In the current climate, health is on everyone’s minds and we are all thinking “How can I avoid catching the coronavirus?” We are washing our hands incessantly, maintaining social distancing of six feet away from each other and running a mile when someone coughs. Here are a few everyday tips that can help boost your immunity.
Oats, Ginger or Pineapple
According to a study published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information, melatonin is proven to limit virus-related diseases, and it may be beneficial in the recovery of COVID-19 patients. Melatonin is naturally found in foods like oats, ginger or pineapple. While fresh ginger and pineapple are ideal, you may have dried ginger or canned pineapple in your pantry.
The more diverse your bacteria strains are, the less susceptible you are to get an infection. Probiotics contain hundreds of billions of strains of good bacteria that keep your gut healthy. While many refrigerated foods like yogurt and buttermilk contain probiotics, pickles also contain healthy probiotic bacteria. However, look for pickles that are made with salty water, not vinegar, as they do not have the same probiotic effects. In case, pickles aren’t your favorite, other options for probiotic rich foods worth noting are sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha.
Thyme and Parsley
Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster. A research team at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China, launched a study on this vitamin as a potential treatment for COVID-19 symptoms. When you can’t get to the grocery store for fresh fruit or orange juice, put some dried thyme or parsley in your soups and salad dressings. Both are packed with vitamin C, which support immune cells that fight off infectious agents.
Bonus Tip: Since fresh spices generally have a higher nutrient status, consider starting an herb garden in your kitchen! That way, you have it right at your fingertips without a trip to the store.
Red Meat, Lentils or Hemp Seeds
Zinc is also known to help maintain a healthy immune system by supporting cells that limit multiplication of the infection within your body. Instead of buying zinc lozenges at the store, add red meat, lentils or hemp seeds to your diet.
Sardines and Tuna
While we all crave a little sunshine amid COVID-19 “stay at home” orders, we’re likely getting less than we usually do. Stock up on vitamin D through shelf-stable foods like sardines and tuna, which can help regulate the immune system.
While shelf-stables are important during a global pandemic, fresh food is ideal. Eating the rainbow enables us to get a wide range of fruits and vegetables that boost your immunity.
Source: Dr. Michele Renee (DC, MAc), Director of Integrative Care at Northwestern Health Sciences University