The Ultimate Guide to Flu Prevention: 4 Micronutrients You Should Eat This Winter to Stay Healthy – Good News Network

With a uniquely different flu season approaching, theres never been a better time to alter your diet so it can fortify your immune systemand there are four micronutrients proven to do this.

While many people are waiting until the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic can be eliminated with a vaccine, like the one from Pfizer that reported 90% effective rates this week in early reports, more practical preventative measures are available today to keep seasonal illness away in the form of micronutrients like resveratrol, zinc, vitamin D, and probioticswhich will boost your immune health and also help protect you from colds.

Zinc, a simple mineral from the ground, when taken in the form of a lozenge can reduce the duration of a cold by 33-40%, while other nutrients like quercetin, fisetin, and luteolinwhich are plant flavonoidscan actually bind to the SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and can prevent them from entering our cells.

Some immune cells have demonstrated cross-immunity to, or have genetic memories of immunity to SARS-CoV-1, declared a pandemic in 2003 in China, which have been shown in certain patients to effectively combat COVID-19. Nutrients like zinc and luteolin work in similar ways to the immune cells, and taking these supplements can not only help you if you should come in contact with the COVID-19 influenza, but other seasonal flus that will come around this year.

Here are some other compounds that have been shown to help shorten flu duration and prevent infections.

While there are certainly people who are not going to feel totally safe until a vaccine is produced, vitamin D has been undeniably shown to reduce acute respiratory tract infections, while potentially also including COVID-19.

This has been examined across many studies, and some meta-analyses have produced averages of around 10% reduction in risk for those with normal vitamin D levels, and a 50% risk reduction for those with a deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency is already implicated in many different kinds of infections, and one of the most prodigious publishers of paper on athletes health recently found that deficiency in vitamin D is common even in collegiate athletes, and people who are deficient are more susceptible to all kinds of infections any time of the year.

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Indeed one hypothesis has emerged in the era of COVID-19 thats demonstrated incredibly-high death rates in populations deficient in vitamin D such as in Indonesia and the Philippines. Some have suggested that this is why Black populations are more susceptible to the coronavirus, because of lower vitamin D levels.

The blood-circulating metabolite of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, supports induction of antimicrobial peptides in response to both viral and bacterial stimuli, reads the abstract in one meta-analysis of 25 papers.

Most of our vitamin D comes from the sun, but there are plenty of foods fortified with vitamin D or in which it comes naturally, like fortified milk, egg yolks, salmon, sardines, canned tuna, or cod liver oil. Dietary sources can be completely adequate, as the normally sun-deprived Scandinavians actually have the lowest instances of vitamin D deficiency on earth.

If you dont eat those foods, a daily supplement may be the way to go. Recently as many as 10,000 IUs of vitamin D were found by the Mayo clinic to be safe.

Zinc protects our bodies by stopping the replication of viruses we are infected with. RNA polymerasean enzyme used by viruses to coax our own cells into replicating the viral proteinsis blocked by zinc.

Zinc deficiency was also found recently to result in poor or non-existent production of immune cells like T cells. Killer and helper T cells have both been shown to be able to identify COVID-19, and so a reduction or dysfunction in their regulation and production could make a person more vulnerable to coronaviruses, whether its the novel kind or the seasonal kind.

A 75mg lozenge of zinc not only can help the recovery time of people suffering from seasonal colds by 33-40%, but also is not required to be taken every day, as 75 milligrams is many-times more than the recommended daily allowance. Therefore, a supplement could be taken as needed, especially for vegetarians because the dietary sources of zinc tend to be mostly meat, with oysters being the richest source.

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Its possible to make a case that a rich and diverse microbiome covering the skin, throat, colon, and stomach could protect the bearer against certain bugs during flu season.

The field of human microbiome research is exploding, with specialists using established datasets to control for diseases, disorders, and trends of every degree. The citizen science work of the Human Microbiome Project made the largest, most genetically and culturally rich dataset on earth for studying the human microbiome, and a search for probiotics on their published work page turns up all kinds of research.

There isnt a lot of published literature on the interaction between the human microbiome and influenza-like viruses, however one meta-analysis of low quality data did find that probiotics were better than placebo for reducing risk of contracting flu-like viruses, as well as days spent experiencing flu-like symptoms.

One of the problems is that the data were testing different kinds of probiotics. Different species can confer different characteristics, and so the lack of continuity hurt the datas reliability. One could presumably get around this by consuming many different types of food to support a varied community of microbes.

Contrary to zinc and vitamin D, its very easy to change your diet to create such a community.

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No matter the diet they prescribed to (vegetarian, vegan, etc.), participants who ate more than 30 different plant types per week (41 people) had gut microbiomes that were more diverse than those who ate 10 or fewer types of plants per week (44 people), writes a collaborative paper from the University of California San Diego based on the Human Microbiome Project dataset.

Indeed taking in different kinds of microbes can be done simply by increasing the amount of fermented food you eat, which could include raw, fermented, or cultured dairy products like kefir, raw cheese and milk, or quality yogurt, as well as fermented vegetables like kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso.

Ensuring your new microbes stay healthy is as simple as eating more fiber and more types of fiber, and the easiest way to do this is just eat more vegetables; again not relying on a lot of one type, but a selection of many.

Some information here reprinted with permission from World at Large News, an small news outlet covering health, nutrition, exercise physiology, and medicine.

Gaining a lot of popularity as an anti-aging supplement, resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant and also helps suppress pro-inflammatory compounds like IL-6 and TNF-alpha, compounds that are associated in increased amounts with diseases, the latter of which in every disease known to man.

This was demonstrated in a study where healthy individuals were given a 6-week course of 40mg of resveratrol derived from the extract of a plant called Japanese knotweed.

Now, resveratrol, a compound present in most plants that is expressed when they experience stress, is being looked at as a potential ameliorator of viral infections.

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Its main antiviral mechanisms were seen to be elicited through inhibition of viral protein synthesis, inhibition of various transcription and signaling pathways, and inhibition of viral related gene expressions in other words it makes it harder for viral cells to live, being that viruses hijack our own cells reproductive and regenerative functions for their own nefarious purposes.

One exhaustive study looked to pair plant phytochemicals like flavonoids with the now FDA-approved hydroxychloroquine as a way to stop the docking mechanism of COVID-19. Resveratrol was examined as it has been found to inhibit one of COVIDs corona-cousins MERS.

The study found resveratrol to have moderate success, with luteolin and quercetin having high success.

Unfortunately resveratrol, like vitamin D and zinc, is difficult to consume through the diet. Known for existing in the skin of red grapes, it has poor oral-bioavailability and despite what your bartender tells you about its presence in red wine, youd die of alcohol poisoning before getting any beneficial amount of resveratrol from drinking.

In reality a supplement is whats needed, stored in a cold dark environment, and taken with a meal with a moderate amount of fat.

With so many people waiting for a shot to protect them for COVID-19 or the regular seasonal flu which would undoubtedly exacerbate any infection with the novel coronavirus, theres never been a better time to do as Hippocrates said and let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.

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