No supplement will cure or prevent disease. That’s a fact. During the COVID-19 pandemic it’s especially important to understand that no supplement, diet or other lifestyle modification other than social distancing, wearing a mask and proper hygiene practices can protect you from COVID-19.
Currently, no research supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically. So it’s important for your immune system to stay in tip-top shape during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the best ways to stay healthy is by maintaining a nutritious diet. Here are some foods that can help boost your immune system.
VITAMIN A (BETA CAROTENE)
This vitamin assists with the health of your intestines and respiratory system. Vitamin A-rich foods include carrots, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli and red bell peppers.
Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular supplement taken to protect against infection due to its important role in immune health. Vitamin C helps stimulate the formation of antibodies. Citrus fruits, strawberries, red bell pepper and kiwi are all rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient essential to the health and functioning of your immune system. Some studies show that supplementing with vitamin D may improve immune response. In fact, recent research suggests that taking this vitamin may protect against respiratory tract infections.
This nutrient promotes the neutralization of free radicals by working as an antioxidant. Foods full of vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and avocado.
Zinc is a mineral that’s commonly added to supplements and other healthcare products like lozenges that are meant to boost your immune system. This is because zinc is essential for immune system function. There are many zinc-dependent enzymes in our body and deficiency has been linked with immune dysfunction. Zinc-rich foods include beans, seeds, nuts, meat, poultry and seafood.
Specific amino acids found in protein are essential for T-cell function, which are cells that protect the body against pathogens. Meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds all have lots of protein.
Maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, and not smoking are some of the most important ways to help keep your immune system healthy and reduce your chances of infection and disease.
If you decide that you want to try a supplement, speak with your healthcare provider first, as some supplements may interact with certain medications or are inappropriate for some people. Moreover, remember that there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that any of them can protect against COVID-19 — even though some of them may have antiviral properties.