Fighting COVID-19 Through Nutrition

Fighting COVID-19 Through Nutrition

One aspect of the coronavirus that we fully understand is that a baseline of overall health is the best measure of how resilient any individual will be. Our immune systems are supported by good habits, and nutrition is an especially important piece of the puzzle. Proper nutrition and getting all of the correct vitamins and nutrients, paired with other healthy habits, helps us to resist contracting the virus and fight back if we do get sick. Fighting COVID-19 through nutrition is simpler than you may think and it all starts with you!

Fighting COVID-19 Through Nutrition

As the ancient philosopher Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine…” We all know that eating healthfully makes us feel good and keeps us strong. The benefits of a balanced diet extend to strengthening our immune system to help us withstand an assault from any virus. When putting together a diet plan to fight COVID-19, it’s important to focus on foods that are proven to support the immune system.

Specific types of food that have been shown to support the immune system include:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Legumes, whole grains, and nuts
  • Unsaturated fats (found in avocado, fish, olive oil, and nuts)

It is recommended, for optimum nutrition, to eat two cups of fresh fruits daily and 2.5 cups of fresh vegetables daily. It is important to not overcook vegetables as this can diminish the amount of vital nutrients and minerals in the serving. Limiting salt intake and reducing consumption of red meat to once or twice a week are other recommended practices for supporting overall nutrition.

The Truth About Vitamins and Supplements

As of now, there is no known cure for the coronavirus. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19  has only been facilitated by the trend of misinformation being widely circulated online. There have been many claims of miracle cures or supplements and vitamins that “guarantee” a cure to the virus or promise that an individual will never contract COVID-19. These claims are entirely false and are incredibly dangerous.

All of that being said, the vitamins we get through proper nutrition or by supplementing them into our personal wellness routines can help to support a healthy body and immune system. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and zinc are known to reduce inflammation and swelling and may offer support to our immune system, when it is called to fight off an infection. The best means of obtaining the vitamins and minerals necessary for fighting COVID-19 through nutrition is by way of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk or fortified milk alternatives, and lean meats, seafood, and legumes. Untested supplements can be dangerous to your health, so it is always best to talk with your healthcare provider before taking vitamin and dietary supplements.

Supporting Your Health With Good Habits

As we all know by now, COVID-19 can be spread through water droplets in the air or touching surfaces that has the virus on it and then touching your own face, mouth, or eyes. Currently, there is no evidence to support that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food. That doesn’t mean you can skip the proper precautions! Beyond fighting COVID-19 through nutrition and food, here are some best practices to help you stay healthy and safe:

  • After shopping, handling food packages, or whenever preparing food, carefully clean the items and thoroughly wash your hands during and after handling.
  • When picking up food from a restaurant, be sure to wear your mask and maintain social distancing!
  • Regularly clean and disinfect work surfaces in your kitchen.
  • Maintain a baseline of health through regular exercise, proper sleep habits, plenty of water, and self-care measures like meditation.

The best defense against COVID-19 is a healthy body! Fighting COVID-19 through nutrition isn’t about any new discovery. It’s about mindfully caring for yourself and keeping your immune system strong. Stay safe and stay healthy!

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