Nutrition services

Podcast: Eating For Immunity feat. Eagle Nutrition Services

Eileen Gaffney, dietetic intern at Eagle Nutrition Services (ENS), shares tips for healthy eating and boosting her immune system. The ENS provides nutritional education and counseling services aimed at improving health, nutrition and longevity. It also serves as an outlet for dietetic students to learn about professional and independent dietetic practices. Listen to the full episode above, or read its top takeaways below:

Healthy eating and COVID-19

There are no known foods, vitamins, or nutrients that treat or prevent COVID-19. However, according to the CDC, certain vitamins and minerals can affect the function of the immune system in fighting infections and reducing inflammation and swelling.

Strengthen your immune system

“‘Booster “Immunity” isn’t exactly a precise description of the immune system, ”Gaffney said. “Maybe we can to reinforce immune system.”

You can do this by:

  • Eat a well balanced diet. This includes 2-6 oz. of protein, 2 to 3 cups of dairy products, 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables and 3 to 8 oz. of whole grains every day.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • No smoking.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Wash your hands, wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

Key vitamins and minerals

The following vitamins and minerals can have an impact on the functioning of the immune system. Gaffney also suggests different foods rich in each vitamin or mineral.

Zinc

  • Effects: Helps control inflammation in the body by slowing down this immune response to stress.
  • Where to find it: Crab, fortified cereals

Vitamin B6

  • What it does: essential for the general functioning of the immune system
  • Where to find it: Chicken, beans, hummus, bananas, baked potatoes

Vitamin VS

  • What it does: Helps stimulate antibody formulation
  • Where to find it: Citrus fruits like strawberries and kiwi, peppers,

Vitamin D

  • What it does: Used in many different bodily functions, including maintaining healthy bones
  • Where to find it: Gaffney says this vitamin is hard to get through food alone, and recommends considering a supplement

Supplements

“There is evidence suggesting [that] Vitamin C, in particular, can ease the severity and duration of the common cold, but it’s always best to meet your needs with real food, ”Gaffney said.

The recommended value for vitamin C is around 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women. You can make the daily portion with an orange, a kiwi or a portion of broccoli. A person who is unable to eat certain foods because of an allergy or other health problem may take a vitamin or supplement.

Vitamin D supplements can also be beneficial, as this vitamin can be difficult to obtain from food alone. Gaffney says it’s best to buy it as vitamin D3 at a rate of 1,000 to 2,000 international units (IU) per day.

Reliable sources of nutrition research

Eagle Nutrition Services is located at 160 Rackham Hall and is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm You can find a full list of their available services and pricing here.



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