3 Nutrition & Lifestyle Changes To Help Protect You From Coronavirus

This article is intended for customers from all countries other than Germany*

The latest coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, has been dominating the news cycles since it first surfaced in December, 2019. At the time of writing, COVID-19 has infected just over 110,000 people around the globe, with roughly 3800 people dying from the disease. However, the mortality rate of the illness is very low, and the majority of people who have contracted COVID-19 have experienced only mild to moderate symptoms and have made a full recovery.

Nonetheless, if you’re feeling worried, read on for some further information and a list of suggested lifestyle changes that will protect you from coronavirus.

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus refers to a group of respiratory illnesses, which includes previously spread conditions such as SARS and MERS. The latest strain, COVID-19, is in the same family and has never been documented before now. The virus comes from animals, specifically bats, and it has been estimated that COVID-19 originated in a food market in Wuhan, China.

The virus is spread through respiratory droplets in the air caused by coughing or sneezing, prolonged personal contact with someone who is infected, and touching a person or object infected with the virus and then touching the eyes, mouth or nose.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Since COVID-19 affects the nose, throat and lungs, it is categorised as a respiratory illness. Symptoms include an unrelenting cough, fever, and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. The symptoms can be mild or severe, but if difficulty breathing is present, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately, as this can be a symptom of developed pneumonia.

The symptoms that present in COVID-19 patients are strikingly similar to those suffering from influenza or the common cold. Because of this, it’s difficult to tell whether a person is suffering from COVID-19 or just the seasonal flu. Testing centres have been set up across the UK to help speed up the testing process and decrease the spread of infection throughout hospitals.

How to protect yourself from the coronavirus

In an outbreak situation, it’s often hard to decipher how much protection is required. The front line of protection against COVID-19 is hand-washing and sanitising, much like with the seasonal flu. This should be done throughout the day, especially if you are out in public areas, handling money, shaking hands with others or riding public transit.

Avoidance of large crowds and gatherings, including sporting events, concerts, crowded shopping malls and other places where masses tend to gather, will greatly decrease the chance of contracting the virus, especially in countries where the spread of infection is somewhat controlled. If coming into contact with a person who appears ill, you should maintain a distance of three metres and wash or sanitise hands immediately after contact.

 

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Image by CDC on Unsplash: Practicing good hand-washing techniques will significantly decrease your risk of contracting COVID-19.

Lifestyle changes that will protect you from coronavirus

Along with the tips above, leading a healthy lifestyle will greatly decrease the chances of contracting COVID-19. This includes getting regular sleep. Sleep is an important part of the body’s repair system, and getting 8–10 hours of good sleep a night will ensure that those processes are running smoothly.

Other things that can be done to help avoid infection include drinking lots of fluids to avoid dehydration, including water, green teas and herbal teas. Exercise will also increase immune and metabolic function in the body, so getting at least 30 minutes daily will help in the defence against infection.

Diet changes to protect you from coronavirus

The foods you eat will be the first line of defence for your immune system when it comes to warding and fighting off the COVID-19 infection. Ensuring that your body is running at its most optimal level will help drive the immune response. Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals will give the body what it needs to fight off the virus and will make recovery that much easier.

Vitamin C has been known to help boost the immune system and offers antioxidants that the body can use to help fight off infection. Foods that have a high vitamin C content include bell peppers, black currants, citrus fruits, berries (including strawberries, blueberries and blackberries), and broccoli. Other vitamins that have been known to help the immune system and prevent inflammation include vitamins A and D. Vitamin D also has the ability to kill germs and decrease both the length and severity of flu symptoms.  Other minerals that should be consumed include foods high in zinc (such as lean red meat, shellfish and legumes) and foods high in selenium (such as lean white meats and Brazil nuts).

Supplements to help boost immune system function

If your diet cannot be fulfilled with all the vitamins and nutrients necessary to keep the immune system functioning at its most optimal level, supplementation is recommended. Taking a daily multivitamin will help to ensure the body receives all its vitamins and nutrients, and for those with compromised immune systems, adding in a separate dose of Vitamin C, B vitamins and zinc will also help encourage immune function.

 

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Image by Kayla Maurais on Unsplash: Supplements that help to boost immune function are a great addition in the fight against coronavirus.

 

Make Well offers supplementation products that are designed to help keep the immune system in tip-top shape for extra protection against illness. In particular, Make Well’s CPN and MITO products have been created with the immune system in mind.

Featured image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash