Do you have a computer or any technological gadget that starts with the letter i? Could you ever visualize treating that expensive piece of equipment less than gently? Imagine what would happen if you smacked your computer lid closed every time you used it, or dropped your iPad or smartphone from 4 feet in the air onto the kitchen counter multiple times a day. How effective would your technology be if you forgot to plug it in at night? One instructor I had in school called an iPad “a very expensive holder for dead batteries” when I showed up to class one day with a nonfunctioning gizmo.
Our bodies are incredibly complex, beautiful technological wonders. How we “fuel” our bodies makes a huge difference in performance. Ever show up to tae kwan do class without having eaten anything? I have…and I was fuzzy-headed, couldn’t remember forms very well and couldn’t push my body or brain to get the maximum benefit from class.
Thinking about “food as medicine” is a great idea right now. Studies are showing immune system support and antiviral benefits of a variety of nutrients, which we can get from what we eat. Three of these nutrients, vitamin C, quercetin and zinc, are particularly beneficial right now.
I recommend incorporating a variety of vegetables/ fruits in your diet daily- 5-7 servings/day is optimal. Although that sounds like a lot, remember that a serving size is ½ cup. It is also important to get a variety of colors of vegetables in your meals- these contain compounds, like quercetin, that decrease inflammation in the body and improve immune system balance and function.
Quercetin is high in onions, apples, tomatoes, berries, parsley, and celery and may prevent COVID-19 virus from binding to human respiratory cells. The vitamin C in fruits and veggies improves immune system function and even lowers the ability of the COVID-19 virus to create inflammation in the body.
Zinc is an important trace mineral for our bodies and also has antiviral properties. Good food sources of zinc include beans, nuts, whole grains, red meat and poultry. Past studies on zinc’s effects on SARS-CoV, a “cousin” to COVID-19 showed interesting viral blocking effects. Based on that research, it has been suggested that zinc may inhibit COVID-19 virus’ ability to enter into human cells and replicate itself.
Here’s a delicious ratatouille recipe that uses a variety of vegetables to make a delicious and flavorful stew- https://healthiersteps.com/recipe/easy-ratatouille-recipe/
Adding beans to this recipe is an easy way to add protein and zinc for even more health benefits!
Dr. Danna Park specializes in Integrative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She received her M.D. degree from Tufts University, completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and is a graduate of the Residential Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She is Board-certified in all three specialties. Dr. Park provides integrative consultations for adults and children with a variety of medical conditions and also works with people who want to take an active approach in maintaining their wellness. Dr. Park has specialized training in mind-body medicine, vitamins and supplements, nutritional approaches for brain-based disorders and integrative cancer care. For more information, call 828-333-3339 or go to www.mountainintegrative.com.