With the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus spreading throughout the world, governments and medical authorities are doing their best to come to grips with this pandemic. Many people are wondering if there’s anything they can do that might reduce the chances of them or their family getting sick. Of course, there are no guarantees against this new illness. Exercise is an important part of staying healthy as is eating right. Beyond eating right in general, there are foods that are known to specifically boost our immune systems. Some of the best of these are listed below. You may want to start incorporating them into your diet in the hopes that it will increase your chances of weathering this viral pandemic unscathed.
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Chicken and turkey are known to be an excellent source of B6. This vitamin is important in the formation of red blood cells to keep us healthy and strong and is needed for many chemical reactions in our bodies. Only a few ounces of chicken or turkey will have all the vitamin B6 you need in a day. Because poultry can help ward off illness, don’t wait until you get sick to eat some.
Citrus fruits are known for being rich in vitamin C, which is known for being a powerful immune system booster. There are a number of ways it helps do this with one being that it’s believed to increase white blood cell production. Our bodies do not make this critical vitamin, so it’s important that we get it through our diet or through supplementation on a daily basis.
While vitamin C is critical for good health, it is not the only thing that citrus fruits bring to your immune system’s arsenal. Flavonoids are powerful plant compounds that contain antioxidants and have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a factor in many illnesses, so citrus fruits help speed recovery. Some common citrus fruits to add to your diet are oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and tangerines.
This herb that’s used as a spice in many meals and that gives garlic bread its distinctive flavor is the closest thing to a miracle when it comes to helping your body prevent and fight off illness. Garlic has a compound called allicin. This and other compounds enable it to stimulate your body’s natural killer cells and other immune response cells. Garlic is also known for promoting other benefits such as lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease. You should try to incorporate this spice into as many meals as you can. If you feel an illness coming on, you may even want to cut up some garlic into the tiniest bits you can and then wash them down with some water.
If you were lectured by your mother to “eat your broccoli,” it was for good reason. This vegetable is crammed full of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber that combine to make it a nutritional powerhouse. It contains sulforaphane, which is a potent antioxidant. Broccoli is also rich in another antioxidant known as lutein.
Some claim that it’s actually “an almond a day that keeps the doctor away” rather an apple. These nuts are full of protein, magnesium and vitamin E. They’re already believed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but they can also help you combat viral infections such as colds and the flu. Many people eschew nuts because of their fat content, but our bodies need healthy fats, and almonds are an excellent source.
You get a clue that mushrooms are considered a healthy food given the existence of the term “medicinal mushrooms.” While the portobello mushrooms most of us buy at the store are certainly healthy and beneficial, they are not in most lists of the top medicinal mushrooms.
Shiitake and Chaga mushrooms are two that do have powerful medicinal properties. Chaga mushrooms have the highest concentration of antioxidants as well as zinc for optimal immune system function. Shiitake mushrooms are high in vitamins B and D as well as minerals and eight essential amino acids. Cordyceps and Reishi are a couple more mushrooms with immune-boosting properties. You may want to try a mushroom supplement if you’re not sure you can work all of these into meals.
This ingredient found in the curry powder that’s so prevalent in Indian food is a powerful antioxidant with strong anti-inflammatory properties. The health benefits of this spice are so pervasive and powerful that it’s actually the subject of medical studies to determine its efficacy in reducing the chances of getting diabetes and to help with arthritis. Curcumin is the compound in turmeric that seems to be responsible for its beneficial properties. Many people take a turmeric and curcumin supplement, particularly during flu season, to ward off illness.
Do What You Can
Prevention has never been more important than today with COVID-19 spreading across the globe. Follow guidelines about social distancing and avoiding others as much as possible while continuing to get needed exercise. Adding the above foods to an already healthy diet may also give you and your family that extra edge to get through this situation.
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