That is the easiest way to help your immune system, based on a nutritionist

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are trying our best to protect and protect our loved ones and ourselves. From wearing masks to regular hand washing to social distancing, we must all do our part to flatten the curve. And while we do everything we can to protect ourselves from the outside, we should also take the time to get our immune systems into combat shape.

“If it’s not already a focus of family life, this is actually an ideal time to prioritize nutrition and health,” says Retha Harmse, a registered nutritionist and spokesperson for the ADSA (Association for Dietetics in South Africa). “As lockdown restrictions fluctuate; we will have more freedom of movement, but also more risks of contracting COVID-19. A balanced diet plays an important role in maintaining good health and supporting the immune system and all of the body’s vital systems.

A balanced diet is the best immune support

We have all seen the WhatsApp group messages telling you to eat or drink various foods, medicinal plants or supplements as “immune boosters”, treatments or even “cures”. But many (if not all) of them are misinformed and lack scientific evidence to protect you from the virus.

“Of course everyone wants to minimize their risk of contracting COVID-19, but there is no simple, quick fix to strengthen our immune systems to make sure we don’t get infected. Simply put, diet cannot “strengthen” your immune system, and no particular food or supplement will prevent you from contracting COVID-19. Good hygiene practice and social distancing remain the best means of avoiding infections, ”explains Retha.

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Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet that consists of various foods that contain a spectrum of nutrients such as copper, folic acid, iron, selenium, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D is the best way to get around that Support immune function.

“In addition to a healthy, balanced diet, a generally healthy lifestyle is also important to support the immune system,” says Retha, “that means not smoking, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and, very importantly, minimizing the stress that is very intense is this time. “

Enjoy a variety of foods

While certain foods are a little harder to come by, don’t fall into the trap of only eating certain foods. Diversity also means consuming foods from two or more food groups at each meal.

Support local businesses like Yebo Fresh who deliver fresh fruits and vegetables right to your door. There are also opportunities to donate to families in need.

Be active

Regular, moderate exercise is very beneficial for exercising outdoors, relieving stress, and improving immune function. Try some of these lockdown ideas:

  • You don’t need large spaces for cardiovascular exercise – the puffing up and down is great; Just like jumping and skipping ropes are inexpensive cardio tools.
  • Download training apps for daily training.
  • Likewise, there are many videos on physical activity, including dance, martial arts, and yoga, available on YouTube (check out our selection of workouts while you’re there).
  • If you have an enclosed garden or courtyard-like space, play physical games such as handball, bat and ball, mini cricket, or mini football that combine fun, bonding, and exercise as a family or couple.

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Make starchy foods a part of most meals

Choose whole grains, unrefined foods to add more fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your diet. Whole grain pasta, multigrain provitas or cracked bread, brown rice and bulgur are good choices.

Eat lots of vegetables and fruits every day

This can be a challenge while we are locked down and want to avoid frequent shopping.

  • Choose fresh, whole fruits that naturally have a longer shelf life, such as apples, pineapples, and citrus fruits.
  • Eat fruits as snacks and desserts. Add sliced ​​fruit or dried fruit to your granola, granola, or yogurt.
  • Since some fresh vegetables don’t last long, blanch or cook them on the day of purchase and then freeze them for later use.
  • Options for root and onion vegetables like carrots and beets, onions, garlic, and ginger have a longer shelf life.
  • Frozen and canned vegetables are also good choices.

Eat dried beans, split peas, lentils, and soy regularly

Dried legumes are not only a good substitute for meat, fish, eggs or cheese, but can also be used as an affordable “meat extender” to evolve meals.

Drink milk, Maas or yogurt every day

Maas and yoghurt keep longer in the refrigerator than fresh milk. For longer-term milk options, buy long-life milk, skimmed milk powder, or condensed milk. Fresh dairy products can also be frozen. Eat yogurt with added fruit as a snack between meals instead of a packet of crisps, as this will aid in the day’s nutrient absorption and will not contain excess fat and salt.

Fish, chicken, lean meat or eggs can be consumed daily

Get hold of canned fish like tuna, sardines, and sardines. And dishes like quiches and omelettes are an easy and tasty way to use perishable vegetables.

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Drink plenty of clean, safe water

This is perhaps the easiest time to get used to drinking enough water since you are confined to one room. Keep a bottle of water nearby so you can stay hydrated throughout the day.

Use fats sparingly

Choose vegetable oils instead of hard fats and always use little, as fats are high in energy but provide relatively few nutrients.

READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice Tips for a healthy diet

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