Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health says that things like staying socially distant, wearing a mask and thoroughly washing your hands can all help curb the spread of COVID-19. But it turns out there may be more that we can do.
Eating healthy, sleeping well and getting enough exercise can all help support your immune system during the pandemic. This is all the more important with a potential second wave on the rise as well as an impending cold and flu season fast approaching.
Veronica Rouse is a registered dietitian with the University Health Network and she says that one of the best ways to not get sick is to eat a nutritious diet. While Rouse says there is no one food that will guarantee you stay COVID free, healthy eating will ensure that your immune system is working optimally.
“There are certain nutrients that strengthen our immune system, vitamin C is one of them” says Rouse. “It’s needed to prevent and fight infections, oranges are a good source but also red peppers, broccoli and spinach.”
She says foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins like fatty fish and legumes will supply our immune system with the nutrients it needs.
Toronto registered dietitian Daniella Wolf echoes these sentiments, saying that a balanced diet won’t prevent COVID-19, but it will certainly help anyone who contracts it fight the virus off.
“i really wish there was a magic bullet here,” she says. “We want to make sure we are adequately supporting our immune system with good nutrition, whole foods and less processed foods.”
Wolf also says that sleep and exercise are important components to this She says everyone should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
While these things can serve as additional measures they are not meant to substitute for social distancing, wearing a mask and proper hygiene.