16 Apr Follow these immune system diet tips to keep as healthy as possible
Coronavirus is causing many people to review their diet and look at whether they’re getting the right minerals and vitamins to help boost their immune system. And while there is no single definitive answer about nutrition and its effect on our health, there are many scientific studies to show that eating certain foods can boost your immunity.
As well as taking steps to exercise regularly and often, sleep well, wash hands properly and manage stress levels, your diet is important in the fight against coronavirus, or any other illness. It’s also something under your control and will help you feel more positive during this challenging time.
We know that our immune systems need various nutrients to work effectively. The best and easiest way to get these is through the food you eat. A good rule of thumb is to fill at least half your plate with vegetables, salad or fruit at every meal. Below I’ve listed some suggestion of how you can get the vitamins you need from your everyday diet to boost your immune system.
Immune system diet tips – which foods contain vitamins and minerals
Eat a mix of the following foods for every meal, and you will be upping your intake of key vitamins and minerals. Taking a multivitamin is a good supplementary option, but you can’t beat getting nutrients from the food you eat for maximum benefit.
What to eat for Vitamin A…
You need foods rich in beta carotene, which converts to Vitamin A inside our bodies. Vitamin A is key to maintain strong immunity and it also helps antibodies fight off toxins in the system. Eat apricots, mango, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, spinach, squash, kale and carrots for Vitamin A.
What to eat for Vitamin C…
Vitamin C increases the antibodies in our bloodstream, which then helps our bodies to determine what kind of protection we need internally. Some research says that in higher doses (at least 200mg a day), Vitamin C can slightly reduce the length of time cold symptoms stick around. Eat cauliflower, cooked cabbage, red peppers, sprouts, strawberries, oranges, kiwi and grapefruit for Vitamin C.
What to eat for Vitamin D…
Vitamin D regulates the production of a protein that kills viruses and bacteria. Many people are Vitamin D deficient during the winter due to a lack of sunlight, and this can weaken the immune system. You can get Vitamin D from all kinds of foods, including fresh and tinned oily fish, plant-based milk and milk products that are fortified, mushrooms and tofu.
What to eat for Zinc…
Zinc can boost the growth of your immune system and some studies suggest that it could shorten the length of a cold. To get more zinc into your diet, eat things like tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, oysters, some cereals, pork chops, beef, dark poultry meat and yoghurt.
What to eat for protein…
Getting enough protein is essential as it’s an important building block for immune system cells. Get it from beef, fish and poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, seeds, lentils, nuts, beans and yoghurt.
A balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables will help you to get sufficient nutrients to keep your immune system working. Keeping hydrated is also important, as even mild dehydration can put physical pressure on the body.