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Stress is responsible for up to 90% of illness, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The release of stress hormones shut down the immune system to conserve the body’s energy for running away from the perceived stressor – the evolutionary ‘fight or flight response’.

Fear breeds stress and the fear of the coronavirus may be more deadly than the virus itself!

If you make efforts to stay healthy, with good nutrition, exercise, keeping hydrated, taking vitamins and supplements, and more importantly, avoiding stress as much as possible (e.g., the “fear” of the virus), even if you do get infected with the virus, you will likely only end up with a cold and/or slight fever. The health of “almost” all the victims who fell seriously ill from this coronavirus were already compromised before they were infected, with underlying health conditions

“wherever you place your focus of attention, your energy flows. Are you focused on fear or health?”

Unfortunately, we can’t give a specific answer as there is still so much to learn about the disease and research to be done into treatment for post COVID symptoms. We can, however, look at what we do know, some of the mechanisms of the virus and how other viruses respond, to find clues and make some suggestions.

What does COVID do?

When COVID enters the body, the immune system launches an attack and sets off producing and releasing specific immune cells.  This immune response in turn triggers the release of signalling molecules that modulate the response to infection via inflammation. There is evidence that elevated levels of these molecules have been associated with coronavirus disease progression and more serious cases may be related to this inflammatory process becoming out of control leading to systemic inflammation.

What helps?

There is a thought that an extremely elevated histamine response may be contributing.  This is still being investigated but may in future give evidence that natural histamine balancers (such as high Vitamin C) (Black Cumin Seed Oil) (Nettle) (Pine Tree Needle) and (Thai Holy Basil) could be helpful.

Supplements and Food for COVID

Anti-inflammatory and Anti-histamine

  • Vitamin C – Apricot seed kernel, Acerola Berry
  • Zinc
  • Thai Holy Basil (Tulsi)
  • Ginger Curcumin and Garlic
  • Black cumin seed & raw honey
  • Elderberry syrup
  • Pine tree needle
  • Colloidal silver
  • Iodine

Other Supporting Attributes

1. An inflammatory balancing diet.
Some foods including oily fish rich in omega 3, and the spices turmeric (which includes the inflammatory balancing component, curcumin) and ginger interact specifically with anti-inflammatory pathways and can be helpful in damping an inflammatory response.  Fruit and Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, high levels of inflammation can produce oxidative stress and reduce cellular antioxidant capacity, so a boost of antioxidants could be vital at this time. Glutathione and COQ10 are well-known antioxidants.
Other foods such as fried foods, too much grain fed red meat (grain fed meat is high in the pro inflammatory omega 6, whereas grass fed meat has a much more balanced omega 3 to omega 6 ratio) and excess sugars can create an oxidative reaction and a proinflammatory response.  These foods should be limited to support a healthy recovery.

–  an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables,
– oily fish, nuts, seeds
– wholegrains such as oats, porridge, brown rice and wholegrain bread.
– Grass fed meat

Try to Reduce:

  • fried foods, especially deep fried
  • grain fed red meat (a couple of times a week is fine)
  • sugary drinks, cakes and biscuits
  • cured meats such as bacon and sausage

It is currently unknown how long the antibody response to COVID lasts. An aim of recovery therefore needs to be to strengthen the immune system against future infection and also the severity of the disease.  Along with an anti-inflammatory diet as mentioned, 10 key nutrients vitamins (D, A, C, Folate, B6, B12) and minerals (zinc, iron, copper and selenium) are deemed essential for the normal functioning of the immune system.

These can be obtained through food but a good pure natural supplement may be helpful at this time to ensure that you are getting enough.  This is particularly the case with Vitamin D which cannot be obtained through food in the amounts required.

Public Health England have now announced that Vitamin D supplementation is essential for all.  The quality is important and I will always suggest an oil form with K2 as the carrier to get it into the cells.

Ensuring there are no underlying absorption issues like SIBO at play can also help promote better health and the most optimal absorption.

2. An antioxidant boost
Alongside fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, you can boost your antioxidant status with other dietary additions. Zinc can be found in seeds, shellfish and liver. Pumpkin seed and flaxseeds are good addition to a daily porridge or smoothie.
Starting the day with a super smoothie by blending berries with greens (spinach or kale), snf you can add some powders that will also give an antioxidant kick.
Glutathione and COQ10 can also help

3. Gut microflora/biome
Gut health is at the root of all health and disease and there is more and more interest in the important of a diverse gut microflora.  Numerous studies have reported on this specifically in relation to COVID.  A recent paper published in Jan 2021 reported:

‘Associations between gut microbiota composition, levels of cytokines and inflammatory markers in patients with COVID-19 suggest that the gut microbiome is involved in the magnitude of COVID-19 severity possibly via modulating host immune responses’  Furthermore, the gut microbiota dysbiosis after disease resolution could contribute to persistent symptoms, highlighting a need to understand how gut microorganisms are involved in inflammation and COVID-19’

A healthy gut microbiome can be encouraged by eating an abundance of fruit and vegetables and also fermented foods such as Kimchi, Sauerkraut, live yoghurt (unflavoured) and Kefir.  I would also encourage a probiotic supplement at least in the short term and especially if any antibiotics have been given as a result of a COVID complication. Our team of registered nutritional therapists can advise on the appropriate supplement for you.  Read more about gut biome testing

4. Sleep
Sleep is vital to recovery. During sleep the body is able to rest and repair. Sleep patterns can however be disturbed after a viral infection.  If you are struggling with sleep, ideally try to go to bed at the same time each night and allow for at least 8 hours sleep.  To prepare for healthy sleep, a warm bath with magnesium salts can be helpful.  Darkened room, no technology and switch off all electricity. You can even pop your wifi router on a timer for added cellular rest! For some a supplement may be needed, both 5-HTP or Magnesium Glycinate can be considered but we suggest before taking any new supplement you discuss with a qualified practitioner. For more help book a FREE discovery call.

5. Stress
There is no doubt that we are living in stressful times and any viral infection can cause a big stress response in the body.  It is difficult to take away the cause of stress but techniques to lessen the response and reduce cortisol levels can be very helpful in assisting recovery. Stress raises cortisol, it damages the intestinal lining, it affects our breathing, and how we think and feel – all of which contribute to a negative impact in our day to day life. Plan a little time for you into your day, a gentle walk or yoga class, time reading a good book, a little dance or meditation, even a warm bath or shower can all help.  There is also a set of herbs known as adaptogens, adaptogens have a long history of use and are believed to support the bodies response to stress and nourish the nervous system.  They help to reduce anxiety and promote calmness, and a couple of these are Ashwagandha, Rhodiola and Lemon Balm.

6. Strengthen the immune system
Firstly, reducing fear and worry is the biggest booster, calming the body and mind, and reducing cortisol. You can boost your immune system with the power of gratitude and appreciation and stay away from the Bogeyman and Fear Centre Calls!

7. Assess your pre COVID health, diet and lifestyle.
Whilst it is important to work on the things mentioned to recover from COVID, you should also recognise that there may be other reasons that your energy levels are low.  If you follow a restricted diet such as vegan or vegetarian, have a reduced appetite or if you have been under stress for a long period for time, for example. Consideration of the nutrients required for normal energy creation and red blood cell pathways are also important.  Certain health conditions will also impact your energy levels.  A NES Health scan can help to assess this and see where the body’s health priorities are needing support. More information here.

This blog does not replace medical advice, tests or prescribed medication.