Please Stock up on these 13 healthy foods to boost your immune system during coronavirus, doctor and dietitian says

Please Stock up on these 12 healthy foods to boost your immune system during coronavirus, doctor and dietitian says

As cases of coronavirus continue to rise, taking daily precautions such as washing your hands, social distancing, exercising and getting enough sleep is key to lowering risk of infection.

But maintaining a healthy diet to help boost your immune system may also give you an edge. It’s important to note that no research has been done on foods that help fight against COVID-19 specifically.

However, previous studies have found that eating certain foods can improve your health and strengthen your body’s ability to fight other invasive viruses.

Here are nine expert-approved foods to stock up on during your next grocery store trip, along with creative ideas on how to add them to your diet:

1. ORANGE

 

Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 88%
Calcium 4% Iron 0%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 2%

The orange is the fruit of the citrus species Citrus × sinensis in the family Rutaceae, native to China. It is also called sweet orange, to distinguish it from the related Citrus × aurantium, referred to as bitter orange.

2. GUAVA

8 Health Benefits of Guava Fruit and Leaves

  • May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
  • May Boost Heart Health
  • May Help Relieve Painful Symptoms of Menstruation
  • May Benefit Your Digestive System
  • May Aid Weight Loss
  • May Have an Anticancer Effect
  • May Help Boost Your Immunity
  • Eating Guavas May Be Good for Your Skin.

 

3. RED BELL PEPPERS

Red bell peppers reign supreme when it comes to fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. That’s about twice more than an orange (106%).

A 2017 study published in the National Institutes of Health found that vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting a variety of cell functions and can lower the risk of respiratory infections. It can also help the growth and repair of tissues in your body.

“Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because our bodies don’t produce it naturally.”

4. BROCCOLI

“Broccoli is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that support our immune system. It also contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help fight off bacteria and viruses.

5. CHICKPEAS

Chickpeas contain a lot of protein, an essential nutrient made of amino acids that help grow and repair the body’s tissues. It’s also involved in synthesizing and maintaining enzymes to keep our systems functioning properly.

6. STRAWBERRIES

Dr.Ayman Ilyas enjoys half a cup of strawberries to get 50% of her vitamin C needs for the day.

“Vitamin C is great for strengthening your immune system,”, because it can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals that we’re often exposed to in the environment.

Dr.Ayman Ilyas recommends adding chopped strawberries to yogurt, oatmeal or on top of whole wheat toast with peanut butter. “Of course, they go well with smoothies, too,”

7. GARLIC

“Not only is garlic full of flavor, but it’s packed with health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing risk of heart disease,” according to Dr.Ayman Ilyas. “Garlic’s immunity-boosting abilities come from its heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, which can help fight off some infections.”

8. MUSHROOMS

“While sun exposure is the best source of vitamin D, it can also be provided by some foods, including mushrooms”.

A 2018 review of mushrooms as a vitamin D source found that the “sunshine vitamin” can help enhance the absorption of calcium, which is good for bone health, and may also protect against some cancers and respiratory diseases.

Mushrooms are great as a side dish or appetizer. Dr.Ayman Ilyas recommends roasting them at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, using one to two tablespoons of oil, minced garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. For something more flavorful, bake button mushrooms stuffed with cheese, onion and artichoke hearts.

9. SPINACH

“Spinach is rich in vitamin C and full of antioxidants that help shield our immune cells from environmental damage. “Plus, it has beta carotene, which is the main dietary source of vitamin A — an essential component of proper immune function.”

Like broccoli, it’s best to consume spinach raw or slightly cooked. To incorporate more spinach into your diet, Dr.Ayman Ilyas suggests blending it in a smoothie, cooking it with your morning eggs or, as an easy side dish, lightly sauteing with garlic.

10. YOGURT

“Yogurt is a great source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut and immune system,” says Dr.Ayman Ilyas. Recent studies have also found probiotics to be effective for fighting the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections.

Dr.Ayman Ilyas recommends choosing plain yogurt — rather than anything too flavored or sweetened — and topping it with fruit and honey. “Or, you can add it to your favorite post-workout smoothie,” she says.

11. SUNFLOWER SEEDS

“Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant and helps boosts the immune system,” says Dr.Ayman Ilyas.

Small but mighty, just one ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds can give you 49% of your daily value of vitamin E.

12. BITTER GOURD

Bitter melon — also known as bitter gourd  is a tropical vine that belongs to the gourd family and is closely related to zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and cucumber.It’s cultivated around the world for its edible fruit, which is considered a staple in many types of Asian cuisine.

In addition to its sharp flavor and distinct appearance, bitter melon has been associated with several impressive health benefits.

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