Fighting back COVID-19; how can food help?


Fighting back COVID-19; how can food help?

Written by Laura Nguyen
Registered Dietitian

There's a lot of talk circulating on the internet about foods and products that can boost your immune system. Don’t believe everything that you hear!

Before we get into myth busting though (pardon me for being redundant), practice #safehands & #socialdistancing, always. Okay now onto discovering how food can really help.

Immune boosting is a myth

As stated by the Dietitians of Canada, “Simply put, it is important to understand that you cannot “boost” your immune system through diet and no specific food, supplement or natural health product will prevent you from catching COVID-19”.

Boosting your immune system isn't a real thing. You can't turbo-charge your immune system to make it hyper-alter or ultra-combative. Your immune system has an optimal state in which it works it's best and you can't boost it beyond that. So how do we keep our immune system in it's best-performing state? By eating a healthy, balanced and nutrient-dense diet! Keep reading to find out what you should you eat to keep your immune system happy!

6 nutrients that will keep your immune system happy

6 foods that improve your immune function

  1. Eat a variety of protein-rich foods. This will help encourage your system’s healing & recovery. Try to include foods such as lean meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds in each one of your meals.
  1. Eat Vitamin A-rich foods as it will help regulate the immune system to protect against infections by keeping your skin and the tissues in your mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Some examples include sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell pepper, apricots, eggs or foods labeled “Vitamin A fortified” (e.g. in milk & cereals).
  1. Eat Vitamin C-rich foods to help stimulate the formation of antibodies responsible for protecting your body from infection. Think bright! Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or any foods fortified with vitamin C.
  1. Eat Vitamin E-rich foods as they work as an antioxidant to help support the immune system. This can be found in fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds and vegetable oils such as sunflower and safflower oil.
  1. Eat zinc-rich foodswhich help the immune system function properly and help wounds heal, this can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts.

  2. Finally, give some love to your immune system by feeding it ‘prebiotics’ – which act as food for the good bacteria that naturally lives in the colon of our digestive system. They can be naturally found in specific fruits (e.g. asparagus, leeks, artichoke), and are abundant in oats!

One more good reason to eat oats!

In addition to being rich in prebiotics, oats are great source of selenium & zinc – two essential minerals that help prevent infection with their antioxidant properties! As an added bonus, the beta-glucan (a type of sugar) found in oats is known to help boost our immune system by strengthening our infection-fighting blood cells. Read more about oats and immune health here

Luckily enough, if you’re one to love waking up to some oatmeal in the morning – Yumi Overnight Oats are not only filling, but also extremely nourishing! Matcha Green Apple is a personal fave 🙂.

matcha overnight oatsDietitian holding a Yumi Organics Parcel apple cinnamon overnight oats


About Laura

Registered Dietitian

You may have heard that you should be "eating a rainbow" to get your fill of nutrients, and Laura is here to help you do that. Laura is a registered dietitian, graduated from McGill University, with a love for food, nutrition, art and design.Through her Instagram page @colourmypalate she explores the health benefits of various foods and shares delicious recipes you can make with them. You can also find her recipes on her blog

In addition to blogging, Laura offers virtual nutrition counselling and works as a freelance speaker and corporate wellness dietitian. Don't hesitate to reach out, nothing brings her more joy than sharing her knowledge & expertise with others!

For more information, check out her website and follow her on Instagram & Facebook.

Make it a habit to colour your palate!

2 Responses

Alice khieu
Alice khieu

April 20, 2020

Very informative article , a great tool to select the right food
Keep up the good work !

John Millar
John Millar

April 17, 2020

I love this article Laura. This is very explicit and straight to the point. You got talent babe

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