Immune Boosting Foods to Battle Quarantine

Immune Boosting Foods

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many households across the world in terms of budgeting for their routine food shop. Globally, people have been digging into the back of their pantries, looking for something to make a meal from. In the hopes of preserving as much of their budget as possible, while using up foods.

This new restriction in the food budget has made it all the more difficult to plan healthy meals. Especially for families. While we are amid a pandemic and a decrease in food budget and availability of food items, we are still receiving advice on the best foods. However, with many people bulk buying in panic mode, a lot of the foods we usually buy may not be available. As a result, maintaining a healthy diet has been made somewhat difficult.

While piling your shopping cart high with canned meat, canned vegetables, and dry grains may make you feel more secure, can you really make a nutritious meal? There needs to be a balance between finding budget-friendly meals that are suitable for families and purchasing foods that are certain to be available.

A Healthier Immune System Will Not Happen Overnight

Does maintaining a healthy diet really affect and boost our immune system? Absolutely! But first, there is no quick fix to boosting your immunity and it certainly will not happen instantly. As we are in the depths of a pandemic, there is a lot of buzz about ways to boost the immune system in a bid to fight off COVID-19. However, it must be noted that no one food can prevent you from getting a virus.

A short-term healthy diet is not the aim here. The goal is to introduce a new long-term healthy eating plan that is based on building immunity. Understandably, every time we get sick many people believe that the damage is from the virus itself. However, most of the damage that occurs is from the body’s immune response. As your body tries to fight off the illness, it sometimes overreacts. Which can prolong illnesses.

To help strengthen your immune system, you should maintain a healthy diet long-term, follow an exercise regime, and practice mental health care.

Eat with Intention

To boost your immune system, it is vital to eat a well-balanced diet. But what does ‘balanced’ mean exactly? To put it simply, it means to get in a way where nourishing the body and mind is of focus. Rather than eat junk food for enjoyment and boredom, you should eat with intention.

One of the best nutritional diets you can follow is the Mediterranean food plan. This diet focuses more on plant-based nutritional foods rather than dairy and meat products. This makes it the perfect diet for quarantine.

By following the Mediterranean diet, you can help reduce the risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack. It has also been linked with reducing a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and cancer, due to its anti-inflammatory foods.

Immune Boosting Foods Mediterranean Diet Plan

Tips for Maintaining a Mediterranean Diet Plan

  • Eat the rainbow – try to have 5 to 6 servings of colored fruits and vegetables for immune-supporting antioxidants
  • Use olive oil in cooking – for a source of healthy fats
  • Snack on nuts and seeds – limit yourself to a handful a day for a source of micronutrients
  • Swap rice, flour, and pasta – instead, eat oats, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread
  • Get more fiber and minerals in your diet through one serving of lentils, peanuts, or beans a day
  • Reduce meat consumption – ideally once a day or less
  • Swap red meat for chicken or turkey
  • Drink plenty of water – around 8 to 10 glasses a day

By following the above diet plan, you will have a great source of micronutrients that will help boost your immune system. Here is a rundown of the nutrients you will be getting and why there are important for your overall health and the immune system:

Vitamin A – helps to keep the immune response regulated. Great sources of this vitamin are carrots, spinach, mango, sweet potatoes, and red bell pepper

Vitamin C – works at protecting cells against infection and chronic inflammation. Great sources of this vitamin include broccoli, kale, tomatoes, oranges, and strawberries

Vitamin E – also protects you against infection and chronic inflammation. Great sources of this vitamin are green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocado, and wheat germ.

Vitamin B6 – supports the immune system to have efficient reactions. Great sources of this vitamin are tuna, salmon, green vegetables, and chickpeas

Iron – helps immunity, which is the body’s first line of defense. Great sources of iron are spinach, white beans, lentils, and tofu

Zinc – supports healing for injuries such as wounds. Great sources of zinc are milk, nuts, seeds, beans, lean meats, and seafood

The Bottom Line

Overall, your immune system cannot be boosted by a short-term change. If you want to see results, you need to begin by making long-term changes in your diet and lifestyle choices. To help you to eat a well-balanced diet during the COVID-19 pandemic, follow these simple tips.

If you have a young family, involve them in the cooking. This may help them to be interested in eating a range of different foods. Another great tip is to make use of your leftovers. Rather than throw them away, freeze them for another meal. You can even use up your scraps to make stock.