These days new terms have entered our vocabulary very quickly. Certainly, “social distancing” and “self-isolation” are daunting, but effective concepts that will help eradicate the dreaded COVID19 over time. Washing your hands from elbow to fingernails repeatedly for a full 20 seconds throughout the day is a good practice always. This critical period is also ideal for you to fortify your immune system against harmful cold and flu viruses. Besides getting plenty of fresh air and exercise, what you eat makes a difference. Strengthen you body with the following mighty foods.
Eating more protein is a sure way to stay at the top of your game. Proteins are made up of amino acids. These compounds help turn T cells, B cells and antibodies in your immune system into germ fighters that spot and kill harmful cells that enter your body before they can start infection. Combine this fact with protein’s abilities to boost metabolism, burn fat, decrease harmful LDL, reduce inflammation, and preserve and build lean muscle. Reach for healthy low-fat protein sources like cold water fish, lean poultry, and eggs. Remember that protein is also found in whole grains, fruit and vegetables.
Here are some other common foods that bolster your immune system:
Broccoli contains vitamins A, C, and glutathione, all potent antioxidants. Eat it raw, steamed or cooked, or in soups and stews, or dip it in low-fat dressing as a snack.
Chicken soup, either your grandma’s recipe or out of a can, this elixir is rich in protein, healthy fat, and it contains carnosine which helps protect your body from flu viruses.
Garlic combats skin infections by fighting bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It’s also effective at lowering your LDL, the bad cholesterol. Don’t use salt or powder, go for the real stuff and use it heavily in soups, sauces, stir-fries, etc.
Ginger is a good source of antioxidants which fight free radicals (pesky toxins) in your system caused by stress, colds, viruses and poor nutrition. Skip sugary ginger ale and supplements and get it straight from the knobby root. Add the real thing grated to any food, or steep it in hot water to make tea.
Low-fat yogurt contains pro-biotics that may ease the severity of colds. Look for labels that say “live” or “active” cultures. Add fruit or granola for added fiber and flavor.
Spinach, eaten raw or cooked, contains folate which helps the body make new cells and repair DNA. It also contains fiber and vitamin C
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene which the body turns into vitamin A, which in turn mops up free radicals, bolsters the immune system and may even stall the aging process!
Wheat germ is the part of a wheat seed that feeds the baby wheat plant. It is rich in zinc, antioxidants, B vitamins, fiber, protein and healthy fat. Use this as a nutrient dense partial replacement for white flour in most recipes.
Please stay healthy, take care of yourself and your loved ones, and we will make it through this difficult time stronger, healthier and wiser!
Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and massage therapist (MA#40288) with his own one on one facility www.pumpnincgym.com in Ft. Lauderdale. contact [email protected] with questions or to set up an appointment.