We live in such challenging times that, almost overnight, our personal danger radars went on emergency mode. Instinctively, our inner defenses were on red alert. Yes, there is an enemy lurking around and we cannot let our guard down. Nearly two years of living “under threat” of falling ill has conditioned us in unimaginable ways. While the fear factor remains, a new sense of ease has diminished it somewhat. But as health experts remind the public that lockdowns have been lifted for economic reasons and not because the situation is completely under control, let us all heed this as fair warning.
Health and wellness experts agree that the best form of medicine is prevention. Thus, a wellness approach is the only way to go. It makes good sense. After all, a solid and secure house requires a strong foundation. As a result of in-depth discussions with doctors, here is a guideline on what we must have in our arsenal — the Care Cabinet. You should, however, consult your physician about supplementation in case there is any contraindication to your maintenance medications, if any.
Vitamin C — This tops the list of vitamin supplements. Over 65,000 studies have been conducted on this powerful vitamin. One of the most powerful antioxidants we should have, vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, leafy greens and fruits. While the recommended dose is anywhere from 75 to 90 mg daily, ascorbic acid or ascorbate has become a much in-demand support for the immune system. For extra supplementation, consider anywhere from 500 mg to 4,000 mg. daily with meals. For the chronically ill, higher doses of vitamin C in IV form which is administered in hospitals and health clinics. Vitamin C can come in tablet, capsule, effervescent or
liposomal-encapsulated form (which increases its bioavailability).
Vitamin B Complex — There are eight B vitamins in the complex formulation — B 1, 2, 3, 5, 6,7, 9, 12. Combined, they are the building blocks needed to maintain good health which directly impact energy levels, assures good brain and cardiovascular and nerve function and cell metabolism. It builds muscle for men and increases testosterone levels. Natural sources : Whole grain, meat, eggs, dairy products, dark leafy greens, bananas, citrus fruits, seeds and nuts. Minimum daily adult requirement in supplement form is 75 mg.
Vitamin D — The Sunshine Vitamin is free. Adequate morning sun exposure of 20 minutes will provide you enough supply. However, new studies show that higher doses of this vitamin could be a life-saver. The daily requirement is 400 to 800 IU. During the pandemic, 5,000 IU is suggested for better protection. Natural food sources: Egg yolks, milk, cheese, liver, salmon, cod liver oil, soy milk, tofu, mackerel, shrimp, leafy greens. It is also available in IV infusion for quicker delivery into the body.
Zinc — The immune booster, zinc can come in many forms. The most absorbable kinds are picolinate, citrate, acetate, glycerate and monomethionine. Other benefits include : wound-healing, osteoporosis alleviation, age-related macular degeneration, sexual health, treats diarrhea and neurological symptoms. Called the cold-fighter if a 75 mg dosage is taken daily, zinc can be found in the food we eat.
Natural sources: meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, whole grains, dark chocolate. Average daily dosage is 8 to11 mg. In times of Covid, a minimum of 30 mg daily is suggested.
Note: Zinc can disrupt the absorption of medicines. So, it is wise to space its intake immediately after meals and two hours before or after medication.
Quercetin — This is an antioxidant and a natural pigment found in food. Its primary role is to fight free-radicals damage which is oftentimes linked to a chronic disease. Its properties can address and alleviate allergies, inflammation, help cardiovascular problems and ease blood pressure. It is also believed that it may be a potent cancer fighter. Natural sources: Onions, apples, grapes, berries, vegetables, wine.
NAC — N-acetylcysteine is a semi-essential amino acid. The body can produce it. But when the diet is low on nutrients, supplementation is suggested. Cysteine is found in natural sources like:
Chicken, turkey, yoghurt, cheese, eggs, spinach, bananas, sunflower seeds and legumes. NAC is the supplement form of N- acetylcysteine Benefits: Needed to produce glutathione, may improve psychiatric disorders or addictive behavior, may detoxify the liver and kidneys, relieves respiratory conditions, may improve fertility in men and women, could possibly boost brain health, may decrease high blood sugar conditions, may improve oxidative damage to the heart. Dosage: 600 to 1,800 mg of NAC.
Probiotics — The Father of Medicine identified the gut as the place where all disease begins. More importantly, more than 50 percent of the immune systems is found in the gut where bacteria known as the microbiome resides. The good bacteria is known as probiotics. To be healthy, we must ensure that our probiotic levels are normal and not deficient. Probiotics assist in deriving nutrients from the food we eat as well as teaching the immune system to recognize pathogens. The first step is to ensure proper digestion and to alleviate causes and symptoms of allergies, asthma,
auto-immune diseases, viral, bacterial and fungal infections etc. Include the following: Kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, komcucha, natto, apple cider vinegar (yes, fermented food) You may supplement with probiotic formula capsules which include lactobacillus acidophilus/ casei and bifidus, to name a few.
Prebiotics — The fiber called beta-glucan prepares your gut for the probiotics. Natural sources are: Bananas, onions, asparagus, leeks, garlic, barley.
This is really a quick review of the very basics of good health.
1. Drink water — Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Take two to three liters of water daily. But do not take more than two glasses of water at a time.
2. Exercise — Put in 30 to 45 minutes of low-impact exercise daily. If your are a beginner, then start with 20 minutes and work your way up as the weeks pass.
3. Sleep — The average nightly sleep requirement is seven hours. Try hitting the sack by 10 pm. This is the crucial time when the body goes into repair mode.
4. Manage stress — Try to avoid it altogether if that is at all possible. Stay away from stressful people and situations. Surround yourself with peace and harmony as much as you can.
5. Know your limitations — Understand your capacity for work. Lighten your load as much as you can. Go for what is manageable and intolerable.
6. Set your boundaries — Understand what you can and cannot do or be. And once set, do not change or alter them. This is your sacred space.
7. Laugh — As hard as you can and to your heart’s content.
8. Love — As much as you can give. And as much as you will receive. Let your cup overflow.
9. Take a break — As often as you can, find time to relax.
10. Bless yourself — By covering yourself with good vibes, you will invoke more good things.
“I cover myself with goodness so that I only attract good people in my life.”
Love and Light.