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Worried about your immune system amid coronavirus? These foods can help boost it

We are all more susceptible to hype when feeling out of control in a stressful situation. And what we are currently experiencing certainly meets that description.

So, it’s time to review what the immune system does and how to provide the nutrients it needs. I’m also doing this because you might encounter a “scammer” selling some supplement that they will claim as protective against COVID-19.

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There is no one supplement that will prevent a person from getting COVID-19. It would be impossible to have research on any supplement as prevention since this is the first time encountering this form of coronavirus. No studies means no proof.

The immune system protects the body against disease. It is a complex system that is spread throughout the body.

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A large percentage of the immune system resides in the gut. The usual recommendation of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein is more important now than ever.

Fermented foods are also great for gut health and store well. Miso, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir would be good choices. The nutrients in all these foods nourish and support the gut and the functions of the immune system.

Dried beans have been flying off the shelves. I understand that since they are easy to store, versatile and tasty. And best of all they are a good source of protein and fiber and great for the gut.

If you are using canned, you can rinse them to reduce the sodium. If you are enjoying a can of chickpeas, save the fluid in the can. This starchy fluid is called aquafaba and it whips into a foam that can be used in baking.

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Google aquafaba recipes and get ready to be surprised. For bean recipes go to beaninstitute.com

If your eating is off, or your indulgence food is up, consider a multivitamin with minerals. This is to fill in gaps in your daily nutrient intake, never to replace food.

Sheah Rarback MS,RDN is a registered dietitian in private practice in Miami.

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