Eat to Boost Your Immune System
Just one year ago, most people who concerned themselves with a healthy diet generally did so for several reasons:
- Weight loss or weight management
- Better heart health
- Increased cognition
- Healthier joints
But now in a post-COVID world, immunity is becoming more and more of a priority with our clients and audience.
Even though there is no evidence that your diet can prevent COVID-19, it is well documented that, with some smart diet choices, you can increase your immune system’s ability to fight it.
Understand that a healthy immune system has always been important for everyone, but in today’s day and age, it is more vital than ever to keep it running at an optimal level.
So to save you some time searching the vast libraries of the internet, we have included a short breakdown of foods you may want to increase your intake of on a daily basis to aid in your quest for a rocking immune system.
Benefits: Medical research shows vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk for viral infections like COVID-19—including respiratory tract infections which COVID-19 often triggers—by reducing inflammation in the body.
Dietary sources of Vitamin D: salmon, herring, and fortified cereals, in addition to supplements.
Vitamins C and E
Benefits: Both vitamins C and E are valuable antioxidants that help destroy free radicals (found to have a pathogenic role in respiratory virus infections) and support the body’s natural immune response.
Dietary sources of Vitamin C and E: Vitamin C can be found in red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, and citrus fruits. Vitamin E-rich foods include nuts, seeds, collard greens, peanut butter, and spinach.
Benefits: Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and improve immune functions by increasing disease-combatting cells in the body.
Dietary sources for beta-carotene: carrots, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and certain fruits such as cantaloupe and apricots.
Benefits: Zinc is a mineral that supports the immune system and is required for the activity of more than 300 enzymes that aid in digestion, nerve function, and metabolism.
Dietary sources of zinc: nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils.
Benefits: Probiotics may help give immune systems a boost and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria. Additionally, some probiotics have been linked to the production of natural antibodies in the body.
Dietary sources of probiotics: yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
Making sure you have a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is key for optimal health. Simply paying closer attention to what you eat and making some small tweaks by incorporating more of these foods can benefit you and your health greatly.
Ready to get started on cooking nutritious meals from home? Great! We’re glad to help – and, if you need further help on your personal health journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Bee Healthy Clinic nearest you.