Wellness

How to strengthen your immunity during the coronavirus pandemic. Part 1: Diet

(CNN)As the coronavirus situation intensifies, you might be wondering: how can I keep myself healthy? And will swallowing a pill protect me from getting sick?

First, there's the not-so-great news. Despite claims you may have seen on the Internet, there's no magic food or pill that is guaranteed to boost your immune system and protect you against coronavirus.
"There are no specific supplements that will help protect against coronavirus and anyone claiming that is being investigated by the FTC [Federal Trade Commission] and the FDA [Food and Drug Administration]," said Melissa Majumdar, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
    But there's uplifting news, too: There are ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally, which can help to keep you healthy and give you a sense of control in an uncertain time.
      These include proper handwashing, maintaining good nutrition, being physically active, meditating and managing stress and getting adequate sleep.
        We're going to tackle immunity boosting in two parts. Here we'll focus on your diet, and the second part will discuss other ways to help yourself.
        Begin by filling your plate with immune-boosting nutrients. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat a nutritious diet. That's because our immune system relies on a steady supply of nutrients to do its job.
          For a starter dose of immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits.
          Here are some key nutrients that play a role in immunity, and food sources of them: