2 Foods to Skip to Help Avoid Getting Sick

As the pandemic continues, we're all becoming hyper-aware of how to keep ourselves from getting sick.

2 Foods to Skip to Help Avoid Getting Sick

As the pandemic continues, we're all becoming hyper-aware of how to keep ourselves from getting sick. And some of that protection happens from within. Here are two foods to avoid — and one kind to stock up on — to help reduce your risk of illness, according to nutritionist and ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton.

"Even if someone does all the 'right things,' this virus can still attack and kill. But we can do many things to reduce our risk," Ashton said.


Cut the Sweets

Look at labels and look at the "added sugar" line. For women, the World Health Organization recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. For men, no more than 34-36 grams of added sugar per day. Cutting these empty calories reduces overall inflammation and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, both of which are risk factors for COVID-19.

Skip the Alcohol

Avoiding alcohol can also help your overall immune system function. Quitting alcohol can help lower your blood pressure, improve liver function, clear your brain and get better sleep, according to WebMD.

Get More Vitamin D3

On the flip side, eating foods rich in vitamin D3 like fish, fortified milk and eggs can help support your overall immune system function. And foods rich in overall vitamins and minerals like berries and citrus are healthy options overall.

For more of Ashton's tips on surviving the pandemic, check out her book "The New Normal: A Roadmap to Resilience in the Pandemic Era."

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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