Barbara Quinn Monterey Herald
I’m seeing more reports of how nutrition can help us fight COVID-19. No one is saying that we can totally avoid or cure disease if we eat right. But the case for improving our diets to get through this pandemic is certainly strong.
Our immune system, after all, is made from the components that we find in food. And like a well-established football team, a strong immune system needs the right balance of individual nutrients working together. These include proteins and vitamins (such as A, C, E, B6 and B12) and minerals such as iron and zinc. And we get these substances when we eat a balanced diet which includes foods such as eggs, meat, fish, poultry, soybeans, a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and produce. dairy.
Without a doubt, experts say, the foods we choose to eat (or not eat) have a profound effect on our immune system and our susceptibility to disease.
Here are a few ideas: Take a look at your plate. Does it contain a good source of protein? Are there a variety of green, red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables (M&M don’t count)? Does it include whole grains? Otherwise, a lack of key nutrients can reduce your resilience to infectious diseases.
Don’t put too many men on the ground. Supplements can help if our diet is lacking in certain nutrients, but don’t overdo it. Zinc, for example, is needed to strengthen our immune system and is mainly found in oysters, shellfish, meat, pork, poultry, beans and fortified grains. Excessively high doses of zinc supplements, however, can actually reduce the body’s ability to fight disease.