Illustrated image of carrots and greens beside a water glass filled with liquid

Supporting Your Immune System

COVID-19, Lifestyle
When it comes to nutrition, there’s a positive side to these challenging times. Working from home has its advantages, including providing us with the opportunity to have more time for meal prep and regular home cooked meals.
Let’s consider what groceries to buy and what to eat to help support your immune system. Here are some tips to focus on:
  • Eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables. This is a must!
    • You’ve heard this time and time again: fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals to support your immune system and keep you healthy.
    • When buying fresh, pick up items that are both ripe and unripe. Bananas, avocados, peaches, and plums are all items that continue to ripen after they are picked, providing an excellent way to have fresh items even 2 weeks after being purchased.
    • In addition to fresh produce, it’s also a good idea to pick up frozen fruits and vegetables. Don’t worry: these items are typically frozen shortly after being harvested and retain their peak freshness. Frozen produce will last the longest and are excellent for making smoothies, stir-frys, casseroles, and desserts. Choose anything you like. For ideas refer to our Red/Yellow/Green Light Food list.
    • Don’t forget to throw in some carrots and celery! These are always great staples to have as they are the building blocks to many homemade soups.
  • Wherever you can, add onions or garlic to your meals.
    • Onions and garlic contain potent oils that have anti-microbial properties, which may help protect against bacterial and viral infections.
    • They also last a long time and can be used with your carrots and celery to build an excellent soup base.
    • A cool, dry, dark, and well-ventilated room is the best place to store these staples. Consider your garage or basement and store them in an open basket, mesh, or a net bag.
  • Consume broth!
    • Chicken and beef broths are loaded with collagen, vitamins, minerals, and most importantly, amino acids which build our immune system. They also provide an excellent source of hydration and have the electrolytes we need if we get sick.
    • Making a broth is much easier than you think. Try making it at home with this simple recipe.
    • If buying a pre-made broth, choose the low sodium option.
    • Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Vegetable broths and soups are also excellent.
  • We all know vitamin C is important for immune health, but did you know that vitamin D is also essential?
    • Great sources of vitamin D include oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, along with eggs and mushrooms.
    • For fish, include fresh or frozen to your grocery list, and pick up on some canned fish as well.
    • Eggs will last a long time, as will mushrooms.
    • If you have vitamin D supplements, now is the time to take them. Simply follow the recommended dosage on the product you have at home.
    •  Try this healthy Newtopia recipe: Lemon and dill salmon.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
    • Staying hydrated is the most important thing to help prevent and treat any type of viral infection. When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t produce enough saliva and mucus to keep your throat naturally lubricated. This will make any swelling and inflammation worse.
    • Room temperature water is ideal, as cold liquid can sometimes irritate the throat.
    • Herbal teas are also an excellent option. When drinking tea, add a touch of honey and lemon for flavor. This will also soothe your throat and is perfect if you develop a cough or sore throat.
    • It’s best to avoid sodas, high sugar drinks, and excessive alcohol as they all negatively impact immune health.
    • In most states tap water is perfectly fine for drinking. There’s no need to stock up on bottled water.
  • Ginger is great, so pick up some ginger root!
    • Ginger is excellent in soups and stir-frys. Simply peel it, slice or grate it, and add it in.
    • Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation in the body and ease a viral infection. It also helps with nausea, tastes delicious, and adds a lot of flavor.
    • Try this delicious chicken garlic ginger healing soup.
The next time you head to the grocery store, make sure to load up on the items we highlighted above. It’s true: you are what you eat. So eat the right healthy foods to help support your immune system! Now more than ever, take great care of your body and health.