Diet and your immune system

market vegtables Nutrition misinformation is rampant at any time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a further increase in deceitful marketing scams. Dietitians of Canada (DC), in a March 2020 position statement, stated “Simply put, you cannot ‘boost’ your immune system through diet and no specific food, supplement or natural health product will prevent you from catching COVID-19.” DC also advises that the Canadian government has not approved any product to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 and that selling unauthorized health products or making false or misleading claims is illegal in Canada. 

A strong immune system, while not a guarantee that you can fight off every dangerous threat, is an essential line of defense. Immunity is a result of your body’s ability to activate a complex linkage of specialized cells, organs and systems that work together to defend you from attacks by infectious disease agents such as viruses and bacteria. Good nutrition is an essential component of this response. Many nutrients work together to support this system but there is no evidence that taking nutrition supplements helps to protect you from COVID-19 virus.

food guideFocus on what you can do to keep your diet as nutritious as possible. Canada’s Food Guide healthy plate is an easy-to-use and scientifically validated tool. At each meal, fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit, a quarter with a protein-rich food and the final quarter with  whole grains. While it may seem challenging with more limited shopping trips, try to choose a selection of vegetables and fruit – especially brightly coloured ones like dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, berries, peppers, broccoli and oranges. Frozen vegetables and fruit contain the same nutrients as fresh - keep several varieties stocked if you have room in your freezer.

Try making this nutrient-rich, easy Carrot, Ginger and Lentil Soup that supports a healthy immune system and is also delicious and economical.

Source: Health Canada

If you have specific nutrition needs, it is important that you continue to follow the dietary recommendations made by your dietitian, doctor or nurse practitioner, which may include the use of vitamin or mineral supplement for certain health conditions.

Information brought to you by Campus Wellness Dietitian.

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