With the uncertainty of the direction that Covid will take us next, many people are desperate to identify proactive strategies to prevent and reduce the severity of infections. Good nutrition is one of the most effective ways to promote optimal health and boost immunity. Here are some evidence-based examples of how to adapt one's diet to battle Covid-19.
Increase intake of exotic fruit and berry intake, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries! Exotic fruits, like guava and passionfruit, and berries are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals, which make them functional foods that go way beyond providing energy. They not only boost the immune function in our bodies, especially for individuals who haven’t been meeting their nutritional needs consistently, but they also can help to alleviate the symptoms associated with breakthrough Covid cases. Exotic fruits and berries contain high levels of Vitamins A and C, as well as zinc. Research has demonstrated that these nutrients will promote enhanced immune function and will provide symptom alleviation for individuals suffering from a viral respiratory infection, especially if they have underlying nutritional deficiencies in these areas (Dietary recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic - PubMed (nih.gov).
In addition, improving the overall quality of one’s diet with dairy-based foods, like milk and yogurt, can further enhance immune function and recovery responses. The Vitamin D found in milk and yogurt will provide benefits including further enhanced immunity and reduced compromise of bone health with illness-related weight loss. Incorporating dairy-based fruit smoothies is a great way to promote recovery (for adults and children alike!) when managing breakthrough Covid cases. This cold drink will soothe a sore throat while providing Vitamins A, C and D alongside calcium and zinc to promote a reduction in the length of the viral-based respiratory infection associated with Covid and a lower risk for musculoskeletal concerns often linked to illness-related weight loss. Blending the fiber found in berries and protein found in dairy will also help stabilize blood sugar and reduce the potential for symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
Even more exciting is the emerging evidence that the probiotics found in foods such as yogurt to can significantly reduce the risk for viral infections, as well as reduce the severity of morbidity and mortality associated with Covid. This is great news! Yogurt is such an easy food to incorporate, either alone or in combination with other foods. Dairy-based yogurt presents not only the benefits of beneficial bacteria for the gut, but also all of the previously-mentioned benefits of dairy as well. So go ahead and swap out the milk or protein powder you would traditionally add to your smoothie with yogurt! Not a fan of dairy? No worries! There are a variety of plant-based yogurts that have probiotic benefits as well.
Initial research has shown that Covid-19 is often a co-morbidity for people living an unhealthy lifestyle. Incorporating Clean Eatz meals into one's lifestyle can help one lose weight, add muscle mass and live a healthier life to fend off the symptoms associated with Covid-19.
Looking for an easy way to incorporate exotic fruits and berries into a diet? Check out these Clean Eatz smoothies recently featured in The Zoe Report by journalist Natalia Lusinski for a starting point to building your own Covid-fighting smoothies!