To protect the ones they love from a virus that can kill, people online are flooding the internet with search results for the best vitamins, foods, and activities to boost your immune system against coronavirus COVID-19.
The internet provides plenty of answers—some reliable, others not.
The nutrients that seem to relate to immunity include vitamins A, C, D, and E, and the minerals zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Your immune system and body can’t function at their best without the basic building blocks they need to work properly.Eating a diet of fresh, whole foods in reasonable amounts is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamins, including the healthy antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.The important thing is variety.
These immunity-boosting foods are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that help in keeping the cells active and healthy. Sadly, the majority of people these days don’t eat enough foods that are rich in such nutrients, thereby becoming more susceptible to several diseases and illnesses. Moreover, you have to understand that you can’t just eat a specific food and expect a quick boost in immunity. A truly healthy immune system depends on a well-adjusted combination of minerals and vitamins over a period of time, in addition to regular exercise and normal sleep patterns.
In fact, it may be more important now than ever to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a long-term healthy eating pattern. That means an eating pattern that provides essential nourishment and also keeps your blood sugar and weight in check.
It appears that individuals with type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. The evidence is clear that low-carb and ketogenic diets can be effective tools for treating and reversing these metabolic conditions.
While we can’t prove that low-carb nutrition boosts immune function per se, it makes sense to limit the conditions (e.g. high blood pressure or high blood sugar) that might make things worse.
While there are plenty of health supplements available that contain the required daily dosage of minerals and vitamins for your body, it is advised to get them through natural food sources as much as possible. The following are the best foods to consider for immunity boosting:
Garlic’s immunity-boosting abilities come from its heavy concentration of sulphur-containing compounds, which can help fight off some infections.Garlic has been shown in the past to help ward off the common cold. In a 2001 study published in Advances in Therapy, participants who took garlic supplements were less likely to catch a cold. And those who did get infected recovered faster than participants in the placebo group.
Spinach is rich in vitamin C and full of antioxidants that help shield our immune cells from environmental damage. Plus, it has beta carotene, which is the main dietary source of vitamin A — an essential component of proper immune function.
Like broccoli, it’s best to consume spinach raw or slightly cooked. To incorporate more spinach into your diet, you can blend it in a smoothie, cooking it with your morning eggs or, as an easy side dish, lightly sauteing with garlic.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach are rich in iron and vitamin C. They are essential for fresh blood production and keeping blood impurities at bay. Moreover, spinach is packed with nutrients like beta-carotene and antioxidants that improve your body’s disease-fighting ability.
Turmeric is a spice that has been a part of Indian cooking for centuries. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating inflammation of the muscles and bones. Most importantly, turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin which is a great modulator of the immune system. Several studies have reported that curcumin can modulate the proliferation and activation of T cells, and can inhibit oxidative stress-induced inflammation.
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, and tangerines, among others, are packed with vitamin C that helps in boosting the production of white blood cells in the body. White blood cells are essential in fighting diseases and infections. It also helps in removing free radicals from the body, preventing cell damage, which ultimately reduces your chances of having cancer.For decades, Vitamin C has been used to help prevent the common cold. Among other functions, this vitamin can help maintain healthy skin that provides a barrier to germs and other harmful invaders. In addition, some — but not all — studies suggest it may improve the function of certain white blood cells that fight infection.
Yogurt is considered a probiotic that is essential to your immune system’s health. It directly affects your gut, helping the good bacteria to thrive. Your gut health is directly associated with your immune system. Therefore, a healthy gut means a healthy immune system. While there are plenty of flavourful yogurts available in the market, you are advised to consume plain yogurt. Plain yogurts are free of any sugars, additives, and artificial flavours that can degrade the overall quality of the food. The best way to consume yogurt is plain or with rice, or you can drizzle some honey and also add your favourite fruits to it.
Ginger is a great food with excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is a popular spice that can help reduce inflammation-related issues as well as help in the treatment of sore throat. Ginger has antiviral properties and can also improve digestion, and help maintain a healthy gut thereby strengthening the immune system.