Immune System Supplements to Take During Covid-19
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, aside from vigilant mask-wearing, hand-washing and communal area avoiding, staying healthy also plays an important role in reducing our risk of picking up the virus. Not least, what we eat can have a large impact on our overall health. So we’ve put together a list of recommended food options that packed with properties that can help strengthen your immune system and benefit your body as a whole to work into your daily diet.
Fruits in the berries family
Whether blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, gooseberries, mulberries or any other edible berries, such fruits are sweetly tinged with a touch of sour that is always delicious. As nutritious as they are refreshing, berries are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, selenium, β-carotene, and bioflavonoids (vitamin P). Taken altogether, they are rich in antioxidant properties. They can also help slow aging processes, nourish the skin, and improve vision. Plus they can reduce cholesterol and the risk of cancer. Berries are also considered highly beneficial to our cardiovascular systems and can help strengthen the body’s immunity. All very good for our health and wellbeing.
Fruits and vegetables that are orange and yellow
Think of the likes of pumpkin, carrot, ripe papaya, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango, watermelon, and leafy green vegetables. Such fruits and vegetables contain numerous types of antioxidants, including most notably, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C, all of which are associated with good cardiovascular health. They can also lower the chances of getting cancer. Moreover, the carotenoids convert into vitamin A which aids vision and strengthens the body’s immune system against opportunistic infections.
The grains (cereals) group
Including oats, barley, millet and black sesame, among many others, grains are low-fat, high-energy carbohydrates. Rich in nutritional properties, this food group contains plenty of antioxidants, phenolic acid, and vitamins B and E. Energy from grains can be used by the body immediately. Wholegrains are helpful in lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They can also help with weight-control. There is also evidence to supports the perception that this particular food group can curb death levels from respiratory and infectious diseases. Grains also contain multiple minerals, including selenium, which act as antioxidants that boost immunity.
Fruits in the citrus family
Fruits with a sour flavor such as lemons, grapes, grapefruits and various types of oranges, are special not only for their distinctive blend of sweet and sour but also for being highly nutritious and rich in vitamin C. These fruits can help boost our immune system functionality, from guarding against entry of pathogens, to aiding white blood cells in destroying harmful pathogens already inside, to producing antibodies. Meanwhile, multiple non-sour fruits and vegetables also pack high levels of vitamin C, including papaya, mango, apple, broccoli, kale, pepper, and others.
Ranging from nuts and seeds to bean products, legumes include soy milk, almond milk, pistachio milk, and walnut milk, all of which are high in protein. They also contain unsaturated fatty acids, considered ‘good’ fats, along with vitamin B and folate. Legumes are useful in reducing fat levels in the body and can benefit the cardiovascular system. Other minerals also found in legumes such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, help with bone issues. Legumes are also an excellent alternative to cow’s milk for those lactose intolerant.
Besides eating nutritious foods and adapting our daily diets to strengthen our immunity, making small lifestyle changes can also have a significant positive influence on our overall health. Be sure to have a balance of all five food groups in your diet and drink sufficient water every day (about 1.5 liters). Avoid food options that are overly salty, or contain high levels of fat and sugar.
All this will promote a healthier you and help keep you safe from various diseases and viruses, especially Covid-19.
This article has been verified for accuracy by Dr. Patawee Boontanon, Infectious Disease Pathologist, Queen Sirikit Hospital.
• Bumrungrad International Hospital
• Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health
• Paolo Phapholyothin Hospital
• Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University