By now, many of us would have heard of the Coronavirus and how it continues to spread across the country and abroad. But what exactly is coronavirus? Coronavirus produce respiratory-like symptoms like cold or flu with symptoms including coughing, fever, congestion, headaches, body aches and sore throat. This then develops into a viral pneumonia which is transmitted person-to-person as it is an airborne disease.
If you are looking to keep the virus away, you are going to need a strong immune system. Our immune system is a complex network of cells and organs that protects the body from disease-causing germs. However, sometimes it fails, and this makes us ill. Yes, you can get a flu shot, wash your hands regularly and wear masks, but these aren’t the only ways to stay safe & healthy. Never underestimate the power of your diet. The foods you eat have a great impact on your immune system – either they are strengthening it or weakening it.
So, what should you eat/drink to strengthen immunity in times like this?
1. Vitamin C-rich Superfoods
Most people have less-than-ideal Vitamin C & A levels. Can Vitamin protect against coronavirus? – please read this recent release by the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine.
Vitamin C is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an antioxidant which helps protect your immune cells against harmful compounds formed in response to viral or bacterial infections.
Studies have shown that it is more useful to increase intake of Vitamin C from plant foods rather than supplements, as they contain beneficial compounds that supplements do not contain in order to optimize absorption in the body.
A wonderful example of a Vitamin-C superfood derived from whole foods is the Camu-Camu Berry Powder. The Camu Camu Berry has about 30-50 times more vitamin C than an orange by weight. Raw Camu-Camu Berry powder contains a full spectrum of naturally-occurring antioxidants, amino acids (such as serine, valine, and leucine) and bioflavonoids (such as quercetin, rutin, ellagic acid, catechins, flavonols, among others) which promote the optimal absorption of Vitamin C in the body.
As many adults are not able to meet the daily serves of fruits/vegetables due to long working hours, Nature’s Superfoods Camu-Camu powder is an excellent and convenient way to top up our daily requirements of natural vitamin C.
If you are generally healthy, simply mix ½ teaspoon (2g) into a cup of water/smoothie/juice daily – two servings in a day. However, if you feel like you are already catching a cold or getting a viral infection, increase your intake to 2 teaspoons (8g) for an immune-boosting effect. Camu-camu powder does not taste great but it surely is effective in boosting the Vitamin C levels in your body.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Spices
The healing power of spices (anti-inflammatory and as strong antioxidants) like Turmeric and Ginger have been known for centuries and it is now growing in popularity in terms of being a natural treatment for infections and diseases.
All you need to do is add ½-1 teaspoon (1-3g) of Turmeric Powder or Ginger Powder into your diet. This can be done by making turmeric scrambled eggs , turmeric/ginger smoothies, golden milk or even a Turmeric Yoghurt ‘Lassi’ drink. Ginger Powder (half teaspoon each time) tastes great with a glass of warm water with honey.
3. Unsweetened Organic Teas
Teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that help protect against viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms that can cause health problems. Particularly, green tea is the best drink known to boost the immune system. It introduces a specific type of flavonoid knowns as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) into the body that helps fight bacteria and prevent viruses from multiplying.
Matcha tea is not your typical green tea. Although it is derived from the same plant Camellia sinensis, Matcha contains much more nutrients than the typical green tea; 1 cup of Matcha tea is equivalent to 10-15 cups of typical green tea in terms of beneficial nutrients. Matcha tea contains excellent amounts of antioxidant polyphenols, including flavanols, flavonoids and phenolic acid while also containing amino acids, such as L-theanine and theophylline which aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in the body. It also provides substantial quantities of potassium, vitamin A & C, iron, protein and calcium. To make a cup of Matcha tea for daily consumption, just add ½ tsp (1g) of Nature’s Superfoods Matcha powder to about 150ml of water at about 80 °C and stir well.
4. Hydrate With Good, Old-fashioned Water
Keep your throat moist at all times – viruses can easily invade your body through a dried-up throat membrane.
In addition to the dietary recommendations above, there are also other important things you can do to protect yourself such as getting enough sleep and rest while also managing your stress levels which can weaken the immune system. Cutting down on pro-inflammatory foods such as refined sugars, sugary drinks, fried foods, highly processed foods, and upping your intake of leafy vegetables & fruits are also great ways to treat your immune system well. Please do whatever it takes to boost your body’s defense mechanism! Stay safe.