Boost your Immune during COVID-19 Sunday July 26th, 2020

Are you struggling through inactivity and eating the same foods all the time during this pandemic? You are not alone! This new normal is definitely affecting everyone mentally, physically, and socially. This can be a challenging time to feel motivated preparing healthy home-cooked meals or staying physically active all the time.  Don’t give up — it is never too late to start eating healthier now and stay positive. Following are some tips on foods that can help boost your immune system and strategies to help keep your mood up.

Eating a balanced and well-rounded diet full of vitamins and minerals to support your health is essential at all times, but even more so now.  Incorporating antioxidants in your diet is key to keeping your immune system healthy. Antioxidants help protect our body from free radicals that can damage our cells through oxidations. Some common antioxidants include vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E, and zinc, which can be found in a variety of foods: 

  •  Foods high in Vitamin C
    • citrus fruits, mango, berries, kiwi, papaya
    • All vegetables especially vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, red and yellow peppers, and leafy greens such as kale, spinach, bok choy, and cabbage
  • Foods high in Beta Carotene (our body converts beta carotene into vitamin A)
    • Sweet potatoes, red peppers, broccoli, carrots
    • Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale
    • Cantaloupe and apricots
    • Pumpkin and butternut squash
  • Foods high in Vitamin E: 
  • whole grains and wheat germ
  • Nuts and seeds, nut butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Foods high in Zinc
  • Meat and seafood, especially oysters
  • Legumes – chickpeas, lentils, beans
  • Nuts and seeds, especially cashews

 

Maintaining your mental health and keeping your mood up is essential to boosting your immune system. Now is one of the best and most imperative times to take time for ourselves, practice self-care and to take care of our mental health. Try some of these strategies:

  • Get an adequate amount of sleep 
  • Mediate – there are a variety of apps that you can download for free
  • Maintain your physical activity by doing at-home workouts, yoga, dance or go for walks 
  • Practice intuitive eating (ie. eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full) 
  • Use apps to help with sleep and reduce anxiety such as Calm and Headspace
  • Stay hydrated in the hot weather
  • Keep social distances but stay in touch with your friends and families safely

One thing to remember is that there unfortunately is no food or supplement that will prevent you from catching COVID-19. The best things you can do now: stay at home as much as you can and follow government advice, maintain your hygiene and sanitation practices, eat healthy, and always take care of yourself mentally and physically. If you ever need more nutrition tips, don’t hesitate to send me a message and see if a session with a registered dietitian will help support your nutritional goals.

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