Healthy food makes a healthier you!
With the increasing cases of the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country and the scientists hard at work devising vaccines and antivirals, perhaps the key to staying safe lies in prevention. Actually, scratch that. Even without the threat of a disease underway, we need to keep our bodies healthy. Or boost our immune system, so to speak.
But note that the immune system is— by its very name— a system. That means that everything needs to be working in balance and harmony for it to be in tip-top shape. One great way to start is by watching what we eat. And according to health professionals, here’s how you can make the healthy switch:
5. Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
A healthy immune system needs nourishment, and what better place to get them than in food? For example, leafy green vegetables like bok choy and spinach come packed with a protein that helps regulate your immune cells in the gut and gets them to function properly. That way, your body can easily repair damaged cells, and you’re not as susceptible to diseases and injuries. Fruits like oranges and grapefruit are also a great source of vitamins that your body needs but doesn’t naturally produce like Vitamin C. Folic Acid, Iron and Vitamin B6, which can be found in some vegetables, are also essential for a healthy immune system.
4. Drinking Vitamin-rich Juices
While it is tempting to grab your favorite pack of powdered juices, these come loaded with sugar instead of the nutrients you need. Instead, opt for fresh juices— either those packed with essential nutrients for everyday health, juices that help fight colds and the flu, or a mix of both. Examples include apple, carrot and orange juice, which are rich in Vitamins A, B-6, and C, Potassium and Folic Acid. You can even try a beet, carrot, ginger and turmeric juice that’s packed with Vitamins A, C, and E, Iron, and Calcium. (Tip: go for cold-pressed juices so that the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and nutrients are preserved)
3. Drinking Vitamins and Multivitamins
Aside from eating fruits and vegetables, it’s important to take supplements and multivitamins to get your essential nutrients. And start with the most important one: Vitamin C. It’s a great immune system booster because it has antioxidants that help delay or prevent diseases and cancer. Plus, it promotes healthy aging, and while not proven yet, can reduce the onset of a cold. Plus, our body doesn’t produce it, so we need to get it from the food we eat— like oranges— or even in supplements that you can take daily. Another vitamin rich in antioxidants is Vitamin E, which is essential for a healthy immune system, along with Vitamin B6. It not only helps the body absorb other important nutrients but also helps regulate brain and body function. Just remember— not everyone has the same vitamin requirements, so make sure to consult your doctor or a medical professional before taking anything.
2. Cutting Back on Sugar
This may be tough, but it’s needed. “Bad” bacteria, after all, feed on sugar, which can cause them to kill the good bacteria. Some studies show that sugar slows down your immune system’s ability to respond to challenges (aka sicknesses or threats), and while this is still subject to debate, just remember that moderation is key. Too much sugar, especially processed sugars can cause gut imbalance, diabetes or even cancer— which can weaken your body’s immune system.
1. Eating More Fermented Food
And speaking of good bacteria, one good way to repopulate it includes eating more fermented food like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi. These tangy dishes are rich in probiotics and help your body absorb vitamins and minerals. They too keep your digestive system healthy and help produce antiviral and anti-fungal substances that help your body fight against diseases. Your body could really use the added help after all!
(Disclaimer: this does not guarantee 100% immunity against any disease, or even against Covid-19. It just lessens your chances of getting hit.)
And in light of the pandemic that is Covid-19, it helps to remember the cardinal rules to prevent contracting it. This includes washing your hands with soap and water(we cannot emphasize how important this is), regularly sanitizing your surroundings with alcohol, avoiding contact with people (social distancing, people!) and not touching your eyes with dirty hands. Keep your surroundings clean, practice good hygiene, and self-quarantine especially after coming from a different country.
Stay safe, everyone!
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