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Staying Healthy in the Time of COVID-19

by Benedict Francis Valdecañas, MD, MSc
Medical Director, Aegle Wellness Center

As I send messages to my colleagues and family on how to keep themselves healthy during these seemingly dismal times, I’d be gravely remiss if I did not direct these timely pieces of advice to those I have considered my family since I started taking care of Alphaland medically, our members and Aegle clientele.  Here are some tips to remain fit and healthy amidst this current global health threat from COVID-19.

No Silver Bullet. There is still no silver bullet to health.  It is still a conscientious combination of a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate night's sleep, and intelligent supplementation.  These are the ingredients for an optimal immune system capable of warding off viruses and bacteria.  Even those who get exposed make it out unscathed if their immunity is not compromised.


Proper Nutrition. Meals should be structured and scheduled; imbalanced eating is more stressful to the already-stressed body.  Make it a point to eat on schedule, and small frequent feedings are smarter in more ways than one.  This is no time to go on extreme diets such as ketogenic or vegetarian; your body needs all the nutrients it can get as naturally as possible.  But do minimize simple sugars rice, bread, and pasta, as these impose additional workload on one’s system; better go for the complex carbs like fruits and vegetables.

Smart Supplementation. It is not wise to take all the vitamins we can get our hands on; our vitamin-taking habits should be shaped depending on the challenges one’s body is presently facing.  Yes, the body heals itself, but not everything the body needs to heal is available in one's diet, no matter how well-balanced one thinks it is.  So supplementation, and intelligent supplementation at that, is absolutely necessary for the body's self-healing.  For this battle against one of the deadliest viruses mankind has so far faced, look at higher doses of vitamin C to the tune of 1500mg daily, vitamin E (at 400iu is essential for vitamin C to work with to boost our immune system), and vitamin B complex for cellular repair.  Don’t forget the elemental vitamin that fuels all these immune processes to soldier on, zinc, at upwards of 10mg daily.

No Swapping Sleep. The body heals itself from daily wear and tear while it sleeps, including daily replenishment of virus-fighting immune cells.  The human body was designed to repair and regenerate itself, but we must give it opportunity to do so.  Health workers who succumbed to the complications of this viral epidemic are those who lacked rest and sleep.

Stress Cannot Be Avoided.  Don't believe adages of “avoiding stress.”  In fact, stress is  medically proven to significantly impact immune resistance.  Like energy, stress can never be created nor destroyed.  One can just manage and dissipate stress, so institute an effective stress-release activity into your busy routine.  Most healthy people find daily exercise to be effective in releasing stress.

Hefty Hydration.  And lastly, adequate hydration; no matter how daunting it is to hear that the minimum daily requirement for fluids is 3 liters, that's just practically a glass every waking hour.  Adopt a habit of getting off your quarantine-comfy chairs every hour to get a glass of water.  Remember, Netflix can be paused.  Even your lower back will thank you for it.

While community quarantine and social distancing are the two most crucial factors to flattening the curve of this still rising epidemic, the fight always starts with each one of us.  Ensuring that we can be as healthy as ever can give this microbial challenge a run for its money.  And always remember that it is best to immediately consult your friendly neighbourhood health professional for any wellness concern or inquiry you may have: Aegle Wellness Center has remained open all during this period to give you love in the time of COVID-19.

Dr. Benedict Francis D. Valdecañas

Dr. Valdecañas is a specialist in regenerative medicine research for both hospital-based programs and clinical applications. He utilizes the latest findings and innovations that molecular biology has to offer in optimizing health and human performance through customized micronutrient supplementation, personalized exercise programs, and careful attention to diet and nutrition.

Dr. Ruby Ann Bermudez-Magpantay

Dr. Bermudez-Magpantay is nationally and internationally acknowledged as a “Master of Science in Preventive Medicine" having undergone the first European training towards a qualified academic degree with an international accreditation in clinical medicine. She believes that by having a holistic approach to, and a complete balance within, the body’s system, better physical and emotional well-being is truly achieved.

She became focused on intensified medical research for earlier diagnosis of age-related endemic diseases such as heart failure, arteriosclerosis, arthrosis and osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, malignant cancers, and age-related dementia by allowing early analysis of individual risk factors such as genetic predisposition, individual lifestyle, and living environment. She is also experienced in targeting modern human struggles such as weight loss, fatigue, depression, anxiety, stress resistance and management, sleeping difficulties, sexual problems, and many more.

Dr. Luis C. Valencia

Dr. Valencia is an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes and metabolic syndrome. His dissatisfaction with conventional medicine treatment of preventable diseases motivated him to develop innovative protocols that involve employing lifestyle modifications hinged on nutritional support, exercise instruction, and customized supplementation. He also utilizes the latest monitoring technology not only to inspire his patients to adhere to their programs, but also to be on top of their laboratory parameters and functional markers even when they are at home.

Dr. Jason A. Peñaranda

Pursuing integrative medicine right after graduating from medical school, Dr. Peñaranda braved the turbulent waters of clinical practice as a pioneer of this once obscure specialty. Specializing in electronic medical education, he is known for writing many of the materials on advancing lifestyle and functional medicine, maximizing the reach of digital networks and social media. He established authority in wellness advocacies and lifestyle articles among his colleagues—a skill he uses in educating his patients in achieving their health goals.

Mergynette “Yna” G. Mercado, RND

Ms. Mercado specializes in nutritional counseling and customized nutrition program development. She provides a practical approach to diet-related health matters, including weight management, food allergies and food sensitivity management, athletic performance enhancement, and disease management. She also focuses on food quality and quantity improvement, eliminating nutritional deficiencies, developing healthy recipes, and calculating food’s nutrition content. She advocates for nutritional awareness and mindfulness in addressing factors that affect one's overall health.  

She believes and practices a client-centered approach, along with evidence-based and habit-based approaches to nutrition therapy. She is passionate about helping people build a good relationship with food and sustain a positive lifestyle.

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