Your Student Life: Prevention Through Nutrition
May 4, 2021
Food is our fuel. It gives us energy, fuels our minds, and keeps us alive. In this pandemic, we all live with uncertainty. While we all know that the best way to prevent illness is to practice safe physical distancing and wear a mask, certain foods can also make our bodies strong and boost our immunity!
Foods all have different nutrients for different functions in our body. Certain nutrients help to strengthen our immune system and keep us happy and healthy. Although no food is a guaranteed cure to an infection, there are certain nutrients that we need to ensure we are strong enough to fight one.
Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health helped explain what aspects of our diet to focus on to maintain a healthy immune system. Researchers expressed the importance of a healthy gut for a healthy body. To maintain our gut health, we need to eat foods with probiotics and prebiotics. Examples of probiotic foods include yogurt and fermented vegetables. Yogurt is widely available at every dining location on campus and is an easy grab-and-go snack for those of us in a rush. Prebiotic foods include whole grains, bananas, other fruits and vegetables. The dining halls have many options that include whole grain bread, pasta and endless vegetable and fruit options to help our immunity.
Harvard’s biggest tip was to eat a well-balanced diet. To keep our bodies healthy, we must consume a range of vitamins and nutrients. We should be keeping our body fueled and ready to fight off any virus that comes our way. It can be hard to plan our meals and find time to focus on our health on campus, but the dining halls have many options to keep us healthy.
If you are struggling to maintain a well-balanced diet, the Student Wellness Center has free nutrition coaching for students as well as online resources to help students understand the foods they choose to eat. Check out the resources section below for more information. As always, maintaining healthy behaviors like getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising are great ways to keep ourselves healthy and strong during this time!
- Food and Coronavirus Disease 2019, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/food-and-COVID-19.html
- Student Wellness Center College Cookbook: https://swc.osu.edu/posts/documents/swc-cookbook-v9-2.pdf
- Nutrition and Immunity, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/
Nutrition Wellness Ambassador
Student Wellness Center
Office of Student Life