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By Cara Rosenbloom, RD

If you’ve read a headline that mentions immune boosting, don’t believe the hype. The idea of boosting the immune system with supplements or specific ingredients is misleading and scientifically inaccurate. 

There are many things we can do to keep our immune system running smoothly, such as getting enough sleep, being physically active, minimizing stress and eating a balanced diet. But boosting immunity implies heightened action, which should be avoided — an overactive immune system is linked with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or multiple sclerosis, and is equally harmful to your health as an underactive immune system. Immune boosting is a marketing term, not a medical term. 

Let’s focus on supporting your immune system instead. Certain nutrients, including zinc, iron selenium, protein and omega-3 fats, as well as vitamins C, D and E, are critical for the growth and function of immune cells. Build meals with a variety of foods to get the nutrients your body needs. 

  1.  Get extra vegetables and fruit. They should fill half of your plate at every meal. Fresh, frozen and canned are all great choices.
  2. Add protein from fish, chicken, dairy, tofu or beans. The building blocks of protein (aminoacids) are essential for T-cell function, which protects the body against bacteria and viruses.
  3. Choose nuts and seeds. Include Brazil nuts for selenium; walnuts and flax for omega-3 fats; pumpkin seeds for zinc; and almonds or sunflower seeds for vitamin E.
  4. Enjoy fermented foods. Yogurt, kefir and fermented vegetables — such as sauerkrautor kimchi — contain probiotics, which may be linked to a strong immune system.
  5. Look for vitamin D. It’s found in fish, milk, fortified plant-based beverages and eggs. If you don’t eat any of these foods or get much sun, consider asking your health care provider to check your blood levels. You may need a vitamin D supplement.

It’s also important to minimize highly processed foods, such as soft drinks, candy, fast food and salty snacks. These foods lack nutrients and can impair the production of immune cells and antibodies.

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by Ron Lang, CEO of CalCPA Health

This time of the year, with most firms renewing their employee benefit plans, there is a big uptick in questions regarding managing health plans. For CalCPA members, CalCPA Health is an available resource; our tag line is “we answer questions for your firm, your clients and your family” (or at least try to answer anyway).

Health plans are a unique blend of Internal Revenue Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, California Department of Insurance, and other California agencies regulations. Buried in each of these, is the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) code. Because of this complexity and liability, when providing answers and insights we always must disclose that we do not provide tax or legal advice (lol).

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At the recent CalCPA Council meeting members asked about how the CPA population was fairing health wise in the COVID pandemic. Ron Lang C.E.O. of CalCPA Health told Council that based on the data from their population of approximately 800 firms, that we are fairing a bit better than the general population. This is to be expected because COVID 19 has affected older, non-working populations more. Mr. Lang stated that to date CalCPA Health has had no fatalities and he would post a data update on clips for all members – so here it is.

As of November 2, 2020, 10.2% of CalCPA Health’s population has received at least one COVID test, with 11.6% of those tests positive. That equates to 1.2% of the total population testing positive. About a quarter of the tests and confirmed cases are antibody tests. About 3.5% of the cases have required hospitalization.

Also, more 25% of CalCPA Health’s population has used some sort of telehealth/virtual doctor visit since the pandemic started, up from less than 1% prior.

By Ron Lang, CEO of CalCPA Health
For more information, email questions@calcpahealth.com.

With doctor office and medical facilities shuttered for much of the second quarter, many were thinking their health insurance rates may not be going up for their 2021 renewal. But most everyone will see increases for next year. Why?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established mandatory operating margins for health insurance companies. These regulations mean that premium increases are driven almost exclusively by underlying medical expense increases. This is the short answer: Insurance premiums increase because medical expenses are continuing to increase.

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