As COVID-19 has impacted our community, there’s been a lot of chatter around our Immune System and what we can do to boost it to stay healthy.
So, What is the immune system?
Our immune system is essential for our survival; it is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. Without it, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, and parasites within others. All in all is what keeps us healthy.
How can we improve our Immune system?
There are several things we can do to improve our immune system. For example:
- don't smoke
- exercise regularly
- maintain a healthy weight
- drink alcohol in moderation, and if possible mostly red wine
- get adequate sleep
But the one that has the most impact, and contributes to our ability to do several of the above, is eating a healthy diet that is rich with fruits and vegetables.
How does the diet affect the Immune system?
Studies have shown that following a plant-based low-fat diet may help give the immune system a boost. The immune system relies on white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses, and other parasites. Those who follow a whole food plant-based diet have been shown to have more effective white blood cells than those who do not. This is primarily because of the high intake in vitamins and minerals and the low fat intake.
The vitamins and minerals that have been shown to fight more effectively against oxidative stress are the following:
- Vitamins C and E: found in oranges, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, lemons, and red peppers.
- Beta-Carotene: found in sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.
- Zinc: sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and legumes.
It may be overwhelming thinking about where to start in your efforts to strengthen your immune system - it’s not easy at first to know how to incorporate these powerful plant-based ingredients into your lifestyle (not to mention, prepare them in a way that is tasty!). Plantable is here to make it easy - head to our A la Carte menu and customize a box of meals to get yourself started. When you order from Plantable, you’re not only receiving delicious meals but you're also starting your journey toward feeling better.