If you are wondering how to eat during the pandemic in order to build your immune system, then I have some tips on what types of foods you can include in your meal plan:
Immune Boosting Foods and Supplements:
Probiotic and Prebiotic Food Sources:
Probiotics are live bacteria that have health benefits, such as fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, supplements*
Prebiotics are food for the probiotics, such as beans, asparagus, garlic, onions, banana, oats, apple, flax. All whole plant foods contain prebiotics
Vitamin C Sources: Immune Boosting fruits and vegetables
Citrus: orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit
Tropical fruits: kiwi, pineapple, guava, mango
Berries: strawberry, blueberry, raspberry
Bell peppers: green, yellow, orange, red
Other vegetables: cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach
Zinc Food Sources:
Legumes and Beans: lentils, chickpeas
Seeds: sesame, pumpkin, hemp, quinoa Shellfish: shrimp, oysters,
Nuts: cashews, almonds, pine nuts
Animal protein: chicken thighs, grass-fed beef, liver, venison
Vitamin D3 Food Sources:
Wild-caught fish: salmon, sardines, mackerel
Pastured eggs [yolks]: pastured eggs contain 3- 4x higher vitamin D levels vs. non-pastured
D3 supplement*: the active form of vitamin D Mushrooms
Remember that some of these foods contain antioxidants to reduce inflammation in the body and play an important role in keeping our bodies healthy. I recommend following a Mediterranean diet, as it incorporates many of the nutrients discussed above and are great immune foods to eat.
If you are quarantined and it’s not possible to get out and purchase fresh deep-colored fruits and vegetables, then purchase frozen fruits and vegetables, and place them in the freezer, and add them into a smoothie or dish when you are ready to use them.
*Make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
*Recipe for Greens and Beans –
1 can of 15oz great northern beans
1 tsp. EV olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
2 cups of spinach
Instructions- Sauté olive oil and garlic together for a few minutes, add beans and warm-up for 2 minutes and then add spinach and sauté until spinach wilts. You can eat it alone or serve it on top of Whole Grain pasta, quinoa or brown rice.