|Immune system health|
A strong immune system is important, especially in cold and flu season. Your immune system protects your body by detecting pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, and destroying them before they make you sick. Include these seven nutrients in your diet to strengthen your immune system.
- Vitamin A is a regulator of your immune system and fights inflammation. Adequate supplies are necessary to prevent infections. Vitamin A is found in color vegetables (carrots, kale, red bell peppers, spinach and sweet potatoes) and in egg yolks.
- Vitamin C also protects against infections. Eat citrus fruits, strawberries and tomatoes for this vitamin.
- Folate (folic acid, a B vitamin) helps your body produce red and white blood cells. Leafy green vegetables and legumes (beans and peas) are good sources.
- Protein is one of the building blocks of the antibodies created by your immune system. High quality protein is found in eggs, fish, lean meat and poultry.
- Zinc reduces inflammation and is involved in the production of germ-fighting white blood cells. Foods containing zinc include beans, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oysters, lean meat, poultry, and whole grains.
- Selenium has antioxidant properties and supports immunity. Find it in barley, Brazil nuts, broccoli, garlic, sardines and tuna.
- Probiotics are live bacteria that aid the function of your digestive system. These “good bacteria” are found normally in the human gut. They are present in fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut) and fermented dairy products (kefir, buttermilk, yogurt).