Can foods boost your immune system?

Understandably, we all are worried about COVID-19 and want to do anything we can to avoid catching the virus. Unfortunately, this fear has resulted in the spread of misinformation regarding food and immunity. I’d like to set the record straight, so you are clear on what you can do to protect yourself.

First, I’d like to let you know that I am OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

Is it possible to boost immunity by eating certain foods? 

A healthy immune system likes to be in balance all the time rather than boosted. It’s most helpful to think of ways to support your immune system to keep it strong and functioning properly on a regular basis. In fact, a boosted (or overactive) immune system can lead to allergies or autoimmune problems.

How can you keep your immune system balanced and strong?

Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system. No single one food alone or supplement can boost your immune system and prevent illness. However, you can support your immune system by eating a balanced diet on a regular basis; be sure to include these nutrients.

  • Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. Eat a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Get this vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods labeled “vitamin A fortified,” such as milk or some cereals.
  • Vitamin Csupports the immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies. Include more sources of this healthy vitamin by choosing citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or foods fortified with vitamin C, such as some cereals.
  • Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and may support immune function. Include vitamin E in your diet with fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils (such as sunflower or safflower oil), hazelnuts and peanut butter
  • Zinc helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal. Zinc can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts.
  • Other nutrients, including vitamin B6, B12, copper, folate, selenium and iron also may support immune response and play a role in a healthful eating style.

I hope you found this article helpful during these challenging times. Don’t forget, we are all in this together. If you’re having a tough time, reach out to someone close and let them know. Ask for help when you need it.  Don’t isolate yourself. We need to be physically distant, but not emotionally distant.

If you enjoyed this article, please share with others so we can bring more positive and helpful information to light amidst all the negativity and misinformation.

Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you need help and support!  Call me @ 732-494-1149.  I’m here for you!

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Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS, RD

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