It’s been known for some time that there’s a clear and robust link between nutrition status and immune function.
With regards to COVID-19, one of the biggest challenges is focused on reducing inflammation.
To help reduce the severity of illness, a recent review paper published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine can certainly point us in the right direction.
Here’s what we should consider to reduce the impact of this ‘pro-inflammatory storm’:
1) Protein amount and quality is linked to immune function – focus on protein sources rich in essential amino acids as they may exert anti-inflammatory effects and reduce muscle wastage.
2) Omega 3-fatty acids (EPA+DHA) may help supress inflammation, reduce platelet activation and viral replication.
3) Reducing the intake of refined, high GI carbohydrates may be advisable as they can increase free radical production and inflammation.
4) Fibre intakes of approx. 25-35g/day may reduce both systemic and gut inflammation – Therefore improving gut bacteria diversity is important for reducing inflammatory status.
5) Probiotic supplements and fermented foods play a role in the adaptive and innate immune system. In this case, offering protection against viral infections via the ‘gut-lung axis’.
6) Since respiratory infections have the ability to reduce micronutrient status, specific vitamins and minerals are needed in excess of normal daily requirements.
7) Vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, B12, and folate, iron, magnesium and trace elements including zinc, selenium and copper play a pivotal role in disease susceptibility.
8) During infection, it’s been suggested to follow a well-balanced diet (as always), with the addition of a multi vitamin + mineral supplement to ensure deficiencies or inadequate nutrition status doesn’t compromise resistance against infection.
9) Carb-fat ratios is suggested to remain the same based on your activity levels and energy demands, however higher fat-carb ratios is suggested for very ill patients with respiratory deficiencies.
Ultimately, a well-balanced diet that eliminates nutrient deficiencies will support your ability to tolerate covid-19 and other upper respiratory infections.
That being said, a greater emphasis is needed for specific nutrients to reduce the severity of the disease.
As with everything, focus on meeting the bodies demands.
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