Our body’s immune system is its best line of defense against invading illnesses, and the food we eat plays a major role in how well it functions. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to take every available precaution when it comes to protecting your health, especially if you’re in a high risk group.
What is a ‘high risk group’?
High risk groups include people over 60, and those with underlying medical conditions (which can include heart disease, cancer, asthma, high blood pressure and more, as outlined by the CDC website). Even if you are not in a high risk group, it is advised that we all make a special effort to strengthen our immune systems during this time.
Boosting Your Immune System is Key
Authors of a recent article on nutrition’s role in fighting the coronavirus suggest that immunity-boosting diets are your best course of action. Specifically, the article recommends peanuts for their high vitamin E and zinc content, both of which help to support our immune systems.
Keep It Steady, Keep It Natural
While there is still much we don’t know about the virus, the best advice available is to ensure you’re following a balanced diet as regularly as possible. Authors of a recent article have laid out a series of recommendations — and while they may seem like common sense, they’re still our best defense until more is known:
- 2 cups of fruit
- 2.5 cups of vegetables and legumes (including whole grains and nuts, like peanuts)2
Recipe for Getting Started: Ginger Peanut Soy Curry
When it comes to boosting your immune system, it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the authors of “A Rapid Advice Guideline for the Prevention of the Novel Coronavirus Through Nutritional Intervention” recommend the following peanut butter-packed recipe:
- Mustard seeds
- Peanut butter
- Tomato paste
- Olive oil (or any healthy oil like peanut oil)
- Garlic Clove
- Fresh coriander leaves (optional)
- Soak the soybean in clean water for 30 min.
- Over medium heat, fry the mustard seeds in any healthy oil, preferably olive oil, for 2–3 min.
- Add and cook the onion till it becomes soft and brown.
- Add ginger, garlic, and salt.
- Cook this mixture for a few minutes till the fragrance starts coming. Then, add tomato paste and peanut butter (if desired) and mix it thoroughly.
- Boil it and lower the flame to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 15 min till it becomes a sauce.
- Add spinach and cook for 5 min, until it becomes withered. Fresh coriander leaves can be topped for taste.
Authors note that among the advantages of this protein-rich, flu-fighting recipe are its antiviral and anti-bacterial properties, as well as ingredients that promote healthy circulation and cleanse the blood.
Our health is dependent on our immune systems, and they’re only as strong as the fuel we give them — so make sure your diet contains as many beneficial foods as possible, and that you’re getting your daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
If you’re curious about finding new ideas to work them into your dinner plans, you can find plenty of great fruit- and veggie-packed recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner right here on our website.
- Aman F, Masood S. How Nutrition can help to fight against COVID-19 Pandemic. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(COVID19-S4):S121-S123. doi:10.12669/pjms.36.COVID19-S4.2776
- Budhwar S, Sethi K, Chakraborty M. A Rapid Advice Guideline for the Prevention of Novel Coronavirus Through Nutritional Intervention [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 23]. Curr Nutr Rep. 2020;1-10. doi:10.1007/s13668-020-00325-1