A well-functioning and healthy immune system is probably one of our best weapons against the fight with viruses and diseases. Feeding our body certain foods and drinks can be of great help to keep our immune system strong and increase the chances of not getting sick, especially at times like these with the massive concerns for the COVID-19 spread.
According to an article Written by Lana Burgess and Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., specialty in nutrition, on July 10, 2018, “The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, these carry out bodily processes that fight off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease. When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. Incorporating specific foods into the diet may strengthen a person’s immune response.”
In order to help with the awareness for safety measurements and stop the rapid increase in COVID-19 spread, I put together a quick list of foods and products that will help with boosting your immune system. A healthful, balanced diet can go a long way as well as playing a vital role in staying well and feeling good.
1 - CITRUS FRUITS
It’s commonly known that you should boost up your vitamin C intake after catching a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. I personally take Vitamin C every morning, regardless if I am sick or not. I also consume products that contain a high amount of Vitamin C on a daily basis just to make sure I have that box checked. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections. Popular citrus fruits include: grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and clementines.
Because our body doesn't produce or store it, we need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. If you don’t enjoy consuming the fruits themselves, I’d advise you to search for products that contain a high amount of vitamin C. I like to drink Hydra-Guard Sports Drink, orange flavor, because not only it helps me in the pool with my essential electrolyte replacement, but it also has the equivalent to 6 oranges in terms of Vitamin C.
2 - BROCCOLI
Broccoli is known to be supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber are present on Broccoli, and the vegetable is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. I’d advise you even not to cook it or if you do so, as little as possible. That’s the key to keeping its power intact. Broccoli is another source of vitamin C. It also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. For these reasons, it is a good choice of vegetable to eat regularly to support immune system health.
3 - SPINACH
Spinach is a big name in my list because it's rich in vitamin C and also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. I usually throw in some spinach on my smoothies every morning. I add spinach to blueberries, strawberries and protein powder. It’s my personal way of making sure I am consuming my daily intake of spinach.
4 - RED BELL PEPPERS
Most people don’t know this, but if we compare it ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. What’s also cool is that they are a rich source of beta carotene. For people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C. Or you could also try Hydra Guard, which I have mentioned before that has 6x as much Vitamin C as an orange and has only 5g of real sugar, with no artificial anything.
5 - SUNFLOWER SEEDS
Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. Sunflower seeds are known to be a tasty addition to salads or breakfast bowls (I usually throw some in my smoothies too). They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a very strong and powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function.
Whether you are someone who is looking to feel more energised or a professional athlete, keeping your body hydrated is the bare minimum you can do to optimise mental and physical performance. As a professional swimmer, I always have to make sure my body is at its maximum level of hydration, so I can perform at my best during everyday workouts and swim meets. Walking around with a water bottle or sports drink bottle has become part of who I am. Staying hydrated not only helps me to stay on top of my physical performance, but also I make sure I am always at my best mentally.
Products like Hydra-Guard Sports Drink also help me to make sure I have my proper amount of Vitamins and essential electrolytes. One bottle has 20% the equivalent Daily Value of Calcium we need alongside with only 5g of REAL Sugar and no artificial anything.
We should always remember that vitamin and minerals — particularly A, C and E, as well as zinc — play an important role in keeping the immune system strong so that it can fight off foreign invaders. Filling each plate with produce, lean meats, dairy and healthy fats, will help us to get what we need to help keep our immune system strong.
Our body also needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best. That’s especially true when you’re suffering symptoms like fever, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting, which can easily dehydrate you. Proper rehydration helps with recovery. Drinks with essential electrolytes such as Hydra-Guard Sports Drink have been recommended by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics for decades to relieve symptoms associated with virus-related mild to moderate dehydration in both adults and kids. You could use the code JOAO10 for a special discount on the website, and I also recommend you to subscribe to the newsletter because they are always releasing special codes for even higher discounts on their products.
The CDC says if you’re experiencing symptoms of coronavirus — including fever, cough, shortness of breath 2-14 days after exposure — seek medical attention immediately. Today is a great day to start taking the best care of yourself. Don’t skip on great nutrition, hydration, rest and exercise. Help others do the same. And, for the latest information from the CDC, please click here.