As The World Deals With The Coronavirus, It’s More Important Than Ever To Eat Right
By now you’ve likely heard all the tips for avoiding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. In this post, however, we want to take a look at how what you eat can be the first line of defense in supporting your body’s natural immune system.
If you or a loved one is immunocompromised (or in some other high-risk category), this information is critical—but following the recommendations listed below is a good practice for everyone. And keep in mind that times of high stress compromise everyone’s immune system, which means that even if you don’t normally have any health challenges, now is the perfect time to administer some self-care.
Foods That Support Your Immune System
First up, let’s take a look at a few foods that support your immune system:
- Probiotic-source foods, such as yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut, may boost your immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria, and some probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body.
- Bone broth is a gut-friendly food that supports the immune system due to its concentration of minerals.
- There is growing research to support the belief that some herbs, because of their concentration of potent plant compounds, help fight off viruses. These antivirals include garlic, oregano, sage, basil, echinacea, ginger and others.
- Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection. Some of the best sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna), milk (cow or soy), and egg yolks. Fatty fish also are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation.
- Antioxidants are most abundant in fruits and vegetables, but also can be found in nuts, wholegrains and some meats, poultry and fish. By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants reduce inflammation and ease viral symptoms.
- Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of vitamins A, C and E, which are particularly useful in building immunity. Yes, it pays to eat all your broccoli!
What About Food Safety?
If you’re worried about contracting COVID-19, your next logical question might be whether the coronavirus can be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food. Well, according to the CDC, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”
At The Pickled Beet, we maintain the highest standards of food safety and health in our commercial kitchen—because our clients’ health is our number one priority. To start, everyone on our team who handles food is food-safety certified. To learn more about what we are doing to keep everyone’s food safe, check out our informational video.
Other Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System
Remember, times of high stress typically weaken the immune system. Techniques to reduce stress and maintain emotional balance during difficult periods can help you stay healthy.
In addition to eating right, keep in mind these other ways to strengthen your immune system:
- Don’t smoke.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Minimize stress.
With all that’s going on in the world, it might be particularly challenging to reduce stress at the moment. But there are many ways to calm your nervous system: meditation, yoga, long strolls, deep breathing … the bottom line is to find something that works for you and do that regularly.
Our next blog post will return to our National Nutrition Month series on the basic building blocks of nutrition, with an overview of the roles oils play in our diet.
Want to eat better but need help? In the Miami area, look to The Pickled Beet for delicious, healthy meals custom-prepared with the freshest ingredients. We work with individuals, couples, and families to find meals that are tasty, nutritious, and best fuel the body no matter what dietary requirements might be part of the equation. We offer no-contact deliveries to your home. Contact us for a free consultation.