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UNF clinical dietitian shares immunity boosting advice on COVID third anniversary

Dr. Casey Colins standing outside discussing nutritionOn the third anniversary of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, University of North Florida clinical dietitian Dr. Casey Colin shares advice on how to arm ourselves against viruses and flus by using nutrition to build a healthy immune system.

Some nutrients and foods are proven to improve our immune system. While it’s impossible to prevent all illnesses, we can increase our immune defenses by looking to the fridge and pantry.

It is common to be reactive rather than proactive with our immunity.

Many people reach for the vitamin c and zinc only when they feel the first signs of a cold. There are mixed findings on the age-old practice of increasing these two supplements, although credible research does suggest it may reduce the duration of a viral illness such as a cold or even COVID-19.

Vitamin a, c, d, and e as well as minerals such as zinc, selenium and iron support how immune cells grow and function. Supplementation during an acute illness seems to be most beneficial for those who were deficient to begin with, but it’s important for everyone to stay proactive.

Dr. Colin’s main tips for immune boosting success:

  • Reduce inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory foods such as vegetables, fruits and foods rich in omega-3 fat.
  • Improve gut health by eating a diet rich in fiber from whole vegetables, whole fruits and whole grains.
  • Boost antiviral and antimicrobial properties using turmeric, elderberry, garlic, onion, oregano, honey, hot peppers, and ginger
  • Focus on increased sleep, fresh air, sunshine (vitamin d) and stress reduction.

Watch Dr. Colin discuss immune boosting.