Importance of Smart Nutrition NOW
This challenging environment has people reaching for comfort foods—bread, pizza, pasta, cookies, cakes, chips. Don’t eat like it’s your last meal on earth! Bodies quickly metabolize these foods into glucose (sugar) which provides an endorphin surge leaving us feeling temporarily happy and energized. However, on the negative side, sugar suppresses the action of white blood cells for hours after consumption leaving our immune systems in a weakened state while also promoting inflammation. In fact, infections of all kinds are more common (and severe) in those with poorly controlled blood sugar and diabetes. As we’ve all learned, those with diabetes and other chronic inflammatory conditions such as heart and lung disease present with poorer outcomes with COVID-19.
Having adequate nutrient levels supports the body’s innate ability to fight infectious diseases. So, follow these simple suggestions:
- Eat a healthy diet including lots of colorful vegetables & berries (frozen foods are fine and are preferable to canned foods). These provide your body with vital nutrients as well as the polyphenols (disease fighting compounds) that have similar molecular structures and biological actions as antiviral drugs.
- Use herbs and spices liberally in your cooking. Various compounds in herbs and other medicinal plants potentially interfere with viral entry into cells.
Here’s where you can find important immune boosting nutrients:
- Vitamin A – Beef liver, cod liver oil, sweet potatoes, carrots, black-eyed peas, spinach, broccoli
- Vitamin C – Kiwi, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, papaya, broccoli, tomato, kale, grapefruit, persimmon, spinach, pineapple
- Vitamin D – The sun is the best source or supplement if deficient
- Vitamin E – Sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, spinach, butternut squash, kiwi, broccoli, olive oil, trout, shrimp
- Zinc – Oysters, beef, crab, and lobster, and to a lesser extent chicken, cheese, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, cashews, and almonds
Taking supplements is an option for additional support but requires counseling based on your medication protocol, your health conditions, and possible nutrient toxicities and side effects. Be careful about the information on the internet making supplement recommendations. Since each person is unique, we won’t all have positive results. Also, watch for unsubstantiated claims about benefits and quality of the supplements. Many supplements are inactive forms of vitamins and contain fillers and toxicants that stress the body more than they are helping.