• Rob Olson

Can What You Eat Keep You Healthy? Yes!

You hear us say it all the time: nutrition is the foundation of fitness, you need to put optimal fuel in to get optimal output, you can’t out-train a bad diet, etc. While we know each of these things is true, there’s no better time than now to highlight the way your nutrition can actually prevent you from getting sick. This isn’t news: good nutrition prevents cardiac disease, diabetes, and a myriad of other chronic diseases. But this piece may be news to you: good nutrition can support you in fighting off the seasonal flu, the common cold, and you guessed it….COVID 19.

How? Good nutrition is essential for supporting a strong immune system! Your immune system protects you from the variety of pathogens that threaten to make you sick each and every day. With everything going on right now-there’s no doubt each of us wants to do everything we can to stay healthy--so for immunity boosting benefits, include these nutrients consistently into your daily diet:

  1. Protein Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. Eat a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and nuts and seeds.

  2. Vitamin A Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Get this immune-boosting vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods fortified with vitamin A.

  3. Vitamin C Vitamin C helps protect you from infection by encouraging antibodies and boosting immunity. Include more sources of this healthy vitamin in your diet by consuming citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato or foods fortified with vitamin C.

  4. Vitamin E Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and improves immune system function. Obtain adequate vitamin E in your diet with consumption of sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils, hazelnuts and peanut butter.

  5. Zinc Zinc helps the immune system work properly and assists with wound healing. Zinc food sources include lean meats, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts.

With so much unknown and out of your control right now-take control of your nutrition. While we wait on the curve to bend, on a vaccine to be made, and science to give us more information, give yourself a leg-up and eat a variety of nutrient dense foods that will support you in staying healthy!

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