We hear lots of conversations these days about wearing masks and even some tongue-in-cheek concerns about the #quarantine15 as we have more down time and trips to the kitchen may be more frequent. So, we’ve invited our board Co-Chair to share some professional insight to help and encourage you.
As Americans, we are working together to slow the spread of coronavirus, following the direction of our local, state and federal authorities. The GOOD NEWS is we can also take action to strengthen our immune systems as trips to the grocery store become more important than ever.
Putting some simple steps into your routine now will have long-term, positive effects for you and your family, both physically and emotionally.
Your immune system has the AMAZING ability to detect bacteria and viruses never encountered before and then adjust to target and inactivate these invaders. To do their best work, your immune cells need loads of good nutrition. Whole plant foods (vegetables, fruits and berries) contain thousands of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) including vitamins and minerals that work together to help your immune system work at peak efficiency.
Eating a variety of produce every day from every color of the rainbow – including leafy greens – equips you and your family with the good nutrition your bodies need.
Here are some of our immune-boosting family favorites, most of which can be prepared in advance and kept refrigerated in containers that everyone can easily get to:
• For a satisfying crunch, snack on yellow pepper strips and broccoli spears dipped in hummus.
• Enjoy crispy apples and celery with natural almond or peanut butter.
• Fuel yourself with fresh baby spinach and grape tomatoes.
• Blueberries, grapes, melons and oranges are delightful ways to pack in more nutrition, too.
• Bake sweet potatoes and top with cinnamon.
Parents, we set the example for the rest of our household. Be a model for your family, and encourage them to adopt these immune-strengthening habits along with you, especially since everyone is spending more time at home these days.
Here are some basic guidelines:
• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
• Move your body to get good exercise
• Take time to de-stress every day
• Sleep 7-8 hours per night
You and those you love are each gifted with an amazing immune system. Nurture your immunity with plant-packed nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices which will help you feel your best as you love and care for those around you during this stressful season.
For more ideas on getting more plant foods into your family’s diet, check out the CDC website which is linked here: https://www.cdc.gov/…/f…/national-nutrition-month/index.html
By Belinda Roettger, Ph.D. MREC Co-Chair
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