I’m a nineties kid, tried and true. Neon windbreakers, glittery slap bracelets, hot pink jelly shoes—I wore it all. Another iconic part of my 5-year-old, ’99 life was the Flintstone vitamins. Every morning, Mom forced me to chew two of those guys up. Not gonna lie, I didn’t enjoy them, nor did I understand their importance.
Two decades later, amidst a pandemic, you’ve heard over and over, “Take your vitamins.” But why? If you’re anything like me, you want the full picture, a verified scope of the importance of anything you do. So, let’s check out the top three vitamins that most doctors and health experts are encouraging us to take, diving in to not only where we get these vitamins, but how and why they work in our bodies:
- Vitamin D
Statistically, more than 50% of all Americans have some level of Vitamin D deficiency. It’s no shock that due to the lack of time we spend outdoors, we miss soaking up the atmosphere’s natural, God-given provisions.
Biologically, what we are missing is Vitamin D’s ability to allow our bones to absorb calcium and phosphorus, while we’re also crippling our immune system. This “sun vitamin” is what protects you from external injuries, like breaking a bone, but it also shields you from internal injuries, like a weakened immune system that leaves you more prone to heart disease and other serious conditions.
Another thing that makes Vitamin D so vital is its mental-health impact. A recent, groundbreaking study provided evidence that Vitamin D significantly reduces depression systems. This creates a healthy cycle of your body protecting your mind, but your mind also protecting your body. When both are strong, both super-activate the immune system.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an acid that counters three consistent fears regarding Covid: obesity, overall cellular health, and nutrients absorption.
Nearly two years into this pandemic, we now know that obesity is a primary factor determining the severity of Covid. Though scientists still don’t understand the “why?” behind Vitamin C’s weight control, consistent research and studies have proven that Vitamin C offers a natural boost in weight loss and weight regulation.
Meanwhile, Vitamin C fights free radicals, which are molecules that travel around your body taking a knock at your cells. Cellular health is the basis of your overall health, creating the building blocks for life, so it’s crucial that Vitamin C be present to protect the scientific foundation of your body.
Even when you eat the right foods, your body doesn’t always absorb their vital benefits, leaving the salad you ate near-useless. Ugh, right? Well, Vitamin C can redeem those efforts by kickstarting your body’s ability to be hyper sensitive to the nutrients you consume, reaping the full benefits of anything green you forced yourself to eat.
Zinc is your Covid Superman. Its primary function is to keep your immune system not only stable, but at its best. It’s second target area is your metabolism, allowing it to perform at a healthy level.
(For those of you who have had Covid and lost your sense of taste and/or smell, one of Zinc’s other functions is maintaining those two senses. I’m no doctor, nor have there been any studies on this, but perhaps Zinc can restore a loss sense of taste or smell quicker.)
Most of us know that you get Vitamin D from the sun, and Vitamin C from orange juice, but even fewer of us know where to get a natural source of Zinc. Good thing is, Zinc is found in lots of foods, including chicken, red meat, and certain breakfast cereals.
Where Zinc is your Covid Superman, Quercetin is his cape. Quercetin works in a lot of ways in the body. Scientists call those their "mechanisms of action." But regarding Zinc, it's most important job is to act as an ionophore that allows Zinc passage into our cells! Ionophore is a fancy word for ion-bearer (or carrier), since -phore is Greek for "bearer."
Zinc has a tough time finding it's way into our cells because our cell membranes aren't permeable to Zinc, so ionophores like Quercetin and EGCG (commonly found in Green Tea) are crucial to the interior health of our cells.
Quercetin Is super affordable and available over the counter, but can also be found in foods like apples, peppers, dark cherries & berries, tomatoes, cruciferous veggies, olive oil, capers, and black and green tea!
Like I said, I’m not a doctor, so I strongly encourage you to talk with your primary healthcare provider about which vitamins are best for you. Perhaps blood tests, nutrition logs, and additional resources can offer a better understanding of which vitamins your body lacks. But in a time like this, when physical health needs to be a priority, be intentional about discovering with supplements and dietary changes you need to implement to better protect your body.