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Ten Simple Dietary Steps to Strengthen Your Immune System – A Guide for Older Individuals at Risk of COVID-19

      Older adults are at risk for poor immune response to infections, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although no diet can prevent COVID-19, eating healthily protects your health and strengthens your immune system. Healthy eating is very important for older individuals, especially those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, or cancer.
      Fig 1, Fig 1, Fig 1 provides 10 dietary recommendations to help you choose healthy foods and get the nutrients you need for overall good health and a strong immune system.

      Noun Project (creators: tulpahn, Econceptive, Creative Stall, monkik, Simon Lι, Royyan Razka, Andrei Yuskchenko, Vector Bakery, Sergei Shramko, Turkkub, Carlo Pico, Eucalyp, Ninejipjip, Georgiana Ionescu, Icons Producer). Available at: https://thenounproject.com. Accessed February 2, 2021.

      ,

      World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight. Available at:https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight. Accessed November 18, 2020.

      These recommendations are based on advice provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

      Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Maintaining a healthy diet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/ca8380en/CA8380EN.pdf. Accessed November 18, 2020.

      and the World Health Organization.

      World Health Organization. Nutrition advice for adults during the COVID-19 outbreak. Available at: http://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/nutrition-infocus/nutrition-advice-for-adults-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.html. Accessed November 18, 2020.

      Fig 1
      Fig 1Ten dietary recommendations for a strong immune system. Images from the Noun Project

      Noun Project (creators: tulpahn, Econceptive, Creative Stall, monkik, Simon Lι, Royyan Razka, Andrei Yuskchenko, Vector Bakery, Sergei Shramko, Turkkub, Carlo Pico, Eucalyp, Ninejipjip, Georgiana Ionescu, Icons Producer). Available at: https://thenounproject.com. Accessed February 2, 2021.

      Talk to your health care provider or a registered dietitian about your diet and lifestyle habits. They will help you develop a healthy diet plan that meets your needs, tastes, and budget. The plan should consider your lifestyle, health status, living arrangements and economic situation.
      Additional resources:

      Authorship

      This page was developed by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine COVID and Frailty Task Force members Elena Philippou, PhD, RD (e-mail address: [email protected]); Ahmed Negm, MD, MSc, PhD; and Patricia C. Heyn PhD, FGSA, FACRM.

      Disclaimer

      This information is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your health care provider if you have any specific medical concerns or questions about treatment. This Information/Education Page may be reproduced for noncommercial use for health care professionals and other service providers to share with their patients or clients. Any other reproduction is subject to approval by the publisher.

      Acknowledgment

      We thank Susan Carollo, BS, for her contribution and input as a consumer in the content of this page.

      References

      1. Noun Project (creators: tulpahn, Econceptive, Creative Stall, monkik, Simon Lι, Royyan Razka, Andrei Yuskchenko, Vector Bakery, Sergei Shramko, Turkkub, Carlo Pico, Eucalyp, Ninejipjip, Georgiana Ionescu, Icons Producer). Available at: https://thenounproject.com. Accessed February 2, 2021.

      2. World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight. Available at:https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight. Accessed November 18, 2020.

      3. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Maintaining a healthy diet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/ca8380en/CA8380EN.pdf. Accessed November 18, 2020.

      4. World Health Organization. Nutrition advice for adults during the COVID-19 outbreak. Available at: http://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/nutrition-infocus/nutrition-advice-for-adults-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.html. Accessed November 18, 2020.