The Nutrient Responsible for 3 Times Better COVID Outcomes
A couple of Brazil nuts a day might need to be added to your apple a day. ;)
“In the populations that had the highest levels (of selenium), they had three times better cure rates for COVID-19 than the lowest levels. The populations with the lowest level of Selenium died five times as much as the ones with the highest levels. - Dr. Mark Hyman
Our immune system is our body’s armor, and it is built by our nutrition and lifestyle habits. Want a stronger immune system? Cultivate it with vital nutrients and stress management.
Research on patients with COVID-19 have found that severity and mortality are higher in patients with selenium and vitamin D deficiencies. These two nutrients along with zinc have also been recognized for their important role in overall viral resistance and immune function. In this article we will explore why these and other nutrients are vital to promoting immune health and strength.
Selenium can inhibit viruses from entering healthy cells, as well as decrease infectivity. It can also enhance the function of immune cells responsible for defending the body against intruders. Research suggests selenium might be protective against the COVID-19 virus, and impact severity of symptoms as well as cure rates and mortality. Food sources of selenium include oysters, Brazil nuts, halibut, yellowfin tuna, eggs, sardines, sunflower seeds, chicken breast, shiitake mushrooms, and beef.
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with higher rates of fatality, acute respiratory failure, and overall severity of symptoms in COVID-19 patients. In the United States, patients with low levels of this vital nutrient were more likely to be hospitalized than people who were not deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin d stimulates the production of host defense peptides, improves the body’s physical barriers against viruses and intruders, and may also help prevent cytokine storms. Sources of vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel as well as beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and of course sunlight.
Zinc is another must-have in your immune health arsenal. Besides reducing the severity of and duration of the common cold, emerging research also suggests that zinc may offer protection against COVID-19. Research is still ongoing, however it has been found that in general zinc plays an important role in a strong immune system as well as in maintaining mucous membranes and managing symptoms of common cold viruses. Food sources of zinc include red meat, nuts, fish, dairy products, and beans. It is important to note that plant-based sources of zinc are not as absorbable by the body, as is common of many vital nutrients, so additional supplementation may be required if you are on a plant-based diet.
Vitamin C has been included in the treatment of many COVID-19 patients - with positive results. This powerful antiviral agent improves immunity, decreases viral yield, increases antiviral cytokines, and reduces symptoms of acute respiratory distress. The administering of vitamin C to COVID-19 patients has been associated with increased survival rates. Some of our favorite sources of vitamin C include oranges, peppers, strawberries, black currants, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and potatoes.
Melatonin does more than just boost sleep. It has also been found to reduce lung inflammation, as well as reduce the risk of fibrotic scarring, which is one of the major complications associated with COVID-19. Food sources of melatonin include tart cherries, goji berries, eggs, milk, fish, and nuts. Children should not take melatonin without a physician’s approval, as melatonin is a hormone.
“People need to be doing things like regular and healthy eating, regular and healthy exercise, and regular and healthy stress management… If we’re healthy, our bodies are better adapted to handle microbial insults than if we’re overweight and overly stressed.” - Dr. Ian Tullberg
In addition to nutrition, stress management and exercise also play an important role in immune system health. One quick and easy way to manage stress is acupuncture!
Acupuncture involves the use of tiny, thin needles to stimulate points on the body and encourage the flow of energy. This in turn triggers nerves to transmit impulses to the brain, specifically the hypothalamic-pituitary system, which is responsible for the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters. Acupuncture has also been found to balance blood hormone levels, drastically lowering levels of peptides that induce stress and anxiety. An acupuncture treatment typically takes 30-60 minutes, and most patients experience relief as well as a sense of well being after the first treatment.
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