15 IMMUNE-BOOSTING FOODS TO HELP PREVENT THE CORONAVIRUS
You’ve heard it since you were a child, “eat your fruits and vegetables,” and most likely with dismay you ate the brussels sprouts or broccoli that your parents gave you. While you may not have lived your life adhering to the rules they taught, or what you’ve read about being healthy, now it’s more important than ever to focus on your body and putting the right foods in it. That’s why I wanted to share with you 15 immune-boosting foods to help prevent the coronavirus.
We are in a strange time right now. There’s fear, uncertainty, anxiety, excitement about being home, lack of clarity of how serious the situation is… and so much more. At the end of the day, we can all agree on one thing – no one knows how bad the Coronavirus is, and how much worse it will get.
That’s why I wanted to share with you these top 15 immune-boosting foods, because now is the time that you absolutely must be prioritizing your health.
Let me preface this with, yes, I know the grocery stores are out of just about every single item you could imagine, including many on this list. Please do not fret over this though, as the government has made it known that there is enough food and it’s just a matter of keeping them stocked. You will be able to find these at some point, so just keep going to your local grocery store. My tips to navigating the supermarket:
- Go later at night, foods have been restocked and there are not as many people there
- Find the local stores that you wouldn’t normally shop at, such as mom and pop convenience stores as they tend to have many items
- Barter with a friend, joking but also serious
You might feel like telling me, “ Nikki you can’t say these foods prevent the coronavirus.” To which I will respond, it’s been already shown in the media that if you are healthy with a strong immune system, you have incredibly low chances of getting the virus. And how do we get a healthy immune system? By eating the right foods! (That of course mixed with getting enough rest and keeping stress levels low, but that will be a blog post for another day).
So without further ado my beautiful friends, let me share the foods you absolutely should be eating right now and tips on how to incorporate them into your diet.
15 IMMUNE-BOOSTING FOODS TO HELP PREVENT THE CORONAVIRUS
- LEMON. The juice of one medium size lemon provides 50% of daily vitamin C recommended, which can aid in supporting the immune system and boosting seratonin, which can decrease when battling a virus. Add freshly squeezed lemon to warm water first thing in the morning, put it into a jug of water and sip throughout the day or add to salad dressings.
- ORANGES. Also high in vitamin C, oranges can help reduce the severity of symptoms and lower the duration you are sick. Best when eaten fresh versus store bought, as many have added sugar that can increase the length of a cold or flu.
- SPINACH. Boost your immune system with this nutrient rich vegetable that is high in vitamin C and E, as well as calcium and iron. The darker the color of fruit or vegetable, the better chance of warding off any flu or cold. Eat raw in salads, blend into smoothies, or sauté with a dash of olive oil. You can also freeze raw spinach to make it last longer.
- WATER. We lose fluids when sick and staying hydrated helps to reduce the length of time you feel low, as well as replenish any fluid lost during sweating. Aim for 1L of water per day, especially when sick. If you don’t like the taste, brew up teas, add a teaspoon of honey per cup, or add a dash of freshly squeezed lemon for extra health benefits.
- BROCCOLI. High in vitamins C, an E, as well as fiber and calcium, broccoli is a powerhouse vegetable that helps your body to fight off infection. If you don’t have much of an appetite, eat simple foods such as potato, bananas, oranges, and rice, then add steamed, sautéed or roasted broccoli when your digestion feels better.
- CHAMOMILE TEA. Used for centuries to aid in sleep, this can be used daily to help your body rest and recover, one of the most important things if you feel you are getting sick or trying to avoid it.
- GARLIC. This powerful superfood has been used to ward off illnesses, fight infections, and help treat wounds by enhancing immune cell function. Take garlic supplements, slice and sauté into a pan with vegetables, roast in the oven then blend into soups, or juice it raw. (Your partner might not want to be near you, but viruses and symptoms won’t stick around!)
- RAW HONEY. Known for it’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can also help soothe a sore throat. Add 1 tsp into chamomile tea and sip.
- BERRIES. Rich in flavonoids, a type of antioxidants in blueberries, can help you prevent flu and colds before they even start. One of the most nutrient rich foods available, add to your diet in smoothies, on top of yogurts or oatmeals, or eaten as a snack.
- BROTH. Whether you want vegetable, miso, bone, or chicken broth the choice is yours. The important thing to remember is it helps prevent dehydration and the warmth of the soup or broth can alleviate sore throats and warm the body up if you feel chills.
- BANANA. It’s easy on the digestive system, making it one of the few foods that can be consumed with ease when you’re not feeling well. Bananas are rich in potassium, which needs to be replenished if you have sweats, as well as vitamins C and B6.
- EGGS. High in vitamin D, which is known to help improve immunity, eggs can help prevent a cold when eaten every day. Opt for organic/pastured eggs to ensure the best quality for your body, which helps you to receive more benefits of this food.
- TOMATOES. Rich in a vibrant red color, tomatoes contain lycopene which is essential for the body’s lymphatic system. Also high in vitamin C, they can help increase your body’s immune health.
- OATMEAL. A warm bowl of oatmeal can be just what the doctor ordered when you’re feeling low. Oats are high in vitamin E and contain fiber that helps move everything through the body, helping you avoid both diarrhea and constipation. Buy oatmeal that has oats as the only ingredient.
- GINGER. If your grocery store still has ginger, stock up. It lasts forever and can be grated into salad dressings, stir fries with vegetables, sliced and boiled with water for ginger tea, or juiced for a ginger shot. Ginger is one of the most anti-inflammatory ingredients out there, boosting your immunity by lowering the inflammation caused when you get sick and decreasing feelings of nausea.
Now, this list by no means that other fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes should NOT be eaten. Think of it this way, if it came from the earth (i.e. was actually grown in the soil, on a tree, or in a bush) then you should be eating it. If it is vibrant and colorful naturally, you should be eating it. If there is only one ingredient found in it, you should eat it.
Staying healthy and safe my loves.