Grab these immunity-boosting foods on your next grocery run
Natural foods are your best source of immune system boosters.
The advent of COVID-19 has served as a reminder of our
vulnerability, and has pushed us to re-evaluate how we live and maintain our
health. While there is no cure or vaccine against this pandemic yet, there
are some things we can do to grant our bodies extra protection. On top of the
list is building up our body's immunity, which, as medical experts point out,
is best achieved by consuming healthy food.
Produced by Unilab’s natural
products company Synnovate Pharma Corp., Sekaya
is a brand that’s committed to prescribing nature by doing scientific research
to develop pharma-grade health products such as food supplements and botanic
infusions – all of which are from plant-based ingredients that have long been
backed by tradition and undergone exacting measures to ensure
purity and potency. With a mission to educate and
help Filipinos come up with informed decisions about the food they consume,
Sekaya underlines that there's no better source of immune system boosters than
Dr. Oyie Balburias, who
takes a holistic approach to wellness as one of the
functional medicine pioneers in the Philippines, further explains that eating
nutrient rich foods is vital in making sure the immune system functions
properly. “A healthy immune system will be able to perform its role of
defending and repairing our body,” he says.
Here are immunity-boosting foods Dr. Balburias recommends you
should get on your next trip to the grocery to help protect you and your
household in these uncertain times.
Fruits and leafy greens. Vitamin
C, or ascorbic acid, is a superhero when it comes to boosting the immune
system. Because ascorbic
acid inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation, clinical trials have found that
Vitamin C shortens the frequency, duration and severity of the common cold and
the incidence of pneumonia. Oranges,
kiwi, strawberries, red bell peppers, broccoli, malunggay or moringa, and kale are rich in vitamin C, giving your
body the antioxidants it needs to renew itself and fight free radicals, the
molecules that damage the immune system. If you’re under stress, these foods
are especially helpful in protecting your immune system from becoming
susceptible to viruses.
D is another must-have when living through a global pandemic. It helps activate
your body’s immune system defenses with its anti-inflammatory and
immunoregulatory properties. Vitamin D is so important in immune function that
low levels of this have been associated with increased susceptibility to
infections, diseases, and immune-related disorders. You can find vitamin D in
several kinds of seafood, particularly sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel or tanigue, halibut, and swordfish. Eggs,
beans, avocado, and lettuce are also rich in vitamin D. However, there are
studies that show that Vitamin D should be taken with caution and perhaps
discontinued if you already have symptoms of infection.
Meats and nuts. Now is
a better time than ever to load up on your protein, because it promotes the
growth of new cells. Protein has arginine, which is an amino acid that heals
damaged tissues. So make sure to include chicken, pork, and fish in your cart,
as well as nuts, seeds, and legumes, such as monggo or mung beans, for plant-based sources.
and veggies. Probiotics and prebiotics stimulate the immune system by
inhibiting toxins and stopping bad bacteria from infesting your body. You can
get your daily dose of probiotics from fermented
vegetables or fruits like kimchi, kombucha, miso, natto and atchara or papaya relish, while
prebiotic food sources include eggplant, asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions,
When it comes to protecting yourself from COVID-19, a strong
immune system is like having a good insurance plan. While staying at home and
practicing hygiene is a must, being smart with your food choices and keeping a
healthy diet gives your body the edge it needs to fight the disease
“Let’s find ways to support how our immune system can induce,
enhance, suppress, regulate and if needed, strengthen its responses to viruses
and infections,” Dr. Balburias says.
Get more science-based health tips and information by
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