A strong immune system is key to defending you against illness. Incorporate these healthy habits and immune-supporting nutrients into your daily regimen to support your overall immune health.
I absolutely love this time of year – the changing of the leaves, the cool brisk mornings and evenings, the mug of hot chocolate warming my soul even as I see my breath float away in the breeze. I love it! As for others, this time of year only brings bitter remarks about the torturously cold four months ahead and the pending possibility of coming down with a cold, or worse, the flu.
Getting sick is never fun, and even with the most intense precautions, illness can happen. There are some preventative measures – like washing your hands frequently – to help keep yourself protected. And, some nutrients you can incorporate into your diet that are recognized as supporting immune health.
Load Up On Fruits And Vegetables
The bright and attractive colors of fruits and vegetables indicate just how nutrient-rich they are. Packed with antioxidants, these foods help keep your immune system strong. Here are a few examples of those immune-boosting nutrients and where you can find them.
Foods Rich In Beta-Carotene
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark, leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, arugula)
Foods Rich In Vitamin C
- Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, & limes
- Strawberries & other berries
- Broccoli* & cauliflower
- Brussels sprouts
Incorporate Powerful Proteins Daily
Adequate protein is also important for maintaining your immune function. Aim for lean proteins, especially those that provide an added nutritional punch.
- Low-fat dairy
- Beans & legumes
Protein Foods Rich In Vitamin B6, Selenium and Zinc
- Meat (Beef, Chicken, Pork)
Include Other Immune Supporting Nutrients and Probiotics
- Almonds & other nuts
- Wheat germ
- Cow’s milk
- Fermented dairy products (buttermilk, kefir, crème fraiche, sour cream)
Adopt These Everyday Tips For Immune Health
Nutrition alone won’t keep you 100% safe from coming down with something. Be sure to practice the following health habits each day for overall health and protection against sickness
- Wash your hands, frequently
- Get a good night’s rest (7-9 hours)
- Try to keep a low level of stress
- Maintain physical activity (at least 30 minutes a day)