This is a hard time to watch what you eat, much less be on a diet. People are stuck inside the house, farmer’s markets are closed, and the desire to fill up on comfort food is strong. Unfortunately, the same virus that has us locked up and stressed out makes it more urgent than ever that we carefully monitor what we are putting into our bodies. Your diet affects your immune system, and if you want to stay healthy and give yourself the best shot at defeating Covid-19, you must give your body the best tools for the fight.
A poor diet compromises the immune system. Foods high in sugar or high in salt, processed foods, too many bad carbohydrates, and a lack of fresh produce and whole foods, all contribute to inflammation, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart problems, and obesity. Having any of these conditions puts you in the high risk category if you get the Corona virus.
Most bad-for-you food causes inflammation in the body. So does Covid-19. If your body is already chronically inflamed trying to counteract the poor diet you’ve been feeding it, then when it launches an immune response to the virus, it’s going to inflame even more. Severe inflammation leads to cell and muscle damage and a potentially lethal “runaway immune response.” Keeping your base-line level of inflammation low with a good diet can give you a strong body and a balanced immune response.
Here’s what you should eat instead:
- Whole fruits and vegetables, fresh if possible
- Small amounts of meat – look for other sources of protein, such as quinoa and soy products
- Vitamins and supplements that boost the immune system
- “Good carbs” such as nuts, whole grains, quinoa, and brown rice
Getting yourself as healthy as possible could help to minimize the effects of the virus if you should happen to get it.