If you are thinking about the virus and worrying, now is the time to put back all those thoughts and play your part in the protection of yourself and your family. The virus mostly attacks those with weakened immune systems, infants and older adults (source). So, here are a ways you can protect and boost your immunity against this virus.
So, what should I be eating more for better protection?
- Focus more on consuming fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants can help boost your immune system.
- Make sure to also eat a variety of foods which include Vitamins (such as vitamin A, C, E, D), Minerals (Iron, Zinc) and Phytochemicals such as beta-carotene as they play important roles in immune function.
Look out to see how you can get your dose of immunity boost.
1. Antioxidants (Vitamin A,C & E).
Adequate amounts of neutralizing antioxidants are required to prevent damage to the immune cells themselves (source). Have these :
- Citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, camu-camu)
- Bell peppers
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps our immune systems stay balanced during the cold and flu season, and serve as a pharmacy resource. So it appears that vitamin D helps keep the immune system balanced much like a gymnast walking on a balance beam (source). Put these in your food:
- Fortified dairy & soy foods
There are a number of ways zinc boosts the immune system but primarily it activates enzymes that break down proteins in viruses and bacteria so they are less able to spread. Zinc also increases the activation of cells responsible for fighting infection. Find Zinc in these:
- Legumes (beans)
- Whole wheat
- Pumpkin seeds
Its deficiency affects the capacity to have an adequate immune response. The role of iron in immunity is necessary for immune cells proliferation and maturation (source). Consider eating these iron rich foods:
- Red meat
- Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard greens)
- Soybeans & Tempeh
5. Omega 3
Omega 3 can boost the functioning of the immune cells and hence fish oil seems to be a big helper for those with low immunity (source). Don’t worry if you are a vegetarian/ Vegan and can’t consume fish. There are few options for you as well. Incorporate these in your diet:
- Canola Oil
Anything else I can do?
Here are some additional tips to stay safe:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Get adequate rest (try to aim for 8 hours’ rest)
- Stay well hydrated
- Eating a nutritionally balanced diet
- Try to avoid crowded places
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, nose
- Going under diets that cut out certain entire food groups isn’t advisable (eg. Keto diets)
Cooking meals at home is one of the best options for you to try to incorporate the maximum amount of varieties of ingredients.
– It’s true: more colourful, more nutrients and benefits!
Cooking at home let’s you ensure sanitation and have better nutritional adequacy. Learn more.
Meal Ideas (Food combining is the key to acquire all nutrients in your meals):
- Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with red rice
- Fruit, yoghurt and granola breakfast bowls
- Pasta with lean ground beef, tomato sauce and vegetable salad
- Salmon and Mushroom baked in foil with red rice and vegetable salad
- Fried rice with lean beef, egg, and diced bell peppers and tomato
In YoRipe, simply search for the ingredient that you want to have in your meal and voila, there you’ll see all the options.