Living amidst a pandemic, you cannot take your health for granted. You must take the extra effort to give your body a fighting chance in case the virus crosses your path. Since there is no proven cure for COVID ,the only line of defence to prevent one from succumbing to the disease is a strong immune system.
Can the immune system be prepped up to be more effective?
A well-balanced diet coupled with regular exercise and stress management techniques, such as mediation can strengthen the immune system to be at its peak. Will this be sufficient? Is there anything additional that can be done? Not really. You only need to make sure your fitness schedule is regular and that your diet contains the necessary nutrients you need daily.
Now if your diet consists mainly of takeaway food and quickly whipped up breakfast lunch and dinner, there could be a problem. You might not get the necessary daily intake of vitamins and minerals which your body needs to function well daily. The most serious concern is that you might be compromising your immune system. It could be tough to prepare a balanced plate with a hectic schedule and not finding the right mix of vegetables and fruits when you go shopping but if there is no alternative its best you opt to include multivitamins to your daily intake.
What are multivitamins?
Siegen’s Medical dictionary defines a multivitamin as an over the counter and often a self-prescribed nutritional supplement containing lipid-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins.
Multivitamins may also contain minerals. Simply put a multivitamin is a mix of vitamins and minerals. They provide vitamins that are not taken in through your daily diet. Multivitamins help bridge nutrient gaps so you can meet the recommended amount of daily nutrients.
Why take a multivitamin?
If you are at a risk for nutrient deficiency or know that your food intake is not well balanced, then you should take multivitamins. The following groups of people could suffer from nutrient deficiency
- They could have trouble eating certain types of food and find it hard to chew food
- The mother needs nutrients for her and her child. Her nutrient intake should be higher than what she consumes regularly.
- Any condition that interferes with normal digestion can increase the risk of poor absorption.
- Some diuretics commonly prescribed to lower blood pressure can deplete the body’s stores of magnesium, potassium and Calcium.
How to pick the right multivitamin
There are many multivitamins in the market, and some are just vitamins only. How can you select one that is effective and of good quality? Look for the following when making a purchase.
- Choose a multivitamin with 100% of the daily value for each ingredient and choose vitamins you only need to take once a day.
- You need micronutrients to keep the body running at an optimal level. See if the brand you picked has micronutrients in their recipe.
Does it have the essential vitamins and nutrients that could help combat COVID?
- Multivitamins are not a cure for COVID but certain nutrients may help the immune system fight the virus. Biochemist Adrian Gombart who is researching the relevance of nutrients for the immune system at the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University states “The measures being taken are all important. But it is also important that we pay attention to our nutrient status so that our immune system can function at all,”
Vitamins C and D and other micronutrients such as zinc, iron and selenium are essential now more than ever because they are essential for the proper function of the immune system
“Every cell in our body uses different micronutrients to function,” says Gombart. Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids. Unlike macronutrients such as fat, carbohydrates and protein, the micronutrients do not provide the body with energy but they are nevertheless essential for the basic functions of an organism — not only for cell metabolism but also for the defence system.
Free from fillers
- Some multivitamins add flavours and preservatives which could be harmful, so stay clear from those.
Looking at the multivitamins easily found in pharmacies Principle Man & Principle Woman multivitamins fit the correct requirements. There are 30 multivitamins and minerals listed on the label according to a daily dosage. Most importantly, they contain Vitamins C, D and other micronutrients such as zinc, iron and selenium which are essential for the immune system to fight off the novel corona virus strain. Chose wisely, when purchasing a multivitamin. If you have any concerns, check with your local physician as well.
Sources: Segen’s Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.COVID-19: How to boost the immune system with vitamins DW.com www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-and-how-to-boost-the-immune-system-with-vitamins