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. 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.
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