Have you been thinking a lot about your health recently? If so, you’re not the only one.
And not because your favorite gym is closed. No, chances are you’re thinking about your body’s immune system health...more specifically, about how well your body would respond to COVID-19.
Hey, it’s only natural to wonder. We humans are hardwired to dislike uncertainty!
While there are still many unknowns, we can state this for sure: a healthy immune system is better able to fight off viruses and infections than an unhealthy one. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of various foods, herbs, and supplements that have shown immune-boosting qualities; so that you can start practicing good health in a natural way.
All you health-conscious peeps out there probably already know how great coconut oil is.
And researchers in the Philippines are taking things a step further by focusing on the oil’s immune-boosting qualities. Here’s a quote straight from the source: “Given the considerable scientific evidence for the antiviral activity of coconut oil, lauric acid and its derivatives and their general safety, and the absence of a cure for [COVID-19], we urge that clinical studies be conducted among patients who have been infected with [COVID-19].”
You know how washing your hands with soap kills viruses by dissolving their external membranes? In non-sciency terms, it seems like coconut oil does the same thing. It’s like an internal antiviral soap! “Thormar and co-workers (1987) confirmed the ability of lauric acid and monolaurin [important fatty acids in coconut oil] to inactivate viruses by disintegration of the cell membrane,” explains the study’s authors.
How to Take | Opt for virgin or extra virgin varieties and build up to ingesting ~6 tablespoons per day. You can fry your food in it and/or add it to CBD bulletproof coffee.
Most commonly taken in the form of delicious elderberry syrup, this extract is one of the most powerful natural immunity-boosters out there. Elderberry extracts come from the elder tree, which is actually a shrub that Hippocrates once lovingly called his “medicine chest.”
Why is elderberry extract so effective? It’s an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, for one. Research shows the flavonoids in elderberry extract have powerful anti-microbial properties, even against influenza.
More research may be needed to show exactly how much extract is needed to have such effects — and just like many products in the CBD realm, elderberry extracts aren’t all that well standardized. So choose your product wisely.
How to Take | Select an all-natural or organic elderberry extract and take as directed.
Brazil nuts are an unusually good source of selenium. A single one of them contains over 100% of your RDA! The first thing to know about selenium is that it’s an essential mineral — your body can’t make it, so you need to get it from your diet.
What does selenium have to do with the immune system, you might ask? A lot. Though it’s not as well known as vitamin C, selenium is also a major antioxidant. Studies show that as a person’s selenium levels go up, so does their immune health. Conversely, selenium deficiencies have been tied to a weaker immune response. One rodent study found that influenza viruses actually became more aggressive in selenium-deficient mice.
How to Take | Safeguarding against selenium deficiency is as easy as eating a single brazil nut every day or two.
Vitamin C strengthens the immune system in several different ways. It’s surprisingly effective against the common cold...and that might not be its only virus-fighting benefit.
According to Dr. Andrew Saul, vitamin C makes reducing the risks associated with COVID-19 simple. It may support both the adaptive and innate immune systems. Indeed, clinical trials of IV vitamin C for coronavirus are currently being held in some parts of the world. Only time will tell what’s possible there!
How to Take | Opt for a high-quality (or better yet, liposomal) vitamin C supplement and take as directed.
Last but not least is hemp-derived CBD. Yes! It can boost your immune system. While we’ve talked a lot about this special compound already, did you know CBD may possess both antioxidant and immunoregulatory properties?
It’s true. It was once thought that CBD suppressed the immune system, but a comprehensive review from earlier this year says things aren’t so simple. According to its authors, CBD may:
- Reduce the inflammation caused by immune stress
- Stimulate the death of infectious/virus cells
- Reduce excess cytokine production
- Act as an antioxidant
How to Take | Consider sticking with your current CBD oil routine extra diligently.
A Risk-Free Approach
Remember, there’s no known cure for COVID-19. And we certainly aren’t claiming that any of the above will prevent you from getting it.
But the beauty of nutraceutical — even if they prove less effective than expected — is their lack of side effects and downsides. There’s no risk involved in giving an immune-booster or two a try! Maybe that cliche about “an ounce of prevention” really is true...