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As a nutritionist I am being bombarded with questions about how to naturally support immunity. My initial concern is how the public are reacting and their hierarchy of needs so to speak – toilet roll and pasta are certainty not the key ‘must haves’ when it comes to fighting this virus. 
In many ways as a country we have been lucky to have time to prepare our immunity before this virus hits our towns , however I’m seeing very little proactive behaviour in this area. 
Below I’m going to give some tips on how to boost your immunity – clearly prevention is better than cure but if the inevitable happens then give your body the best fighting chance. 
Linus Pauling was a 20th-century American chemist and biochemist, amongst other things. Although awarded the highly respected Nobel Prize in Chemistry, his work on vitamin C generated much controversy. Claims that high dose vitamin C intake could work miracles with colds for example, were widely criticised within the health and scientific communities and he was branded as a ‘quack’. 
However, the Chinese have recently proven at the Zhongnan Hospital high dose Vit C is an effective method to treat the Coronavirus, this is not about cure - it’s about improving the bodies ability to fight. 
Most research shows that taking one or two grams of vitamin C supplements daily reduces the severity of a cold by decreasing the effects of irritating symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat and coughing. It has additionally been shown to reduce a cold’s duration by 1-1.5 days. 
Not just Vitamin C 
Gut Health 
Over 70% of the immune system resides in the lining of the gut and is supported by a diverse community of bacteria. Beneficial species of gut bacteria have been shown to influence both the innate and acquired immune systems. Probiotics have been shown to significantly shorten common colds and reduce the severity of symptoms. 
Mushrooms but think out the box! 
Chaga mushrooms are an antioxidant powerhouse, making them excellent contenders for fighting free radicals and inflammation. 
Turkey tail contains a compound called polysaccharide-K (PSK) that stimulates the immune system. PSK is so effective that it’s an approved anticancer prescription drug in Japan. 
Turmeric: Turmeric is a natural way to help bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. Try adding extra turmeric into your diet or supplement regime during periods of stress or during flu season to help give your immune system a little boost 
Ginger: provides antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action to relieve the unfavourable symptoms of flu. 
Apple cider vinegar: has anti-viral and probiotic properties which are brilliant at boosting your immune system. Can also be used as a mid gargle mixed with water. 
Should I supplement? 
Elderberry syrup proven to be beneficial for reducing symptoms of the flu and the common cold. 
N-Acetyl cysteine: Boost the body’s production of glutathione – a master antioxidant works alongside the detoxification of the liver. 
Zinc: plays an important role in the function and proliferation of various immune cells. Multiple studies have shown low levels of zinc are associated with increased risk of infections such as pneumonia. The body doesn’t have much ability to store zinc so it’s crucial that your daily diet supplies plenty of this immune-boosting mineral. Good sources are meat, chickpeas & lentils, pumpkin and sesame seeds. 
Fresh air: 
Did you know that exposure to fresh air could help to generate the bacteria needed to fight off harmful pathogens? A pathogen is the first link in the chain of an infection, and the only way they can be stopped is to have a host of good bacteria defending your body. Getting your daily dose of fresh air is sometimes enough to help bolster your immune system and fight off pathogens. 
And finally… be kind 
‘ Now more than ever we need to adopt an infinite mindset, opportunism, selfish and panic hurts us all in the long term, let’s be generous, apply selflessness and navigate this together.’ 
Simon Sinek 
For any further hints and tips I can be contacted at 360 wellbeing centre, info@360wellbeingcentre.co.uk 
01246 938948 
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