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COVID-19 and Nutrition

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in 2020, there was heightened concern about possible transmission of the virus through food and food packaging. While we quickly learned that this was not the case, safe food handling and hygiene practices always make sense. This is, after all, our first line of defense against food borne and viral illnesses.

To keep our immune systems in top shape and reduce risk of illness or support recovery from any virus (COVID-19 included), keep these key nutrition tips in mind:

  1. Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods over 3 balanced meals a day and snacks if needed. Whole foods diet patterns such as the Mediterranean Diet have been shown through extensive research to promote good health including a strong immune system.
  2. Enjoy plenty of vegetables and fruits each day. These foods provide many vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants needed for good health, including gut health, which is directly connected to our immune system.
  3. Include healthy proteins with all meals and snacks such as: fish, poultry, eggs, beans & lentils, nuts and seeds.
  4. Use herbs and spices liberally – garlic, ginger and turmeric are a few standouts, well known for their immune supporting properties.
  5. Strive to meet your nutrient needs through foods when at all possible – Vitamin D is one exception - most adults need a supplement since our food sources and summer sunshine generally don’t provide enough.

If you have COVID-19 and are struggling to eat well please see: Tips for Nutrition and Hydration while recovering from COVID-19 (PCDA) attached below.

For more information:

Nutrition and Immunity. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/

Food Safety tips from the Government of Canada:  https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips.html