Many of us are starting to get back to a more social lifestyle with some of the stay-at-home restrictions changing. You may be wondering how to boost your immune system as you prepare to be around more people after an extended time at home. There are several lifestyle choices to keep your immune system healthy and primed to take on whatever life throws at you (good sleep, proper stress management, etc.), but did you know that food plays a major role?
There are key nutrients you need to strengthen your immune system and each can be found in certain foods. Here is a list of those nutrients and what foods are the best sources:
Vitamin C: all citrus, berries, melon, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli
Beta Carotene: sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mango
Vitamin D: eggs, fish, milk, 100% juice fortified with vitamin D
Zinc: beef, seafood, beans, nuts, tofu
Probiotics: these “good” bacteria can be found in cultured dairy products such as yogurt and in fermented foods such as kimchi.
Protein: both animal and plant-based sources i.e. milk, yogurt, eggs, beef, chicken, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils.
Men & women have specific daily targets for each of these categories. Think diversity when adding into your diet- try to eat a variety of these foods to ensure you’re getting all of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs.
There are also some foods that aren’t the best for our immune systems. Studies have shown that spikes in sugar intake suppress your immune system. If you eat a lot of foods and beverages high in sugar or refined carbohydrates, which the body processes as sugar, you may be reducing your body’s ability to ward off disease.
Do you want to make changes to your nutrition to improve your overall health, but not sure where to start? It can feel overwhelming to integrate new foods into your diet and remove some that are no longer serving you and your health. I can help you make these changes in the best way that fits your lifestyle. We all have unique situations and challenges- I want to help you become the healthiest YOU. Call or message to get started - 540-599-9378