As we navigate this strange new world of the coronavirus, many people are seeking information on what they can do to keep themselves and their families safe. We've heard and are heeding the most important guidelines - Wash Your Hands, often, and practice Social Distancing, always. Medical professionals repeat and repeat: Stay Inside and Away from Others, especially if you are not feeling well.
What else can we do? Are there certain foods, or supplements, or particular vitamins or minerals that you should be consuming as a preventative against becoming infected with Covid-19? The internet, of course, is awash with misinformation.
It is here that Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are speaking up and speaking out as we #standforscience!
Please know this: You cannot "Boost Your Immune System" to protect yourself against the Covid-19 virus, or anything else for that matter. Advertisements, social media posts, Tweets, spokesperson discussions or anything else that use this term are doing a disservice to the public, because they imply that your immune system can be bolstered beyond its natural ability to protect you, perhaps for this one specific virus.
BUT yes, your diet, along with other lifestyle factors like adequate sleep and exercise, can SUPPORT your immune system in working most effectively to cast off the virus, if you do come in contact with it. What is the difference between these terms?
Supporting your immune system says that you are doing all you can do to keep it working properly as it tracks down and fights off the dangerous pathogens that are all around you. To boost it would be to push the system beyond its natural capabilities, which would actually be a bad thing - that's how we get autoimmune disorders.
The bottom line on food consumption is this: If your diet consists of adequate protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals (plus the fats needed in some cases for absorption and the carbohydrates needed for fuel), you do not need supplements, or anything else to fight off Covid-19. So beware of people, products and companies who speak otherwise. They do not have science on their side.