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Building Resilience In Times of Uncertainty - PART 2

Remember, for a strong immune system always wash your hands, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.

Following on from Part 1 of my Building Resilience in Times of Uncertainty advice articles, today I am going to support you with suggestions of specific foods and nutrients, which will help strengthen your immune system and build resilience.

Research is showing that specific nutrients are really important when the body attempts to fight viruses and in light of Covid-19 we can all make an effort to include these nutrients in abundance in our daily food plans.

Think about Vitamins A, C, D, E, Zinc and Selenium

Vitamin A

Made up of Retinoids and Carotenoids – they are important in maintaining structure and function of nerve cells, immunity and cell growth. They are anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Think orange foods such as:

  • Sweet potato

  • Carrots

  • Dried apricots

  • Cantaloupe melon

And also:

  • Liver

  • Kale

  • Parsley

  • Spinach

Vitamin C

A very powerful anti-oxidant that helps lessen oxidative stress to the body. Think different colours of fruits and vegetables:

  • Kiwi

  • Papayas

  • Oranges

  • Strawberries

Vegetables include:

  • Peppers – all colours

  • Fresh herbs

  • Dark Leafy greens

  • Broccoli

Vitamin D

Since Vitamin D can be produced in our bodies by the action of sunlight on the skin, many experts consider it to be more of a hormone than a vitamin. It has recently been studied for its ability to reduce the risk of respiratory infections. Unlike most essential nutrients, the main source is not food but sunshine.

Your bare skin produces vitamin D when it comes into contact with the sun’s rays.

Foods include:

  • Cod liver oil

  • Mackeral

  • Salmon

  • Herring

  • Butter

  • Egg Yolks

Vitamin E

An anti-oxidant which protects against damage to cell membranes.

Foods rich in Vitamin E:

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Almonds

  • Olive oil

  • Tofu

  • Fish

  • Avocado

  • Spinach

  • Broccoli


Zinc is a component of more than 200 enzymes in our bodies. Adequate zinc levels are necessary for proper immune system function and zinc deficiency results in an increased susceptibility to infection. High zinc foods include:

  • Oysters

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Gingerroot

  • Pecans

  • Brazil nuts

  • Wholewheat

  • Rye

  • Oats


Selenium works with vitamin E in preventing free-radical damage to cell membranes. High selenium foods include:

  • Wheatgerm

  • Brazil nuts

  • Wholewheat bread

  • Fish – tuna and salmon

  • Oats

  • Brown rice

  • Eggs

  • Meat – turkey, chicken and beef

Add one from each group to your next shopping list and include them as a daily habit.

Try a tick list – how many did you have today?

Always remember, food is very powerful, food is medicine, foods are synergistic. Make good choices and build resilience.

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