Good nutrition is essential for supporting a strong immune system.
A strong immune system is crucial when it comes to staying healthy amidst seasonal illnesses, the flu or even threats like the coronavirus. To help protect yourself against illness and for immunity boosting benefits, include these nutrients consistently into your daily diet.
Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. Eat a variety of protein rich foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Get this immune-boosting vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, or eggs.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps protect you from infection by encouraging antibodies and boosting immunity. Include more sources of this healthy vitamin in your diet by consuming citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell peppers, papaya, strawberries, or tomatoes.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known to enhance the function of immune cells, including T-cells and macrophages, that protect your body against pathogens. It has both inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties, and is crucial for the activation of immune system defenses. Vitamin D can be obtained by consuming fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks, but the best way to increase your intake is through exposure to sunlight. Go for a walk or run outdoors regularly.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and improves immune system function. Obtain adequate vitamin E in your diet with consumption of sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and peanut butter.
Zinc helps the immune system work properly and assists with wound healing. Zinc food sources include lean meats, poultry, seafood, milk, beans, seeds and nuts.
Additionally there are other nutrients that may influence immune response and play a role in a healthy immune boosting diet, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, and iron, as well as prebiotics and probiotics.
*Disclaimer: obtaining these nutrients from foods is preferred, so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider and/or a registered dietitian nutritionist before taking any immune-boosting supplements.