In terms of meals, snacks and fluids, research suggests that keeping a routine that works for you is important for meeting your needs, including those of your immune system, which needs fuel coming from carbohydrate in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and building blocks coming from our protein foods. However, our immune system is impacted by a variety of lifestyle habits, including sleep, exercise, among others.
To date, there has not been enough evidence to back claims that specific foods or supplements "boost" the immune system's activity. For most of us, a healthy eating pattern, that emphasizes balance, as seen in the picture above, is the recommended strategy for meeting your bodies' needs during this time. A balanced meal can have proportions of 1/2 vegetables/fruits, a 1/4 whole grains/starchy vegetable (like potatoes), and 1/4 protein (fish, nuts, legumes, dairy, poultry and red meat).
These are challenging times for so many working in essential services. A debt of gratitude goes to those who are working to care for people during this pandemic. For those working with our food system: in grocery stores, in delivery, migrant workers traveling to plant and grow our food on farms, the system is facing challenges and rising to meet these in new ways. I am certain you are each adapting with compassion, patience and creativity. As you make or get your meals, here are a few tips. Cookspiration offers quick, simple meal and snack ideas. To use up food that you have on hand in the pantry and freezer, check out "Making a casserole from what's on hand" and the Guelph Family Health Study "Rock what you've got: preventing food waste" cookbook and videos