In last week’s column, we talked about an additional important way to stop the spread of COVID-19. While wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes are all great ways to stay healthy, so is providing an extra boost to our immune systems. This intricate germ-fighting process is pretty self-sufficient, but simple things, like a lack of sleep, unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol, and not drinking enough water can have a detrimental effect on our body’s ability to fight off sickness.
In addition to considering the ways in which a few of the above may be holding your body’s abilities back, eating properly is another great way to get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to give your body some extra support.
By now, your backyard or patio garden should be providing most of what you need to get the proper amount of nutrition through fresh fruits and veggies. If an at-home garden just isn’t feasible for you, growers markets and local farms are prepared to provide you with exactly what you need to provide a boost to your immune system.
Here are a few of our favorite fresh produce options that not only provide a handful of vitamins and minerals, but antioxidants, too.
Strawberries – These sweet red berries can help protect your heart, while offering a healthy dose of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Blueberries – High in potassium and vitamin C, blueberries are also anti-inflammatory and packed with antioxidants.
Broccoli – One cup of broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange and is also loaded with plenty of B vitamins, like 1, 2, 3 and 6.
Zucchini – This green veggie is said to help lower blood pressure and protect against clogged arteries and they’re jam packed with vitamin C and folic acid.
Onion – Raw onions can help lower the production of LDL (bad cholesterol), protect against cancer and has been said to have enough vitamin C to stop a cold in its tracks.
Kale – Known as a super veggie, kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet – the greener the better. It’s loaded with powerful antioxidants and is a great source of vitamins C and K.
Bell peppers – Adding bell peppers to a salad or eating them raw with a bit of dressing is a tasty way to get three times the amount of vitamin C than an orange.
Garlic – Garlic is known for its potent medicinal properties, from combatting sickness like the common cold and decreasing inflammation to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.