Covid-19 and its many vaccines has probably been one of the most discussed topics over the last year. With the current mandates in place for WA regarding the covid 19 vaccine and boosters, you may be curious as to how to support your body naturally before and after the vaccine. While research is generally limited regarding the benefits of natural immune support alongside the covid vaccine, there are a few things you can try to prevent the incidence of unwanted side effects and boost recovery after. We asked our Naturopath, Meagan Grossman, what measures we need to take before we have our Covid-19 vaccine (or any vaccine for that matter).
Zinc plays an important role in the immune system. It also promotes wound healing, improves digestive function, and is involved in taste and smell. Consuming foods that are high in zinc such as oysters, red meat and cashews may be helpful in supporting your immune function following vaccination. If you are vegan, vegetarian or not consuming enough of the foods that are high in zinc; supplementation may be beneficial. It is always best to consult with a naturopath regarding any supplementation to ensure you are taking a supplement that is most suitable to your needs.
High dose vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is essential for immune system function. Consuming foods that are high in vitamin C may be beneficial for immune support and recovery post covid vaccine. Some foods high in vitamin C include:
- Kiwi fruit
Supplementation of vitamin C can also be helpful but again, it is always best to consult with a Naturopath to get the right product for you.
Vitamin D is otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin as the sun’s UV rays are converted by the body into vitamin D. With a lot of the population working indoors, low vitamin D levels are generally common among Australians – particularly during the colder months. Vitamin D is important for optimal immune function and bone health. While most of our vitamin D comes from the sun, some foods contain high amounts of vitamin D.
Ways to increase intake of vitamin D:
- Get outdoors more, try exercising outdoors instead of in the gym or eating your lunch out in the sun.
- Increase intake of foods that are high in vitamin D such as mackerel or sardines.
- Consider supplementation during winter or as part of your preparation for your covid 19 vaccine.
Support cardiovascular health by increasing your intake of omega 3 rich foods such as fatty fish or start supplementation of a good quality fish oil. Herbs such as Ginkgo biloba and Astragalus membranaceus may also be helpful in supporting cardiovascular health post vaccination.
Herbal medicine is rich in antioxidants and plant constituents that may assist in supporting the whole body following vaccination.
When considering a diet plan or supplementation, it is always best to consult with a Naturopath to ensure the product is right for you and your needs. Do not start supplementation without consulting with a health practitioner first as it may interfere with the current medication you are taking.
Diets high in fatty fish, a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts are important to maintain optimal health during times of increased stress (ie. following a covid 19 vaccine). Getting outdoors often is important to ensure optimal vitamin D levels are maintained. If you feel your diet is not meeting its nutrient requirements, discuss a diet plan with a nutritionist and consult with a Naturopath if you feel supplementation is necessary.