Nutrition Notes: Immune Boosting Power of Healthy Eating

Cue the Clorox wipes, the elbow sneezes, and runny noses… cold and flu season is almost here. While washing your hands is the first line of defense, did you know your body has its own built in defense method? Your immune system!

Good, healthy, nutritious foods can help boost your immune system and may offer protection from infection. Consider adding nutrients like Protein, Zinc, prebiotics, probiotics, and essential vitamins to the toolbox of wellness your body needs.

1. Protein-rich foods help build your defense mechanisms like your skin and muscles. Fill ¼ of your plate with lean proteins like poultry, nuts, seeds, beans, and eggs at each meal.

2. Zinc is the healing mineral. Foods rich in zinc include lean meats, seafoods, poultry, and fortified cereals. Because zinc is more readily available in animal proteins, vegetarian eaters might need up to 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians. Find out more by clicking here.

3. Prebiotics and probiotics are intestinal health power tools. Prebiotics are components of food that provide fuel for probiotics, or good gut bacteria. Together, prebiotics and probiotics help balance your intestines and help with your overall heath. Prebiotics are found in onions, garlic, whole wheat foods, and bananas. Probiotics are typically found in fermented foods like kefir products, aged cheese, and sauerkraut.

4. Vitamins A, C, and E help maintain our tissues, antibodies, and antioxidants. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors will give you your daily dose of Vitamins A and C. For Vitamin E, aim to add seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils to your meals.

Take that flu! Prepare your body’s immune system by eating healthy, nutritious meals all year round!