Having a strong immune system is important at all times, especially now, during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The foods you eat play a major role in having a healthy immune system, along with quality sleep, regular exercise, proper hand-washing and social distancing.
Although it is not recommended to go out often in order to buy groceries, you still need foods that contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, D, as well as zinc, omega-3, fatty acids and antioxidants.
We propose you a list of the most indicated types of foods that can help you have a healthier immune system.
Adding beans to your meals, like black beans, garbanzo beans, white beans or lentils, can offer several benefits. One cup of fiber-rich beans offers 13% of the daily recommendation of zinc. Consuming sufficient amounts of zinc can help shorten the duration of a cold. Beans also offer micronutrients, like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, B-vitamins and folate, as well as plant-based protein.
Berries, including blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, contain vitamin C and a variety of flavonoids and antioxidants. All these compounds can help neutralize damaging free radicals in the body and can lower the risk of chronic disease. Flavonoids can be helpful for reducing the incidence of upper respiratory infections.
Did you know that broccoli have a higher vitamin C content, being also rich in vitamins A, C and E?
You can add it to pasta, eat it for breakfast along with eggs muffins or like a snack, with a healthy dip like hummus.
Eggs (including the yolk) are a nutritious, immune system-fueling food to add to your diet. The yolk is full of nutrients like vitamins A, D, zinc and selenium. It is recommended to eat them in the morning. They will keep you energized up until noon.
You can try scrambled eggs with avocado or with toast.
Fatty fish can help with the activation of certain immune cells and decrease inflammation. You can try different types of fatty fish: salmon, mackerel and herring, are fabulous sources of omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA. Fatty fish are also natural sources of vitamin D and zinc; one serving of wild salmon meets the daily recommendation for vitamin D.
Ginger helps you optimize immune function due to its medicinal properties, some of which include helping reduce sore throats and inflammation. Ginger is great at decreasing inflammation in respiratory infections. Add it in tea or in lemonade.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, bacteria that can help keep your gut healthy. Having a proper balance of “good” bacteria is important for a healthy immune system to help fight off invaders. Look for Greek yogurt or other types of yogurt with “live and active cultures” that contain a variety of probiotic strains and several billion CFU’s (colony forming units). Yogurt is also one of few food sources offering vitamin D, which can help improve the immune response to infections and boost mood levels.
Stay home and stay healthy!