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How Your Diet Affects Your Immune System

How Your Diet Affects Your Immune System

You may be looking for ways to boost your immune system amidst this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – but have you considered your diet? We sat down with Medical Weight Loss Expert Sheryl Bingham, FNP-C, to ask her what changes we can make to our diet in order to help protect us from getting sick.

Q: What’s the best way to boost my immune system?

A: Your immune system does a remarkable job defending against disease-causing microorganisms, but sometimes it fails and you get sick. The idea of boosting immunity is enticing, but elusive for several reasons. The immune system is a system, not a single entity. It requires balance and harmony. There is still a lot we don’t know about the immune system, and there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immunity. Researchers are currently exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, and psychological stress in relation to immune response.

Q: What dietary changes should I make?

A: Until we have more research, general healthy living measures are the best way to protect your overall health and wellbeing. When it comes to diet, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try to get your plate to be as colorful as possible. The most inflammatory foods are wheat, dairy, and sugar. Try to limit these foods as much as possible. Try to eat whole food, and limit as much processed junk, and fast food as possible. The easiest way to know if you’re eating whole food is to look at the ingredient list. The fewer ingredients the better, and it’s best if you can easily pronounce all of the ingredients. Limit your alcohol intake.

Q: What else can I do to boost my immune system?

A: Diet is only one way to help your immune system. Remember, the immune system is complex, so there is more than one way to protect your immunity. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep because that is when our body heals. Exercise regularly. Try to minimize stress. Meditation, mindfulness, and yoga have all been proven to improve the body’s response to stress. My favorite free app is called Let’s Meditate.


Sheryl Bingham

Sheryl Bingham, FNP-C