When the pandemic struck around early 2020, a lot of people searched for immunity boosting foods on the internet. Of course, it was not without any reason, since most of us just want to boost our immunity to avoid catching Covid-19.
According to Euronews Green, searches for foods that can boost immune system soared up to 350% at the beginning of the pandemic. It means more people want to be healthy to avoid getting infected by the disease.
And according to researchers at Australia, this is something healthy not only to our body but the planet too. How can it be when more people look for healthy food means our planet also gets healthier?
This is a pretty peculiar case, but makes a lot of sense if we learn more about it. Thus, here in this article, we will talk about this topic.
Our health is incomparable with anything, and because of that we want to keep being healthy no matter what it costs. However, we are humans full of mistakes and carelessness so often times we ignore what we know about health.
Coronavirus pandemic was a proper smash in our faces to pay more attention about our health. All of us started to live more healthily, including finding the best foods to boost our immune system to avoid catching the disease.
What’s interesting about this condition, the search result of immune boosting foods mostly showed plant-based foods. “We found a variation – from a high of Australia’s 82.5 per cent plant-based food recommendations to a low of 77.7 per cent in the UK,” as the researchers stated.
Professor Danielle Gallegos, dietician at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and one of the co-authors of the study, said that the relations might be indirect but it would still be useful. Even though there is still no study proving that healthy food can prevent the disease, our healthy body would be great help to fight it.
“While there is no evidence that any one food provides immunity from infectious diseases, a person’s overall diet can affect their health and disease susceptibility,” Professor Gallegos stated in an interview with Euronews Green.
Healthy for Both
Plant-based foods turned up in those search results for immunity boosting foods because they indeed contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. But plant-based foods are not only beneficial to our health, since they also have a lot of benefits to the planet.
It points to their agricultural production processes and the environmental impacts of them. Averagely, their production processes have smaller impacts to the environment compared to non-plant-based foods.
“For each of the foods, we determined how the agricultural production of a serving impacted five types of environmental degradation: greenhouse gas emissions, land use, scarcity-weighted freshwater use, and acidification of soil and eutrophication using data from two global studies,” said Ayesha Tulloch, another author of the study.
The immunity boosting foods mostly include nuts, fruits, leafy green, and other kinds of vegetables. In production process, those foods require less water, land, and other kinds of resources compared to, in example, meat
Meat industry consumes a lot of resources and we eat a lot of it every single day. But with the rise of awareness toward plant-based foods since the corona disease struck, people would prefer to eat them instead of the resource-consuming meat-based foods counterpart.
Immunity Boosting Foods are Good
The researchers indeed discovered that the recommended immunity boosting foods are good for both the environment and our health. However, they also discovered something else that we need to notice, which is how the information is not well-spread to the public.
“There are many foods that, when taken as part of a diverse, balanced diet, are genuinely beneficial for health and environmental sustainability. However, providing easily accessible, verifiable information for consumers on the impacts of food choices is challenging, making sustainable, well-informed food choices difficult,” as mentioned in the paper.
In this case, there are many people who still do not know or do not realize about the real impacts of their foods, whether it is positive or negative. Such kind of information is important to be spread all over the planet because then we can understand how our foods affect both our health and the planet.
“By exposing the public to information on the additional benefits of choosing foods with immune-supporting properties, webpages such as those reviewed here offer a potential pathway to building people’s knowledge about the benefits and risks of certain food choices for health and the environment,” as explained in the paper.
Ironically, those who have no access to the information are often the ones who need to know about it the most. Most of those who do not have access to the information are the ones living in less fortunate conditions. Therefore, it is our job to inform more people like them about the benefits.
Living Together with the Planet
From what explained above, we must understand that living together with the planet is the best option most of the time. According to the report, living healthily means eating more of the foods which apparently are better for the environment compared to other kinds of foods.
The plant-based foods are not only nutritious, but also better for the environment. They also provide better experience to eat because they can make us feel full longer with their fibers and provides more complete nutrients compared to meat.
This is not a coincidence that living together with the planet is good for your health in overall. This planet works wonder supporting our presence on earth by providing the best nutrients and resources for us.
So, why should we bother destroying it with our bad consumptive habits? We can just continue living our best even though we do not do those bad habits. Even better, the planet will be kept more pristine if we start making it our lifestyle.
Spreading the information is also a necessary act that we need to accomplish. We cannot just enjoy the information alone, because as part of the society we must learn how to share goodness to make our social environment even better.