Immune-Supporting Foods & Resources During COVID-19
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Consumers are Seeking Immune-Boosting Plant-Based Foods
Consumer interest in immune-boosting foods has been growing, but, since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, growth has been ‘staggering’. Additionally, the focus on harnessing the healing power of plant-based foods to prevent and fight illness, especially among millennials, has been surging.
Promoting plant-based menu items that are immune-boosting, vitamin-packed, and high in antioxidants can help entice consumers, even when they are seeking comfort foods. Below are examples of popular immune-boosting ingredients that can be easily added to plant-based dishes.
Vitamin C – Antioxidant
Ingredients: Citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, kale, and kiwifruit
Suggested plant-based meals: Smoothies and salads; Oatmeal bowls with berries and kiwifruits; Cucumber and asparagus veggie sushi rolls
Vitamin A – Anti-inflammatory
Ingredients: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, and red bell peppers
Suggested plant-based meals: Mexican burrito with beans, peppers and sweet potatoes; Plant-based meat burger on kale and grain bowl; Spinach and artichoke dip made with cashew cheese
Vitamin E – Antioxidant
Ingredients: Vegetable oils, nuts, green vegetables, seeds, and avocado
Suggested plant-based meals: Dairy-free mac & cheese made with nuts and leafy green as optional add-in; Pizza topped with greens, mushrooms and seed/nut-based cheese and sauces; Grain bowl with pesto, grilled greens, tofu, avocado, and seeds
Zinc – Immune Function
Ingredients: Whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts
Suggested plant-based meals: Black bean and sweet potato tacos; Breakfast burrito with beans, potatoes, plant-based meat and veggies; Fortified whole grain cookies and baked goods
Protein – Fights Infection
Ingredient: Legumes, soy, beans, peas, nuts and seeds
Suggested plant-based meals: High protein pasta with vegetables; Plant-based burgers; Plant-based meat Bolognese
Learn more about the benefits of Meatless Monday and plant-based menu items at MeatlessMonday.com/Foodservice