While our frontliners are doing their best to treat COVID-19 patients and fight the virus, let us not forget to ensure that we are keeping ourselves healthy while staying at home. Dr. Katherine V. Noscal, Internal Medicine & Functional Medicine Consultant at Centuria Medical Makati, shares some tips on how we can all keep our immune system strong during this enhanced community quarantine and reduce the chances of getting the disease.
- Stay at home and take social distancing seriously.
- Practice frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is the most established way to prevent respiratory infections. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Keep all surfaces clean including doorknobs, faucets, remote controls, phones and keyboards.
- Eat a healthy diet including lots of colorful vegetables and fruits. Use herbs and spices liberally. Cut down on sugars. Drink lots of filtered water, homemade vegetable and bone broths are also extremely beneficial.
- Practice relaxation techniques daily. Chronic stress can negatively alter immune responses. Identify the things that can help you relax and practice it at least twice daily.
- Get adequate sleep and rest. Sleep plays a big role on immune function. It is essential to get plenty of sleep (7-9 hours per day). Practice sleep hygiene – avoid using gadgets two hours before going to bed, make sure your bedroom is clean and comfortable and ensure that your room is dark.
- Engage in a moderate, regular exercise regimen. This can help improve immune system function.
- Have an attitude of gratitude.
D. Noscal also recommends adding fruits and vegetables to your meals, and taking vitamins and supplements to further support the immune system. According to her, below are nutrients and foods to support the immune system:
Vitamin A – supports the health of mucosal tissues and barrier function and helps regulate the immune system via the microbiome. Megadoses should be avoided until more information is available.
Food Sources: Beef liver, cod liver oil, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli
Vitamin C – an important nutrient for immune health, specifically for white blood cells to fight infections.
Food Sources: Guava, Kiwi, Peppers, Oranges, Papaya, Broccoli, Spinach, Pineapple
Vitamin D – Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to the skin being exposed to sunlight. Studies show that Vitamin D reduces the risk of acute respiratory tract infection. Optimizing Vitamin D Status is likely a safe and helpful measure for protecting against respiratory tract infections in general.
Food Sources: Fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, beef liver, egg, lettuce, avocado, broccoli
Vitamin E – one of the most effective antioxidants and plays an important role in lung and liver protection.
Food Sources: Sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, spinach, squash, broccoli, olive oil
Zinc – improves the chance of avoiding respiratory tract infections.
Food Sources: Oysters, beef, crab, chicken, cashews, garbanzo beans, almonds
Protein – Adequate protein is critical for immune function.
Food Sources: In particular taurine, carnosine, anserine and creatine from animal foods like beef can promote an immunological defense against infections through enhancing the metabolism and functions of the immune cells.
Coconut Oils – Generally considered anti-viral. Unrefined coconut oils contain the most lauric acid which has very good anti-viral properties. Sources: virgin or extra virgin coconut oil.
“Note though that these are not meant to recommend any treatments, nor have any of these modalities been proven effective against coronavirus. Always consult your healthcare provider for any health concerns,” Dr. Noscal iterated.
“Essentially, this is to remind us that preventive measures are equally important as the defensive ones. Focus, not just in beating the virus, but also in strengthening our armor – our immune system,” she added.
Centuria Medical Makati, the country’s largest outpatient medical facility, is open to serve you to ensure continuity of care during the period of the enhanced community quarantine.
Among the open independent centers are The Urgent Care Center (24/7), Executive Screening Center (10am-6pm, M-F), Makati PET/CT Center (8am-4pm, M-F), Mercury Drug (8am-5pm, M-Sat), Immunoboosters (8am-8pm, M-F), J. Lopez (8am-4pm, M-Sat), MTVM Dental (11am-5pm, M-Sat), Clinica Medica (9am-6pm, M-Sun), Dermamedics (10am-7pm, M-Sun), Pharma Acupuncture (9am-2pm, M-Sat), and Maxillo Facial (9am-3pm, M-F).
Centuria doctors are also using telemedicine platforms to serve patients. Call the concierge at +632 7793-8606 from 7am-9pm Mon-Fri and 9am-5pm Sat-Sun or connect with Centuria Medical on Facebook (@centuriamedicalofficial.
Katherine V. Noscal MD, DPCP
Internal Medicine & Functional Medicine Consultant
Live Well Functional Health Clinic
Centuria Medical Makati