As coronavirus has impacted communities around the world, many people have wondered what steps they can take to stay healthy. People are heavily googling ways in which they can improve their immune system, or feed themselves with nutrient-dense foods to help fight off infection. So where should you start?
Let’s start by highlighting that eating mostly a plant-based diet (we still love our grass-fed meats) may help kick the immune system into gear. The immune system relies on white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses and other invaders. In fact, vegetarians generally have more effective white blood cells when compared to non-vegetarians, due to a high intake of vitamins and less fat.
Furthermore, the more you increase plants the higher your fiber intake will be, which helps you fill up while increasing your immunity. This helps reduce your inflammatory markers.
What plants should you be eating for optimal health?
It’s important to know that all vegetables and fruits will benefit your body somehow.
It’s also important to recognize that eating fruit and veggies that are in season will not only be more nutrient-dense with the vitamins and minerals that you need, but also have a lot fewer pesticides on them because they don’t have to travel as far to get to their destination, and are most likely from a locally sourced farmer who generally practices a holistic approach to growing crop.
So, what plants are in season that you should be eating?
Firstly, we’re so glad to say goodbye to winter and say hello to Springtime! Everything is coming to life again, but what produces can combat a low immune and provide nutrient-dense properties at the same time…
Asparagus increases the immune system by fighting bacterial infections, urine infection and the common cold which makes the immune system strong. Asparagus is a great source of B-complex vitamins, which are essential for energy production and to maintain the nervous system.
Green beans are a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost your immune system. It’s also integral for the production of collagen that can protect your skin from oxidative stress.
A chayote squash has an array of vitamins and minerals. The antioxidants found in the squash protect against cellular damage, reduces inflammation and lowers stress within the body.
Additionally, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C, which fights viruses and bacterial infections in the body.
Beets help support a healthy immune system, and are so easy to cook! They’re packed full of vitamin C, folate, vitamin B9, potassium, iron, and manganese. All of which help support a healthy immune system.
Mango is a good source of immune-boosting nutrients.
It has vitamin A, which is essential for the immune, as it fights infections. Mangoes also provide nearly ¾ of your daily vitamin C, which helps produce more white blood cells. They also contain folate, vitamin K, vitamin E, and several B vitamins, which aid immunity as well
Avocados are a good source of Glutathione – a powerful antioxidant associated with immune system health, needed for the lymphoid cells. Avocados are packed with plenty of folic acids, which is essential for hampering immunity.
Firstly, I don’t recommend oranges to anyone with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). The levels of acidity can severely aggravate the gut. For everyone else, this is a great time to dose up on vitamin C from fresh oranges.
Kiwis are a great source of vitamin C for all. Kiwis are nutrient-dense and full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient when it comes to boosting your immune system to ward off virus and disease.
We couldn’t stress the importance of plant-based focussed meals. Get those veggies on your plate and snack with fruits during the day. The more you eat, the easier it is for your body to fight off any infection lurking around!