In these unprecedented times, COVID-19 has forced us to re-think the way in which we approach personal healthcare. A strong immune system is key to combatting disease, fatigue and infection. Rather than supplementing with expensive pills, why not learn how to eat your way to improved immunity?
Here are a few ways in which you can benefit from healthier foods and improve your natural defences against the virus.
1. Eat More Plants. A primarily plant-based diet is a great way to boost your immune system and support it with the nutrition it requires to function optimally. While experts agree that fending off a virus is more complex than simply eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, it remains a great way to build a strong foundation for your body’s natural defence system. You will be less prone to infection and can lessen the severity of your symptoms should you contract a disease. Many of us are used to thinking about our meals with meat at the centre. A plant-based diet champions good-for-you greens and starches instead. There are plenty of recipes and informative resources such as Knorr What’s For Dinner’s Future 50 Foods to help you get started on your journey to get healthier by taking in more sustainable foods.
2. Proper Food Hygiene. We cannot emphasise this enough. It’s all fine and well to eat the recommended 5 fresh fruits and veg a day, but it won’t help you if you don’t thoroughly rinse your fresh goodies before you prepare them. It also won’t help if you don’t clean your hands before eating. Wash, wash, wash!
3. Know Your Nutrients. Certain nutrients are known to play an important role in building a healthy immune system. These include antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C, minerals like selenium and zinc, Vitamin D, and fish oils containing omega-3 fatty acids. But that doesn’t mean that eating the suggested daily amount will protect you from the Coronavirus. And it can’t guarantee that you won’t be sneezing from ordinary flu this winter. But it will give your body’s defences the nutrition they need to do its best against protecting you from illness.
4. Get Colourful. Many experts recommend “eating the rainbow” when it comes to choosing a selection of fresh foods. Each colour indicates an abundance of specific phytonutrients (the stuff that protects the plant from natural threats) and each colour indicates that the plant is full of certain vitamins, minerals and other immune-boosting compounds. For example, blue and purple veggies and fruits are packed with anti-inflammatory properties and orange and yellow ones are great for improving immunity. It’s essential to have a variety of fresh options so that you cover all your bases and get a full dose of the good stuff, as often as you can.
We’re all doing what we can to contain the virus. Now you can do even more by staying healthy, strong and resilient. #StrongerTogether