March 06, 2020 5 min read

At Tonic Health, we’ve always been about championing your immune system to help you stay healthy in times of need. We wanted to take the opportunity alongside The Institute for Functional Medicine to remind you that there are several steps you can take to reduce your chances of being exposed and to help your immune system.

What to Do During the Outbreak

Hand washing: The most well-established and proven way to prevent infections is frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water. Scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Hand sanitizer: When you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands, alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol can help to reduce the spread of infection.

Covering your mouth and nose: Please remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

Avoid touching your face: Avoid touching your face as much as possible. Harder than you might think when the average individual touches their face an average of 15 times per hour. Your eyes, nose, and mouth can provide the virus with a route of entry into the body.

Tips to Help Your Immune System

Beyond behavioural and habitual changes that we need to make, there are also proactive things we can do to help our immune system, such as eat extra nutrient dense foods, vitamins and minerals.

A leading immunologist, notes that most over-the-counter medications based on paracetamol or ibuprofen, may not always be the best solution. Ignoring our symptoms by popping pills? The symptoms are the physical reactions to our body fighting infection. For example, our body raises our temperature to reduce the rate of viral reproduction and help our immune cells function optimally.

Here are some natural ways you can use to harness the natural power of your immune system.

Natural Ways to Support Your Immune System

There are several nutrients, plant extracts, and supplements that can help immune function. 

Vitamin C: this vitamin serves important roles in the human body and contributes to the normal immune function, according to a 2017 report in the journal Nutrients.

Vitamin D: Numerous studies have shown that it is one of the most important and powerful nutrients for helping the immune system (references below). Unfortunately, around a third of the UK is deficient in the winter months, as our main source is the sun.

Zinc: Zinc plays a significant role in and is one of the most well researched minerals in this space, a study in 2008 states that Zinc is crucial for normal development and function of cells.

Honey: The NHS recommends Honey as the most effective thing for a tickle in the throat. Add it to a hot tea with lemon to make a soothing drink. 

Elderberry: Elderberry has been well studied and has been shown to be helpful as a soothing drink.

Garlic: Garlic contains compounds that work with the immune systems defences, view the study here.

Probiotics: Probiotics contain “good bacteria” that can support the health of the gut, and can "regulate host innate and adaptive immune responses".

* This document is only intended to identify options that may help your immune system. It is not meant to recommend any treatments, nor have any of these items discussed been proven effective against viruses, infections or the coronavirus. Always consult your doctor. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, please refer to NHS guidancehttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

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