Eating a healthy diet, building a strong immune system and avoiding excess weight gain are important over these next few months as we slow down and self-isolate, social distance and wait out the storm of Covid-19.
With adjusting to our new normal, try to keep to a semi-regular eating schedule (smaller portions if you are now less active). More grazing during the day? Eating for comfort? For more awareness, write down all the extras you are eating or keep track of what you are eating on a daily basis. Extra snacking - choose quality over quantity and focus on making some healthy snacking choices.
Use your extra time to explore new recipes and prepare some old favourites. Soup is an economical and easy way to incorporate immune boosting foods. My easy Lentil Vegetable Soup has always been a hit. Check out my "Heart Healthy Recipes". Feel free to substitute and make it your own with ingredients you have on hand.
Diet and Immune System
A well balanced diet, eating more plant based foods (including fruits and vegetables) and good sources of protein, zinc, folate, iron, selenium, copper, Vitamins A, C, E and D along with other nutritious foods and beverages are good dietary ways to boost your immunity.
Vitamin D - A potent antioxidant found in milk or fortified dairy alternatives, fatty fish and eggs, from sun exposure and supplements. 1000 IU or more Vitamin D is beneficial daily.
Vitamin C - May help cut duration and severity of the flu. Found in citrus foods, tomatoes, broccoli, red bell peppers, dark leafy greens, papaya & kiwi.
Zinc - Critical for normal immune function. Oysters the highest source, also in meats, eggs, seafood and chickpeas/black beans.
Probiotic supplements or fermented foods - Boosts immunity in the gut. Kefir and yogurt with added probiotics is beneficial.
Ginger - Decreases inflammation and may help sooth a sore throat and nausea. Add to hot milk, soups, fish, stir-fries etc (fresh and powdered).
Hot Beverages/Soups - Keeps you well hydrated. Green and white tea, matcha, hot chocolate (made with cocoa powder and a little sweetener), bone and vegetable broths, hot water and lemon, ginger tea and turmeric tea all nutritionally beneficial.