The COVID-19 pandemic is here and it has caused an unexpected shift in all our lives. You are now forced to keep your social distance, stay at home, and forget about eating out. While you stay at home, you may be tempted to slide into dangerous eating habits. That includes snacking on junk foods to fight boredom or spending the entire day seated at the couch catching up with your favorite series.
Good nutrition is always crucial, but it is especially important during a pandemic such as this. While there is no quick fix to your immunity, eating a well-balanced diet can help you deal better with the disease should get it, unfortunately.
Before you even get to your nutrition, it is important that you know the symptoms of COVID-19 so that you can protect yourself and your family members better. Most of these symptoms are flu-like, including coughing, having a runny nose, and fever. If you have any of these symptoms and you have been to a COVID-19 hotspot, call the super clinic in Tweed Heads for further help and guidance.
What foods should you include in your daily eating schedule? Below are 5 of them:
- Fruits and vegetables
There is a reason why doctors keep telling you to fall in love with your fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in minerals, vitamins, and nutrients such as Vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene which boost your immune system.
Beta-carotene is found in foods such as carrots, green leafy vegetables, and sweet potatoes. Beta-carotene increases disease-fighting cells in the body, which boosts your immunity.
Vitamins C and E also support your natural immune system. Vitamin E sources include red pepper, mangoes, lemons, and oranges. Foods that contain vitamin E include spinach and broccoli.
- Whole grains
Research has proven that whole grains can ward off infection. Making whole grains part of your daily regime can make healthier. Think substituting your usual snack for some healthy whole grains like nuts, drinking porridge made of sorghum and millet, or ditching your favorite white bread for some whole brown bread.
Whole grains can also help you develop healthy gut microbes which help keep your gut and overall health in top condition. The degradation of gut microbes causes autoimmune disorders. This is because at least 70% of cells that boost your immune system are found in the gut.
- Healthy fats
Did you know that healthy fatty acids can boost your immune system?
Nutrient sensing receptors known as G protein-coupled receptors found in your immune system react with fatty acids such as Omega-3, regulating your inflammatory responses and immune system.
Fatty acids also increase the number of T-cells, which are white blood cells that help ward off diseases.
Heathy or unsaturated fatty acids include oils from chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, avocado, olive oil, among others.
A strong immune system may only be a glass of water away. How much glasses of water do you take per day? Water is a wonderful immune system booster. When you feel like you have started getting sick, take some water!
Water carries oxygen to your body parts to help them function well and also removes toxins from your cells, preventing a buildup that can affect your immune system negatively.
To enjoy the benefits of water even further, add some lemon to your glass of cold water. Lemon contains Vitamin C which helps to fight diseases and eliminate intoxication
Water can also flush out all the germs and negative particles in your system, leaving you healthy.
- Cut back on alcohol
If you love your bottle, you are in trouble especially during this COVID-19 times. Taking alcohol makes you more vulnerable to respiratory diseases like coronavirus. If you have underlying diseases like diabetes or heart diseases, you are at an even higher risk of getting sick from opportunistic diseases.
If you are among the many people that have been dealing with boredom by having online social drinks or stocking them in your house, you need to cut back.
Alcohol impairs all the cells in your immune system. In the lungs, alcohol can damage the fine hairs meant to clear out pathogens which makes you more susceptible to diseases.
Unfortunately, even small doses of alcohol can affect your immune system. If you can, abstain from the drink!
Ensure you take measures to protect yourself when you are out shopping for food and groceries. If you cannot shop online, buy at least two weeks’ worth of groceries so that you do not have to go out again for a while. Draft a shopping list to help you shop faster.
What foods are you stacking on? Follow the nutrition guide above to maintain optimal health during this uncertain time. Ensure you also get enough time to sleep as this will help keep you healthy as well.