Eating healthy food—along with getting adequate sleep, exercise, and managing stress—can help the body maintain a strong immune system. In a May 14, 2020 post on Thrive Global, Lilian Cheung, lecturer and director of health promotion and communication in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, offered tips for what to eat to help our bodies fight infection during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. They include:
- Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, and low in red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates, and sugar.
- Consider taking a multivitamin.
- Maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.
- To prevent weight gain, eat on a regular schedule, choose healthy snacks, and limit liquid calories including alcoholic beverages.
- Support the growth and maintenance of a healthy microbiome with a high fiber diet, and consider adding fermented foods such as yogurt or kimchi.
Noting that many people are craving comfort foods at this time, Cheung wrote that it’s ok to eat them in moderation. Don’t eat so much of them that they take the place of healthy food that helps maintain the immune system, she advised. But when a craving hits, she wrote, “pause and take a few in breaths and out breaths to be fully present with your craving. Take the comfort food you really want and put it on a plate. Eat mindfully, savoring each bite.”
Read the Thrive Global post: 5 Nutrition Tips to Support a Healthy Immune System