While there’s a lot we can do in terms of hygiene methods such as washing our hands often and not touching our face that can help protect us against coronavirus, there’s also plenty we can do when it comes to our diets.
I’ve been wanting to do everything I can at home to help boost my family’s immune system and one of the best ways to do that is through what we eat. We always try to eat well regardless, but I wanted to find out what we can add to our diets to help strengthen our immunity. So I turned to nutritionist and author Michele Chevalley Hedge of Sydney’s A Healthy View to find out the simple things we can add, and the tweaks we can make, to ensure our diet is as healthy as possible.
Why is maintaining a healthy diet so important for our immune system?
“Our quiet, humble immune system has never received so much attention as now. It has always been important to keep our immune system robust but it’s imperative now. And it is not just about building your immunity to prevent coronavirus but to prevent all illnesses. When our immune system gets comprised, it is like tearing down a wall that otherwise would keep germs at bay. What is being overlooked by the community is that anyone in poor health is far more susceptible to this invasive virus. It is a scary time for all and there are many unknowns and things we cannot control, but what we can control is how we nourish ourselves and that has a direct impact on our immune system.”
What are the best foods for boosting immunity?
“The good news is we all must eat so why not eat for immunity, mental resilience, energy and overall wellbeing? We need a diverse group of phytochemical and vitamins to create a strong barrier against pathogens and that is very ‘do-able’ with a diet of whole, real foods. A diet where the a majority of what you are consuming is not coming from a package that is laden with chemicals, trans fats and hidden sugars.
My favourite top 10 immune optimising foods contain vitamins and minerals include folate, zinc, iron, beta-carotene, Vitamins B6, B12, C, D, and E. And these foods are:
Dark Chocolate which contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help boost the immune system by protecting the body from free radicals.
Sweet potato is rich in beta carotene which is a great source of Vitamin A, essential for immunity and an excellent source of sustained energy.
Kiwi fruit is high in vitamin C, folate, potassium, and antioxidants, such as alpha-Tocopherol and lutein. It has positive effects on the immune response making it potentially helpful in preventing a wide range of ailments.