Nutrition for a healthy immune system

March 3, 2014

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During this time of year, it can become easy to catch a cold or even the flu. Luckily there are many things you can do to keep yourself healthy and lower your risk. Along with proper hygiene and hand washing, you can also use nutrition to keep away viruses. Proper nutrition can boost you immune system as a form of protection. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has listed the five nutrients essential for a healthy immune system.

Protein- Your body uses protein in a variety of different ways, including a defense mechanism. Try eating lean proteins such as fish or poultry. If you are vegetarian, try to include more nuts, beans, and seeds.

Vitamin A- This vitamin regulates your immune system and keeps your skin (which is a huge barrier to infection) healthy. You can get Vitamin A from carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes. You can also usually find it in fortified cereals.

Vitamin C- Produces antibodies and boosts your immune system. You can find Vitamin C in many citrus foods like oranges or grapefruit.

Vitamin E- Works as an antioxidant. This neutralizes free radicals which can be extremely dangerous to your immune system. Vitamin E is in almonds, seeds, some oils, peanut butter, and also in fortified cereals.

Zinc- Works to make sure the immune system is working properly. You can find zinc in many meats but also in whole grain products and nuts.

Along with boosting your immune system, eating a well balanced diet will make you feel more energetic and happier! 

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My favorite way to get a boost of vitamins is to make smoothies! I add lots of fruits and veggies and create a flu fighting yummy drink! 

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