by Brianna Santos, C.H.N.
We may not be able to prevent ourselves from catching the virus simply with a good diet, but we certainly can avoid the severity of it should our best efforts fail. Using vitamins to boost your immune system during these times is vital to ensure COVID (or any virus at that) doesn’t get the best of you.
(And no, I do not mean loading up on Emergen-C packets, or similar products, multiple times a day!)
Consuming a well-balanced, whole-foods diet is the best way to go.
If supplements are still needed then, it is best to take them with the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Some of the key nutrients we are looking for that strengthen our immunity are zinc, iron, and vitamins A, B12, B6, C, D, and E. You can easily obtain all these vitamins and minerals by consuming a whole foods diet.
What are some natural sources of these micronutrients, you may ask? Here is a list of great sources to get started!
Zinc: Poultry, red meat, oysters, crab, lobster, beans, nuts, and whole grains.
Iron: Shellfish, spinach, liver, legumes, red meat, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, turkey, broccoli, tofu, fish, and dark chocolate.
Vitamin A: Liver, salmon, tuna, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, papaya, cantaloupe, peaches, watermelon, eggs, and milk.
Vitamin B12: Liver, lamb, beef, oysters, crab, salmon, tuna, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese.
Vitamin B6: Liver, chicken, pork, bananas, avocado, cantaloupe, sweet potato, eggs, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and peas.
Vitamin C: Oranges, kiwi, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, and potatoes.
Vitamin D: Salmon, tuna, shrimp, liver, mushrooms, eggs, milk, and sunlight.
Vitamin E: Crab, shrimp, sweet potato, asparagus, spinach, collard greens, wheat germ, whole wheat bread, and oils.
Avoid overcooking your vegetables
Avoid processed and pre-packaged foods as much as possible
Be mindful of your salt and sugar intake
Drink 8-10 glasses of water, which is important for transportation of nutrients in the blood, allowing the body to get rid of waste, and regulating the body temperature.
Maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle through exercise, meditation, and an adequate amount of sleep.
Now that you have read a little more about how you can strengthen your immunity against the severity of COVID-19, I hope you are able to create well-balanced meals to support your body in a time of need.
But remember, health and immunity are not only important now. They are always important.
Applying this simple guide to your daily eating habits will lead you to a healthier lifestyle overall!
Aman F, Masood S. How Nutrition can help to fight against COVID-19 Pandemic. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(COVID19- S4):COVID19-S121-S123. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.36.COVID19-S4.2776
DISCLAIMER: All information presented and written are intended for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or healthcare professional.