"It’s pretty much our army!"
Registered dieitian, Manuel Villacorta, has said this for years: The immune system is your body's first line of defense.
"It defends us from disease and infection," Villacorta, MS, RDN says.
That defense is needed now more than ever.
California started the new year by reporting nearly 600 COVID related deaths in a single day, with 47,000 new confirmed cases on the first.
"There seems to be a glimmer of hope," says Dr. Susan Philip of San Franscico Department of Public health.
San Francisco's health officials say they're starting to see stabilization in cases, a light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Still, city leaders say there's no target date for the end of the current stay at home orders as counties surrounding the area continue to see the number of ICU beds dwindle.
"We know that reopening is so important for the city as well," Dr. Philip says. "and we just want to balance that against what we're seeing in the data,"
Data from the holidays should be available in coming weeks.
In the meantime, take care of yourself. Villacorta says the body needs vitamins A, C, and D, along with fruit and vegetables.
Recent studies suggest that Vitamin D is important in fighting off the virus.
"It’ll help you support your immune system," Villacorta says. "But, this does not mean they’re going to protect you from getting the virus,"
So, adhere to the CDC guideline of wearing a mask and social distancing. But, use what's in your fridge to keep your immune system in top shape.
Villacorta says shopping for items that boost your immune system doesn't have to be expensive. You can get canned goods and frozen vegetables to get the nutrients you need.
"Make sure you think of all colors of the rainbow because you get a different set of antioxidants and vital nutrients which means you tackle different systems in your body, especially the immune system," Villacorta says.