5 Immune-Boosting Nutrients
Good nutrition is important for everyday life, but even more important when we are trying to boost a strong immune system. Our immune system is there to protect you against seasonal illness such as the flu, and in this case, Coronavirus. To help protect yourself against illness and for immunity-boosting benefits, include these nutrients consistently into your daily diet:
We will never stop talking about protein. Why? Because it does so much more than just help us grow muscle. Protein is essential to a healthy immune system, especially for healing and recovery. So if you are recovering, or not, protein is essential in boosting immunity. Include seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds in your daily diet!
Our bodies do their very best to try to keep bugs on the outside. However, our skin is our biggest defense, so we need to keep it in tip-top shape. Vitamin A helps protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. You can find vitamin A in foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods fortified with vitamin A.
We all have heard about the immune-boosting power of Vitamin C. And there is a good reason for it! Vitamin C helps protect you from infection by boosting up our antibodies and immunity. Intake of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, and tomato will help you maximize your Vitamin C stores.
Vitamin E is less commonly talked about, but it too is important! It is an antioxidant that crushes free radicals and powers up our immune system function. You can find Vitamin E in foods such as sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils, hazelnuts and peanut butter (yummmm, my favorite!)
Zinc helps the immune system work properly and assists with healing specifically wound healing. This is important in maintaining the integrity of your skin (again, one of our biggest defense systems). Zinc food sources include lean meats, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds, and nuts.
These are just a few of the immune-boosting tools we have in our kitchen. There are other nutrients that may influence immune response, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron, and pre/probiotics. As well, we know that an excess of sugar and/or alcohol can put our immunity on hold, so try to limit these items to a minimum.
*Disclaimer: obtaining these nutrients from foods is preferred, so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider and/or a registered dietitian before taking any immune-boosting supplements.*