While we may be coming to an end of cold and flu season, the COVID-19 outbreaks across the world have put fending off bugs back on center stage. Washing your hands and practicing good respiratory etiquette are vital to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease (side note: this is EVERY day, not just when we are on the verge of a pandemic!) I cannot stress this enough – WASH YOUR HANDS! And do it correctly
. Be sure to check out the CDC's other recommendations for helping prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19, here
You might also be wondering what you can do to keep your immune system strong during such a time. What you eat plays an important role in bolstering your body's natural defenses. Vitamins A, C, and E are powerhouse immune-boosting nutrients. So are zinc, selenium, and, of course, protein. When I want to ensure my family is getting all the right foods to keep our immune systems strong, we eat plenty of colorful fruits and veggies. We also increase our beef intake.
Here are some reasons why we eat a few more burgers when I want our ability to fight off infection to be at its peak:
- We get 38% of our daily value of selenium in three ounces of lean beef. Selenium helps protect our cells from damage and reduces oxidative stress, which can lower inflammation and bolster our immune response.
- Three ounces of beef has a whopping 39% of our daily value of zinc. We need zinc for our immune systems to do their job. It helps our bodies fight off bacteria and viruses.
- Finally, we can't forget the 51% of our daily value of protein in one 3-ounce serving of beef. We have to have protein to keep illness at bay. Since it's the building block for all cells in our body, it's imperative to have plenty of protein so our antibodies and immune system cells are at their pinnacle of performance.
Beef is an excellent source of ten essential nutrients, many of which are vital for a strong immune system and fundamental for a well-functioning ability to fight off disease. And burgers are one of our easy, go-to dinners. Top them with some brightly colored veggies, and you have a nutrient-packed winner. So, go get yourself a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, grill up some burgers, and WASH THOSE HANDS!
If you are interested in learning more about the other powerhouse nutrients found in beef, you can check out this two-part blog series from last spring, here