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Health-boosting foods to feast on while living under lockdown

Now more than every we need to mind ourselves. Dietitian Orla Walsh on the essential nutrients that support our immune system and how to eat them

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Fuel up: The foods you eat play a big role in your overall health. Learn how to get the vitamins and minerals you need from your food

Fuel up: The foods you eat play a big role in your overall health. Learn how to get the vitamins and minerals you need from your food

Fuel up: The foods you eat play a big role in your overall health. Learn how to get the vitamins and minerals you need from your food

In the coming months, lots of us will be looking at all areas of our life to help protect our own bodies. The overall function of the immune system is to prevent or limit infection. The immune system is good at differentiating between normal healthy cells and unhealthy ones. Infectious microbes release signals that the immune system recognises causing a response to deal with the problem. Infection arises when the bugs get ahead of the immune system. When it comes to nutrition, there are some areas that you could focus on in a bid to better support your immune system.

CALORIES

First and foremost, it’s important to eat enough. Calories are needed to feed all systems in the body, including our immune system. On average women need about 2,000 calories a day while men require about 2,500 calories a day. It’s important to try and eat enough, which may be challenging if you are sick. If sick and off your food, the ‘little and often’ approach is advisable as well as eating foods that you feel you can eat. Trust your gut! You may find it helpful to eat dry, plain and cold foods. Additionally, consuming calories through fluids may be easier. However, if you are not sick, it’s a good idea to avoid calorie-restricted diets, especially those with large calorie deficits. A healthy diet does support the immune system. Some nutrients are worth focusing on.