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Protect Ourselves with the Right Food

I am humbled every day by the times we are currently living through. It’s scary, it’s unsettling, it’s sad. Sometimes it’s horrifying. But it’s also heartening to see people pulling together, helping each other out, caring for each other. It’s encouraging to hear some people talking and thinking about “getting back to normal”, whatever the new normal will be. COVID-19 has been tough but learning how to eat healthier, and build a stronger immune system is so very important.

We are connected…

It has never been more apparent how connected we all are, and though we may not all be exposed in the same way to this threat (e.g. some of us are in the front lines, and some of us are able to self-isolate at home), every one of us is affected by its many-faceted fallout. And though some of us may be more vulnerable than others, none of us is immune to the threat of the virus itself. There is no guarantee that even the healthiest of people won’t fall victim to COVID-19.

However, what has become equally apparent is why it is SO important for each of us to do everything we can to be as healthy as possible. This means not just following public health recommendations to properly wash our hands, practice physical distancing, self-isolate when necessary, etc. It means setting ourselves up for good quality sleep, finding an effective outlet for stress, getting some exercise and movement into every day, connecting with others (even if virtually) and, importantly, eating foods that will help you to be as healthy as possible. You hear people talk about building your immune system, and yes eating the right foods can do this, but talking some vitamins can help as well.

Healthy habits are significant

Granted, even doing all these things does not make us immune to the virus – or anything else for that matter. But mindfully including as many healthy habits as we can WILL help to address underlying health conditions known to exacerbate the situation if one does contract the virus (there’s no time like the present to start!) And similarly, being healthy gives us a much better chance of fighting and surviving insults when we encounter them.

So before you reach for the white flour and sugar to bake up a storm (which unfortunately seems to be “a thing” right now as people have time on their hands), redirect and reach for the beans/lentils, the cruciferous veggies, the fruits and vegetables and the whole grains instead. THESE are the foods we should be eating everyday to keep ourselves strong and healthy, so pack them in as often as you can!

Taking good supplements can help as well. Vitamin A, C, D and E are a good place to start. Vitamin A, is an essential nutrient for the eyes and skin, and for normal growth. It also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs function properly. Vitamin C, is a nutrient your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. Vitamin C is also vital to your body's healing process. Vitamin D, helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It is important for maintaining strong bones and used to treat and prevent bone disorders. Vitamin E, is a nutrient that's important to vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain and skin. Vitamin E also has antioxidant properties.

Take care of yourselves, stay active, healthy and happy.

In good health, wellness, and love,

-Donna Rivard, RHN

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