First, there’s the not-so-great news. Despite claims you may have seen on the Internet, there’s no magic food or pill of which can be guaranteed to boost your immune system as well as protect you against coronavirus.
although there’s uplifting news, too: There are ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally, which can help to keep you healthy as well as give you a sense of control in an uncertain time.
We’re going to tackle immunity boosting in two parts. Here we’ll focus on your diet, as well as in a second part publishing on Thursday we’ll discuss various other ways to help yourself.
Begin by filling your plate with immune-boosting nutrients. One of the best ways to stay healthy can be to eat a nutritious diet. of which’s because our immune system relies on a steady supply of nutrients to do its job.
For a starter dose of immune-boosting vitamins, minerals as well as antioxidants, fill half of your plate with vegetables as well as fruits.
Here are some key nutrients of which play a role in immunity, as well as food sources of them:
Carrots, kale as well as apricots for beta carotene
Beta carotene gets converted to vitamin A, which can be essential for a strong immune system. of which works by helping antibodies respond to toxins as well as foreign substances, Majumdar said.
Great sources of beta carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, apricots, spinach, kale, broccoli, squash as well as cantaloupe.
Oranges, strawberries as well as broccoli for Vitamin C
Vitamin C increases blood levels of antibodies as well as helps to differentiate lymphocytes (white blood cells), which helps the body determine what kind of protection can be needed, Majumdar explained.
You can easily consume 0 milligrams of vitamin C coming from a combination of foods such as oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, red as well as green peppers, broccoli, cooked cabbage as well as cauliflower.
Eggs, cheese, tofu as well as mushrooms for Vitamin D
Vitamin D regulates the production of a protein of which “selectively kills infectious agents, including bacteria as well as viruses,” explained Dr. Michael Holick, an expert on Vitamin D research coming from Boston University who has published more than 500 papers as well as 18 books on Vitamin D.
Vitamin D also alters the activity as well as number of white blood cells, known as T 2 killer lymphocytes, which can reduce the spread of bacteria as well as viruses, Holick added.
Winter-associated vitamin D deficiency — coming from a lack of sun-induced vitamin D production — can weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of developing viral infections of which cause upper respiratory tract infections, said Holick.
Great food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, including canned fish like salmon as well as sardines; eggs, fortified milk as well as plant milk products; cheese, fortified juice, tofu as well as mushrooms.
as well as while there can be no evidence to prove of which vitamin D supplements will protect you coming from coronavirus, of which’s wise to consider a D supplement if you feel you are not getting enough of This kind of important vitamin, which can be measured by a blood test.
Beans, nuts, cereal as well as seafood for zinc
Zinc helps cells in your immune system grow as well as differentiate, Majumdar explained.
Sources of zinc include beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, oysters (including canned), crab, lobster, beef, pork chop, dark meat poultry as well as yogurt.
Milk, eggs, nuts as well as more for protein
Protein comes coming from both animal as well as plant-based sources as well as includes fish, poultry, beef, milk, yogurt, eggs as well as cottage cheese, as well as nuts, seeds, beans as well as lentils.
Majumdar recommends protein-rich snacks, such as roasted chickpeas, which can be eaten in place of snacks devoid of protein, such as animal crackers, for example.
Bananas, beans as well as more for prebiotics
Probiotics as well as prebiotics help boost the health of the microbiome, which in turn supports our immune system, explained Majumdar.
Sources of probiotics include fermented dairy foods such as yogurt as well as kefir, as well as aged cheeses, as well as fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh as well as sourdough bread. Sources of prebiotics include whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes as well as beans.
“While of which hasn’t been studied specifically with coronavirus, of which may be Great for general immune health,” Majumdar said. If you are interested in taking any herbs, check with your doctor first.
Water, fruit, soup as well as more for hydration
Finally, stay hydrated.
Lisa Drayer can be a nutritionist, an author as well as a CNN health as well as nutrition contributor.