Food & Immunity January 29, 2014
We’re in the thick of winter here and besides it being really, REALLY cold, this is also the time when people get sick left and right. Here today is our resident nutritionist Rebecca to breakdown how what you eat affects your immune system.
Believe it or not, most immune support is based upon the health of the individual. If you eat an adequate healthy diet full of nutrient-dense foods, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly—your ability to fight the common cold increases greatly. When you are feeling run down, it is always a good idea to UP your intake of fruits and vegetables to replace any critical vitamins and minerals you may be missing in your diet. It’s also important to manage your stress and get enough sleep to keep up your mental energy.
A commonly known vitamin to take when you are feeling a cold coming on is vitamin C. This vitamin is an important antioxidant that helps to maintain a healthy immune system. While most people are aware that oranges are high in vitamin C (they contain 159% of our daily recommended intake), most are unaware that there are other fruits and veggies that are also high. These include; bell peppers which have 195% of our recommended intake, strawberries which contain 162% of our recommended intake, and even broccoli which contains 135% of our daily recommended intake (try this week’s Spiced Cheesy Fusilli with Broccoli!).
Other nutrients that help boost our immune response are vitamin D, omega-3, and probiotics. Vitamin D can be found in fortified foods like milk and cereal grains – however the best source is found in fatty fish (this week’s Roasted Salmon is the perfect example!). Omega-3’s can be found in fish. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like kim chi, yogurt, and sauerkraut.