Many people have been turning to vitamins and supplements to boost their immune system since Covid has prolonged its stay!
Caring for an elderly mother, I am more tuned in to ensuring that both mums and my health are well taken care of, ensuring we receive the right nutrition both via the foods we eat and the supplements we take. We must remember that supplements are an ‘addition’ to eating a healthy and balanced diet and not a replacement. So many people rely on just taking supplements without ensuring their body receives the right nutrition through natural foods (vegetables, fruits, beans etc).
Here are some tips to help you along this journey naturally and how I get my day started off:
- My morning starts off early, usually around 5.30/6am with some meditation and reflection time, getting ready for the day ahead.
- AM: A glass of water to hydrate the body first thing (after brushing my teeth 🙂
- AM: A fresh glass of juice, usually made from celery, ginger, turmeric & lemon. When I use Ginger & Turmeric, I use the fresh root and these are excellent natural Immune boosters as well as natural Anti-inflammatory supplements.
- AM: Recently I have got into starting off the day with a ‘Bulletproof‘ coffee. Bulletproof coffee combines coffee, made from high quality beans, grass fed butter and a medium chain triglyceride (MCT), such as that derived from coconut oil. I buy MCT oil and only use this with my coffee without the butter. I put 2 tsp in my coffee and enjoy it after my juice. When you do start this, start off gradually (i.e. 1/2 tsp MCT oil first week and then build it up gradually so the body can adjust) as it does have a detox effect. The benefits of this are increased energy levels and detoxing the system. I don’t recommend this as an ongoing daily routine however like anything, it is a good way to the body a boost when you need some time to detox and cleanse.
- As my morning started off early, by the time I have enjoyed my morning ‘drinks’ routine, it takes me to about 10am. Depending on my activities for that day, I will usually enjoy a brunch style meal at this time. My brunch may vary from a bowl of warming porridge topped with berries, banana and nut butter to a full vegan English (sausages, tofu scramble, beans, tomatoes and mushrooms). If I am on the move, I will make up a smoothie to enjoy on the go packed with a variety of fruits, veggies (mostly green leaves), super-greens powder, protein powder, plant-based milk &/or yoghurt and seeds.
- Again, depending on what I have planned for the day, I usually make preparations first thing in the morning for our main meal of the day. We enjoy one main meal a day hence I love to make it as nutritious and tasty as possible hence some preparation needs to take place so that when we come to enjoy it, it is quick and easy to cook and create.
- PM: We normally enjoy lunch around 2-3pm and this is our main meal of the day.
- PM: Throughout the day, I make a note of the amount of water I drink as I do try to enjoy at least 8 glasses (2 litres) of water every day. This not only hydrates the body, it is great for general health, hair, skin & nails.
- PM: At around 6.30pm, if we get peckish, we always have some soup or salad to hand. We try to keep the body light in the evening as our activity levels are significantly reduced. If we feel like it, we also enjoy some fruits however try not to eat anything after 7pm.
- PM: I am usually in bed by 11pm (if I don’t crash out before 🙂 and ensure that all my gadgets are switched to ‘airplane mode’ so I am not ‘buzzed’ awake unnecessarily!
VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS
I do take a variety of additional vitamins and supplements to help boost my immune system and general overall health however please do check with your doctor as to what your body may need as you don’t want to over burden your body unnecessarily. Having regular blood test carried out will also highlight what you may (or may not) need so ask your doctors office for this.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body can’t produce it yet, it has many roles and has been linked to impressive health benefits. It’s water-soluble and found in many fruits and vegetables including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach. It is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defences. Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system.
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight (which unfortunately we don’t see a lot of here in the UK!). You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood. Vitamin D has several important functions, the most vital being absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. You can get your levels checked through having blood tests carried out.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. It plays several important roles in the health of your body and brain. However, you may not be getting enough of it, even if you eat a healthy diet. Its many functions include helping with muscle and nerve function, regulating blood pressure, and supporting the immune system.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak. Vitamin B12 is also essential for anyone following a plant-based through supplements or fortified foods.
Zinc is needed for DNA synthesis, immune function, metabolism and growth. It may reduce inflammation and your risk of some age-related diseases
**As with anything, all our bodies are different and we all have different ailments therefore it is always recommended to check with your doctor or medical practitioner before starting any new health/supplement regime.