Nutrition Tips for Stocking Up During Coronavirus
- Created: 18 March 2020 18 March 2020
If you have just returned from overseas, been potentially exposed or tested positive to the novel COVID-19, new government-imposed rules mean you will need to be in either isolation or quarantine for 14 days and you’ll need enough food to see you through, with many people already stocking up just in case. There are two factors you should consider when stocking up on foods: (1) shelf life, (2) nutrient contents of food to support your immune system.
Brittany Darling, an accredited Nutritionist and Herbalist shares her top tips for what food items to stock up on:
Vitamin C rich foods
Vitamin C is a well known nutrient for both innate (first response) and adaptive immunity. Vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic (“pathogen killing”) cells. It plays a role in the clean-up at the site of infection and reduces potential tissue damage. Tissue damage, particularly of the lungs, is thought to be one of the mechanisms of poor outcomes in severe cases of COVID-19. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will supply adequate vitamin C to support your immune system. The fresher the foods, the better, as being a water-soluble vitamin, levels decline in foods each hour after picking. I recommend stocking up on frozen fruit, including berries and mango and frozen vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower, to get your daily dose of vitamin C while in isolation.
Fermented dairy products like kefir, have been used for centuries. Not only do they contain probiotics, which support the immune system, but they also have a longer shelf life than regular dairy products. I recommend stocking up on daily probiotics, such as Tummify as it has a shelf life of 6 weeks, contains 13 unique probiotics and kefir strains to help support your immune system.
Protein Rich foods
Protein is a macronutrient that is often overlooked when it comes to immunity. The deficiency of protein and amino acids impairs immune function and increases your susceptibility to pathogens. My go-to long shelf life proteins are dried or tinned legumes (lentils + chickpeas), grains like quinoa, plus nuts and seeds. Not only are they a source of protein, but they are also high in zinc and selenium. Selenium plays a crucial role in controlling a virus's ability to replicate, and suboptimal zinc status will impair the immune response.
Brittany Darling is an accredited Nutritionist and Herbalist. With over 8 years’ experience, Brittany’s approach is to use food as medicine, she also complements this with evidence-based nutraceuticals and herbal medicines to enhance, support and speed up results in her clients.
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