Thanks to extensive contract tracing and mandatory quarantine regulations, Australia is among the top five countries combatting COVID-19. Although we have tragically lost around 900 people to the virus, our numbers are astronomically lower than other Western countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
In fact, while writing this article, England and Scotland are entering into another national lockdown, with Wales and Northern Ireland tightening their restrictions.
Now is an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves how important it is not become complacent about our health, both physically and mentally. The last 10-months have been hard, with the word unprecedented countlessly being used to describe what the world has been experiencing. Not only has the virus killed over 1.8 million people worldwide, the mental and emotional strain it has put on us all is… well, unprecedented.
Although life feels pretty normal again here in Australia, we’re not entirely out of the woods and staying on top of our health and wellbeing is just as important now as it was 6-months ago. The recent Northern Sydney lockdown and current lockdown in the Greater Brisbane region is an excellent example of how quickly things can still change.
This article will cover; foods that promote immune health, natural supplements to help maintain healthy body functions, the importance of staying active, tips and tricks to support your mental health and things to help you prepare if there is another lockdown.
Food for Health
Many an ‘Old Wives Tale’ and ‘Granny’s Remedy’ have been debunked. However, scientifically, there are two that have some bearing; 1. an apple a day will keep the doctor away and 2. chicken soup can cure a cold. Now it’s not precisely the apples or the chicken soup that will keep you healthy, more so the nutrient and vitamins found within food.
For centuries, cultures worldwide have used food as medicine and thanks to modern research, we now know more about how the foods within our diet can influence our health.
When it comes to boosting your immune system, look at including foods such as;
- Citrus Fruit to increase your Vitamin C intake
- Poultry; such as chicken and turkey which are high in Vitamin B6
- Shellfish which is rich in Zinc
- Green Tea provides plenty of antioxidants
- Leafy greens like Spinach are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals
And finally; water. If we don’t drink enough water, our bodies can’t transport nutrients to our organs properly, which in turn, compromises our immune system.
With the rise of complementary medicine, natural supplements have become a staple in many Australian households. For many, supplements offer an easy way to ensure our bodies receive plenty of nutrients and vitamins without drastically changing our diets. Supplements also allow us to get high doses of nutrients that are otherwise hard to find or absorb from food.
A great analogy I recently heard was that our bodies are like plants; with the right soil and water, the plant will grow but add some fertiliser and the plant with flourish. Supplements are like fertiliser; a healthy, balanced diet will provide our body with adequate nutrients to function. By adding supplements, we are enriching our bodies and supporting it on a cellular level.
Let’s talk about our favourite nutrients and why we prefer them in supplement form.
Turmeric – This one is a given.
Rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties, Turmeric is truly Mother Nature’s Super Spice. Our bodies have a hard time absorbing the nutrients from Turmeric as it is fat-soluble and often needs a heat source to help our bodies digest it. When using Turmeric in your diet, we always suggest combining it with a natural fat or oil and a heating element (pepper, capsicum, chilli) to aid in absorption.
Our Organic Turmeric capsules contain Black Pepper and Ginger, and we recommend they are taken with a meal, this means they have a higher probability of being absorbed.
the active ingredient in Turmeric has been studied for many years. In fact there are over 16,000 excerpt entries on PubMed NCIB (National Centre for Biotechnology) website relating to studies with curcumin. A recent peer reviewed study the potential effects of curcumin such as inhibiting the entry of virus to the cell, inhibiting encapsulation of the virus, and viral protease (enzymes to you and me). Click here to read full publication or click here to download pdf or watch the video below.
Vitamin C – We all know it but do we know why?
Vitamin C is probably one of the most common vitamin supplements on the market and more than likely at some stage you have taken them. We all know Vitamin C is essential, but how many of you actually know why it’s important? Not only is it great for boosting our immune systems, but Vitamin C is also essential for the healing process of our blood vessels, muscles, tissue and skin.
Vitamin C is water-soluble which means our bodies don’t store it, you would have to eat 2-3 oranges every day to get the same amount of Vitamin C that you get from a supplement version.
Magnesium – Vital for over 300 biochemical reactions in our body!
Did you know that it is estimated that around 75% of Australians are not meeting the recommended daily intake of Magnesium? Unfortunately, Magnesium deficiencies often go undiagnosed as most related symptoms aren’t unique to the issue. Processed food, prescription medications and alcohol all deplete the body of its Magnesium stores which is why it is essential to ensure our diets consist of Magnesium-rich foods like green vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seafood. Because Magnesium is such a crucial mineral for our bodies, supplements are a great way to ensure we’re hitting our daily intake. Magnesium can be taken orally or used topically.
Vitamin D3 & K2 – The trending duo that’s been popular since WW2.
These two supplements may not be on your radar just yet. Still, they are slowly rising in popularity as Dr Fauci has been discussing them extensively since the beginning of the pandemic. But don’t be fooled, medical professionals have favoured these two Vitamins since World War II. Wartime nurses used to ensure wounded soldiers spent time in the sun every day to increase their Vitamin D intake as it is a natural immune booster. Vitamin K can be found in fermented foods and is praised for it’s healing properties. In supplement form, both vitamins have a higher absorption rate when taken as a liquid.
Ideally, supplements should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet. We recommend taking only natural supplements from reputable manufacturers.
Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as maintaining healthy body weight and exercising regularly.
Don’t worry, exercising regularly doesn’t mean going to the gym 5-days a week or running 10km. Studies have shown that regularly light activities such as walking, stretching and swimming can significantly increase our bodies ability to fight infection. Staying active doesn’t only support our bodies physically; it also promotes healthy mental function and releases’ happy hormones’.
For some different ways to stay active and support your body both physically and mentally, click here.
As this article is being written, it has been announced that the Greater Brisbane area is going into a lockdown. Within 3-hours of the announcement, supermarkets have had to re-enforce purchase limitations on some products (toilet paper) as people start to panic buy again. We understand that uncertainty causes people to act rashly, that fear causes panic. But if nothing else, during these uncertain times, human compassion should be a priority for us all.
This is why we have been taking a few precautions these last few months to prepare if there is another wave; simple things like cooking an extra meal or two each week and freezing them. Picking up one or two extra items each time we’ve done a grocery shop to ensure the cupboards are stocked, and we won’t feel pressured to rush out and buy in bulk quickly. In turn, these little things can support others in the community who are unable to prepurchase items or who are living week by week. When people panic buy items, others go without.
Please take care of yourselves physically and mentally. If you are in a position to help someone else in your community, now is a great time to do so. The last 10-months have been tough for everyone, and you never know how much a kind word or offer of support can mean to someone. Feel free to leave a comment below on how you’ve been supporting your health and wellbeing and any tips or tricks you may have to help others be prepared in case of another lockdown.
Please Note: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Results may vary from individual to individual.