Nutritional tips to boost immunity

Nutrition play a major role in helping our body in building immunity to fight infections. Currently there is no research that support the use of any supplement to prevent COVID-19 infection. However, foods rich in vitamin A, B6, C, D and E and minerals like Zinc and other anti-oxidants have been documented to play a role in boosting immunity.

We compiled this list to guide you when next you go grocery shopping:

Citrus fruits                          Sunflowers               Yogurt                        Fish

Bell peppers (Red)               Turmeric                   Shellfish                    Papaya

Broccoli                                  Green tea                   Poultry                       Almonds

Spinach                                  Ginger                        Garlic                         Green vegetables

Avocado                                Cantaloupe                Carrot                         Non-citrus fruits

Citrus fruits: including oranges, dandelions, lime, lemon, mandarins, tangerines and grapefruits are high in vitamin C which is believed to facilitate the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections.

Red bell pepper is high in vitamin C & Beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A

Broccoli contains vitamins A, C, E and, other anti-oxidants. Cook as little possible to preserve the nutrients. Steaming is best.

Garlic clove is a low-calorie immunity boosting herb. Also helps in lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Ginger and Turmeric has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Use with caution if you have a history of peptic ulcer disease.

Yogurt (plain and fermented) are great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D Deficiency (VDD) has been documented to be prevalent in the U.S and a risk factor for H1N1 influenza virus. A large percentage of individuals who had severe COVID-19 infection were reported to have VDD.

Leafy green vegetables (like Spinach), Almonds and Avocadoes contains vitamin E which is a powerful anti-oxidant and plays a role in regulating and maintaining immune system function.

Sunflower seeds contain Phosphorus, Magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin E and, Selenium. All these play important role in immune system function.

Green Tea is a great source of L-theanine which aid in the production of germ fighting components in white blood cells.

Papaya contains vitamin C, digestive enzymes called papain, potassium, magnesium and folic acid.

Kiwi contains Folic acid, Potassium, Vitamin K and C

Cantaloupe is another nutrient rich fruits having a variety of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants like selenium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxathin and choline.

Poultry meats used for chicken soup help lower inflammation. It is rich in Vitamin B6. The stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin and other nutrient helpful for healing and immunity.

Shellfish including Oysters, crabs, lobster and, mussels are rich in Zinc.

Other foods and nutrients that contribute to immune development are listed below and are recommended for intake during quarantine and isolation period.

Dairy products, fish oil, eggs, liver, orange and vegetable are rich in vitamin A

Poultry, fish, nuts and beans are rich in vitamin B3

Green vegetables, beans, nuts, and fruits like cantaloupe-selenium

Fish, flaxseed for omega 3 fatty acids

Yogurt and fermented milk- probiotic

Green tea, blackberries, grapes, cranberries- polyphenols

Remember to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly (at least 3 washes recommended) before cooking and consumption. Vegetables should not be overcooked to preserve the nutrient and mineral content.

Published by David Arowolo


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