Northwest University Blog

Nutrition Suggestions Amid COVID-19

Nutrition Suggestions Amid COVID-19

Support Your Immune System With Food

While no food, drink, supplement, or natural health product will prevent you from becoming infected with COVID-19, you can support your normal functioning of the immune system with your food choices. Here are a few tips:

  • Eat a wide variety of foods.
  • Include many colors of the rainbow in your fruit and vegetable selections.
  • Have a daily dose of foods rich in these three immune supporting vitamins:
    • Vitamin C: oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale, and broccoli.
    • Vitamin B6: chicken, salmon, tuna, green vegetables, and chickpeas.
    • Vitamin E: nuts, seeds, and spinach.
  • Drink plenty of water. Among other functions, water aids the body in producing lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells. You can also eat high water content foods including cucumbers, grapes, and celery to obtain more fluids.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful. Keeping to a regular eating schedule, getting at least seven hours of sleep, engaging in daily exercise, and reaching out to others with video chats and virtual hugs can also help strengthen our bodies and minds.

Nutrition Tips During this Period of Social Distancing

Among the  changes affecting Americans over the past several weeks has been eating more meals at home. Prior to the need for social distancing to flatten the curve of this pandemic, 1/3 of Americans were eating at fast-food restaurants daily and about 60% were eating away from home at least three or four times a week. As we continue to adjust to eating more meals at home, here are several suggestions for optimizing your food purchases and aligning your eating patterns for overall wellness:

Shop Smart

  • Make each trip to the grocery store count. Have a list.
    • On each trip, add a few of the following shelf-stable and frozen foods in case you or your family members become ill and are unable to get to the store.
    • On the list, include foods to cover breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for 14 days.
      • Shelf-Stable Foods
        • Dried or canned beans (black, chickpeas, kidney, pinto beans; green, yellow or split peas and lentils

        • Dried or canned fruit in 100% juice

        • Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole wheat pasta)

        • Nuts, seeds and nut butters

        • Olive, canola or other vegetable oils

        • Dried herbs & spices

      • Frozen Foods

        • Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots & Brussels sprouts)

        • Fruit (berries and cherries)

        • Whole wheat pizza dough

        • Poultry

        • Seafood

    • Consider grocery shopping for an older adult or someone with chronic health conditions.

    • Check out online shopping options but be sure to plan ahead as you may have to wait several days for delivery or pick-up.

  • When Shopping

    • Use a disinfecting wipes to wipe hands & cart handles.

    • Do not take your own shopping bags as these may carry germs unnecessarily.

    • Pay with your phone or credit card. Tap buttons on screen with knuckles and apply hand sanitizer after the transaction.

  • After you return home, wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.