Since Covid-19 started, we have been told the key ways of avoiding getting sick are wash your hands, get vaccinated, don’t touch your face, and get lots of sleep.  All this is good advice and there is one more thing you can do to help fight off illnesses.  What you eat plays a key role in keeping your immune system strong and in fighting form.  Vitamins A, C, E, and D, iron and zinc are key nutrients that keep our immune system healthy.  Foods such as fruit, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish can help keep inflammation down and keep your body strong and healthy.  Foods such as refined grains, sugar, fried foods, and red meat can cause inflammation in your body and hinder your immune system.   Inflammation increases cortisol levels, which suppresses the body’s immune system.  Finding substitutes for inflammation causing foods can make a big difference in our body’s ability to fight off illnesses.  Here are some food swaps to try:

Air popped popcorn instead of potato chips:

Get rid of the fats and sodium by popping your own popcorn.  Add your own toppings so you have control over the amount of salt and fats you add to it. Consider using healthy oils such as olive or avocado oil instead of butter.

Kombucha instead of soda:

Replace the sugars found in soda with the healthy probiotics found in Kombucha.

Whole grain bread instead of white:

The extra processing of white bread removes the healthier parts of the grain.  Whole wheat is higher in immune supporting nutrients such as vitamin E, fibre, and iron.

Wild salmon instead of steak:

Switch to anti-inflammation foods instead of red meat.  Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acid which helps reduce inflammation.

Pistachios instead of a salty snack mix:

Ready made snack mixes are loaded with sodium, simple carbs, and saturated fats.  Instead, keep it simple by replacing it with nuts such as pistachios so you can get more healthy fats, fibre, and iron into your diet.