Nutrition & Immunity During COVID-19

Staying Healthy at Home

COVID-19 Nutrition Survival Packs from Body Fusion

Article by Body Fusion Nutrition & Dietetics

So it’s all getting a little bit crazy out there in the wild world in relation to the spread of the COVID-19 Virus. Understandably so, with its contagious nature resulting in the shut down of whole countries and events including theatre, sports, mass gatherings and travel. There is much fear.

However, I just couldn’t sit back and listen to a lady on the Today Show say that there was nothing we could do except hand wash and make general comments that a “balanced diet” (what even is that?!) might help. We need to take social responsibility for our own health, and we can certainly control what we put in our mouths which is a huge contributing factor.

So I thought, why not address this in a solution orientated way and educate the general public on how improved daily nutrition choices can positively impact health, wellbeing and immunity?

The fact stands that the healthier we are to begin with, it’s likely we will get over the virus quicker, reduce transmission rates, and all be able to go back to work sooner, travel and lower the risk of mortality in fragile populations. LET’S DO THIS HUMANITY!

Below we have listed some actions you should be taking to keep your immune on track and strong.

Immune Nutrition Checklist

  • I am eating 2 fruit and 5 serves of bright coloured vegetables daily: Our guidelines are here
    • Yellow and orange vegetables and fruits are particularly high in Vitamin A (Red and yellow capsicum, pumpkin, squash, corn, sweet potato, carrots, rockmelon, mandarin, peaches, apricot).
    • Fruit is high in many antioxidants and fibre which help nourish a healthy microbiome and after all … 70 % of our immunity comes from our gut.
  • I am consuming adequate energy and protein:
    • Not eating enough can put the body under more stress, especially if the energy you need is not there when you go to exercise. That’s right I am telling you to… eat, happy days! Everyone has individual requirements so if you are unsure you can always ask your Dietitian. If your weight is relatively stable – then you are good.
    • Protein is an important macronutrient for immune modulation. Requirements vary based upon body weight and activity levels. Key sources include meat/fish/eggs/dairy/legumes and lentils and tofu.
  • My Iron, B12 and Vitamin D status is within normal range:
    • Studies have demonstrated to us that when you are lacking in these micronutrients your immunity can become compromised.
    • Standard blood tests from your GP can identify deficiencies.
    • These nutrients need to be consumed regularly.
    • Vegan and vegetarians may be more at risk, vegans particularly.
  • I eat a wide variety of antioxidants and phytochemical containing foods:
    • Fruit and vegetables
    • Herbs and spices like turmeric, pepper, rosemary, basil, chilli, dill, coriander, cumin, paprika
    • Ginger and garlic
    • Cacao/cocoa
  • I include sources of pre-biotic fibre and probiotics in my diet
    • Whole grain products as well as all the skins on your fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and legumes and lentils are all example of prebiotic fibre.
    • Probiotics can be naturally found in foods, added or supplemental. Food based sources include kefir, kombucha, miso, kimchi, yoghurt, tempeh or pickles.
  • I am hydrated:
    • Dehydration reduces the overall volume of blood and lymphatic fluids that are integral in a healthy immune system response.
    • Water, get on it. Your pee should be clear or light yellow. Funny to talk about, easy tool to use.

Lastly, it’s no surprise when I tell you that foods high in saturated fats and sugar, as well as alcohol can increase inflammation in the body. If consumed in excess, it’s just going to depress the immune system further.

Grocery Staples

We have helped you out by listing a few useful ingredients to include when practising self-isolation during this unprecedented time. Keep safe and get creative with some classic pantry staples!

  • In the Pantry:
    • Canned tuna/salmon/sardines
    • Edamame beans (or any beans or legumes – canned or frozen)
    • Long life milk
    • Grainy wraps
    • SunRice or Uncle Ben’s ‘quick cups’ or family pack microwave brown rice/quinoa blends
    • Canned beans/lentils, four bean mix, chickpeas, white beans etc (salt reduced)
    • Canned vegetables i.e. peas, carrots, green beens etc (salt reduced)
    • Canned tomatoes (crushed, peeled, whole)
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Olive oil
    • Herbs and spices and dukkah
    • Dijon mustard (a grat flavour addition)
    • Mild salsa(great for flavour snacks with fresh cut veggies)
  • In the Fridge/Freezer:
    • Smoked salmon
    • Firm tofu
    • Eggs
    • Frozen dumplings
    • Sweet potato
    • Frozen corn, sweet potato, roast potatoes
    • Frozen fruit and vegetables (look for 100% in the ingredients with no added sugar, fats, oils, salt)
    • Any fresh fruit and vegetables

COVID-19 Nutrition Survival Packs

We understand that cooking and eating properly while isolated at home can be a challenge, so we have put together 30-day survival packs that will provide you with an individualised meal structure, practical and creative tips when eating from home, and how to maintain best immunity.

Our packs include meal plans, recipes, online/phone support, exercise routines, factsheets and other supporting information for you and your family. Check out our Survival packs here.

Utilising a Dietitian’s Services during COVID-19

In this testing time and ever-changing environment, we thought it would be beneficial to remind you of how a Body Fusion or your Dietitian can continue to support existing and new clients to achieve best health through nutrition.

As well as still offering face to face consultations whilst strictly adhering to Government protocol such as 1.5m distancing and hygiene precautions, we are also available to consult online via video or phone.

A dietitian can still support you and your health via: providing nutritional education and practical applications; contributing ideas for home coking and meal preparation; healthy recipe ideas; highlighting mindful eating strategies during long periods at home; educating on food and mood to support mental health; supporting athletes with food modifications for changes to training. Body Fusion’s services include:

  • Consultations for individuals and families
  • Meal Plans set to individualised requirements
  • Survival Packs: Combinations of recipes, factsheets, tailored meal plans and home work outs
  • Educational webinars for community, corporate and sports groups. These can involve live food demonstrations
  • Recipe development

If you need more help, support and practical tips with all the above of course we are happy to see you in our clinics or via FaceTime/Skype – you can book here.

However if the whole world turns into Zombies, please don’t come to clinic.

Yours in health,

Ashleigh, Aimee & Lauren

 

www.bodyfusion.com.au

Aimee: aimee@bodyfusion.com.au, 0422 297 721

Lauren: lauren@bodyfusion.com.au, 0409 609 446

Ash: ashleigh@bodyfusion.com.au, 0426 500 251

@BodyFusion

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