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Foods to Help Protect Ourselves from Viruses

In these days of our concern over COVID-19, we all want to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our families. But it is easy to feel out of control and helpless. One big thing that you can control is what you put into your mouth. Eating immune-boosting foods will increase your chances of avoiding any illness. No food will cure any virus or guarantee that you won’t get it, but having a strong immune system will lessen the likelihood of illness coming your way. Seventy percent of our immune system resides in our gut, so keeping our gut running properly is an excellent way to keep our immune system strong.

Immune-Boosting Foods

These are some foods that have shown immune-boosting properties:

  1. Fruits. Especially those high in Vitamin C such as oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, apples, sweet cherries, berries, and plums.
  2. Vegetables. Some of the best are the cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli or raw mustard greens. Other excellent veggies are spinach, bell peppers beets, and artichokes. Yellow vegetables also pack a lot of Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes and carrots top the list
  3. Omega-3 Rich Meats. Salmon and oysters are your best bet here due to their high zinc levels.
  4. Good Fats. Some of the best fats come from fish oils, avocado, olive oil and nuts.
  5. Herbs and Spices. At the top of the list are garlic and turmeric. Other good ones are rosemary and anise. Rosemary improves our gut health, and anise has antiviral properties to boost immunity.
  6. Seeds and Nuts. These are high in Vitamin E, which supports our body’s ability to fend off invading bacteria and viruses. Some of the highest in Vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts.
  7. Liquids. Good hydration helps to prevent infections and deliver nutrients to our cells. The very best liquid is, of course, plain water. Other good ones are green tea or herbal teas such as ginger or ginseng. Avoid liquids high in sugar or caffeine.
  8. Chocolate. Everyone’s favorite! This food lowers your response to stress, which is especially helpful during times like these when many of us are feeling more stress. 40 g. per day is enough.

Other Thins You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family

  1. Eat less salt and sugar. These do more to deplete your body’s resources than to help.
  2. Get physical exercise. Exercise expels toxins from your body and strengthens your immune system. Regular exercise also lowers your body’s stress hormones.
  3. Avoid processed foods. These are usually lacking in nutrients and contain many toxins.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. A sleep-deprived body is a lot quicker to pick up viruses or bugs that you don’t want.

We hope you all are staying healthy and safe during this time. Please give us a call if you need more counseling about your health.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Klein on Unsplash