While there are no specific supplements that will help protect against coronavirus (read more here), there are ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally, which can help to keep you healthy and give you a sense of control in an uncertain time.
So aside proper handwashing, maintaining good nutrition, being physically active, meditating and managing stress and getting adequate sleep, start by filling your plate with immune-boosting nutrients. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat a nutritious diet. That’s because our immune system relies on a steady supply of nutrients to do its job. For a starter dose of immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits. Here are some key nutrients that play a role in immunity, and food sources of them:
- Eat Carrots, kale and apricots for beta carotene – beta carotene converts to Vitamin A and it is essential for a strong immune system.
- Oranges, strawberries and broccoli for Vitamin C – Vitamin C increases blood levels antibodies. Some research has suggested that higher levels of vitamin C (at least 200 milligrams) may slightly reduce the duration of cold symptoms.
- Eggs, cheese, tofu and mushrooms for Vitamin D – Vitamin D regulates the production of a protein that “selectively kills infectious agents, including bacteria and viruses.
- Beans, nuts, cereal and seafood for zinc – Zinc helps cells in your immune system grow and differentiate and may help shorten the duration of the common cold.
- Milk, eggs, nuts and more for protein – Protein is a key building block for immune cells and antibodies and plays a crucial role in helping our immune system do its job.
- Bananas, beans and more for prebiotics – Probiotics and prebiotics help boost the health of the microbiome, which in turn supports our immune system.
- Water, fruit, soup and more for hydration – According to Melissa Majumdar, Mild dehydration can be a physical stressor to the body. Women should aim to consume 2.7 liters or 91 ounces of fluids daily, and men, 3.7 liters or 125 ounces; an amount that includes all fluids and water-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables and soups.