pathogen,” says explains Dr. Heather Tynan, a naturopathic physician. “It’s a water-soluble vitamin, so we need to take it regularly. The tolerable daily intake for adults is 2,000 milligrams, and if you take more than that, you might get diarrhea.
“Vitamin C is necessary for proper functioning of the epithelial barrier, which helps keep bad bugs from getting in in the first place, as well as a number or immune cells,” adds Tynan. Your adrenal glands also release vitamin C when you’re stressed, so you may need more of it during tough times.
Citrus fruits, broccoli, and bell peppers can help you load up on vitamin C.
Research shows that, for adults, taking a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 to 2,000 IU can help prevent respiratory infections like the common cold, says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist.
While there’s no proof this prevents COVID-19, “we’ve known for a while that vitamin D is helpful for immunity,” she adds.
Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, Tynan recommends asking your healthcare provider to check your base levels before deciding on a supplement.
You can also get vitamin D from sunlight, mushrooms, fortified milk, fatty fish, and eggs.
“Zinc is one of the minerals most commonly associated with immune health — not surprising, considering the many immune cells it affects,” explains Tynan.
The “gatekeeper” of your immune system, zinc helps both innate (built-in) and acquired immunity, and a deficiency can lead to impaired immune function. Zinc has been shown to help reduce the duration of the common cold, but again, there’s no research on zinc and COVID-19.
Oysters are the food richest in this mineral, followed by beef, crab, and lobster.
Most of our immune system resides in our gut, explains Tynan, “so having a healthy microbiome is of utmost importance when it comes to having well-functioning immunity.”
The healthiest microbiome (the “good” bacteria that populate your gut) is “the one with the greatest diversity of beneficial microorganisms,” she adds. There’s no single best strain or brand, she says.
Opt for probiotic food sources, especially fermented ones like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso paste, yogurt, and kombucha.
Selenium is an essential mineral that acts as a powerful antioxidant in your body. Within your immune system, it produces a type of protein that’s used to fight pathogens and helps certain types of immune cells function optimally, explains Tynan.
Selenium deficiencies have been linked to slower immune responses and impaired immune cell functioning.
The easiest and tastiest way to get your daily value of selenium (55 micrograms) is by eating a couple of Brazil nuts a day. Fatty fish and organ meats also contain this mineral.
Tynan says vitamin A is an antioxidant that gets an “honorable mention” for immune health. She recommends getting beta-carotene (which our bodies convert into vitamin A) from whole foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and other yellow and orange fruits and veggies.
Vitamin A is fat-soluble, so you can overdo it, since your body stores extra in your tissues. “It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor first,” Tynan says.
She also gives the antioxidant vitamin E an honorable mention for immune function. This is another fat-soluble vitamin that’s best sourced through foods, according to Tynan.
Get your vitamin E from leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and avocado, among other sources.
Tips for a healthy immune system
These tips are good for everyone at any time but staying healthy during a pandemic is even more important. Here at Tacoma Elder Care our number one priority is to help you prepare for the kind of retirement you’ve always dreamed of having, so don’t let the events today deter your goals.
We encourage you to take this time to make sure you have all your important documents and a solid estate plan in place. Bob Michaels is available for phone or email consultations and has a system in place to manage all your necessary documents.
Contact us Today!