If you're following a strict plant-based diet, "diet" part should be easy, as many of fruits and vegetables you eat are rich in essential immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. Combined with proper personal hygiene, these recommendations from nutrition experts can keep vegetarians like you safe from coronavirus:
Eat green leafy vegetables
One proven nutritional strategy is sure to keep you safe from virus: Eat leafy greens.
Broccoli is rich in important vitamins and minerals and is a source of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals themselves can cause oxidative stress, which has been linked to heart disease, some cancers, and even respiratory disease.
Experts say: "Broccoli is rich in vitamins and minerals, vitamins A, C and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, making it one of healthiest vegetables."
Spinach is "rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene, which can boost our immune system's ability to fight infection." Like broccoli, spinach is rich in vitamin C and is best eaten raw.
Other leafy vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals include peas, asparagus, etc.
Health experts say B vitamins are important for immune system. Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 "promote your first response once you've detected a pathogen," says Claire Collins, professor of nutrition and dietetics at University of Newcastle in United Kingdom. Influences production and activity of natural killer cells, leading to apoptosis or "cell death", akin to "guards intercepting wayward spectators trying to run onto football field and disrupt game."
B6 and B9 are found in leafy vegetables, nuts and legumes. B6 is also found in fortified cereals, and B9 is found in seeds and bread flour. Vegan sources of B12 include supplements, mushrooms, and non-dairy milk.
Fruits with Vitamin C
Green vegetables are not only rich sources of vitamin C. This immune-boosting vitamin is also found in citrus fruits (oranges, lemons) and tomatoes.
Vitamin C, found alongside vitamin E in nuts and leafy vegetables, helps protect your cells from oxidative stress caused by inflammation. It produces specialized cells that enhance immune response, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, and phagocytes.
Eat nuts and berries
Nuts and berries are great (and nutritious) snacks to eat in comfort of your home.
Like all nuts, nuts are rich in fiber and protein, as well as selenium, which reduces inflammation and boosts immunity.
Vitamin C-rich berries contain antioxidants and soluble fiber. Experts say: "Soluble fiber changes properties of immune cells from pro-inflammatory, irritated cells to anti-inflammatory, healing cells, helping us to be healthier." healthy." to recover quickly from infection."
Eat foods rich in vitamin D
Some immune cells are needed by some immune cells to kill pathogens that cause infections, vitamin D is usually obtained from sunlight, and due to coronavirus quarantine, vegans may not need as much vitamin D in next few weeks.
You can eat some mushrooms instead, such as mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. "Mushrooms are thought to produce vitamin D with help of sun from a molecule called provitamin D2," said Chirag Shah, co-founder of Accesa Laboratories, which tests vitamin D.
Vitamin D is also found in fortified non-dairy milk, tofu, orange juice, and supplements.
Garlic has been used for centuries both as a food ingredient and as a medicine, adding flavor to any dish as well as providing health benefits.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which turns into allicin when crushed or chewed. Allicin itself contains sulfur, which gives this bulbous vegetable its characteristic taste and smell.
"Allicin is unstable, so it quickly converts to other sulfur compounds that are thought to give garlic its medicinal properties," says registered dietitian Helen West. These compounds have been shown to enhance disease-fighting response of certain types of white blood cells in body when they encounter viruses, such as those that cause colds or flu.
Beans are great for pasta, chili, shepherd's pie and stews.
Experts say lean foods like lentils and chickpeas contain iron, which kills pathogens by increasing free radicals. Iron also "regulates enzymatic reactions needed for immune cells to recognize and target pathogens," she said. Beans also contain B vitamins, magnesium and zinc. The latter contributes to preservation of integrity of skin and mucous membranes.