Have you ever come down with a cold while your office mate stays perfectly healthy? Here’s why: Even though you may have come in contact with the same germs, your body’s ability to protect itself depends on the power of your immune system.
Healthy living and a balanced diet is your best defense. That means reducing stress, getting enough rest, working out, and eating right. The nutrients that are best known for their immunity-boosting power are vitamins A, C and E and zinc. Read on for how these key nutrients boost the body’s immune system, with ideas for seasonal foods that fit the bill for these health-promoting vitamins and minerals.
|Immunity Booster||How it Works||Where to Find It|
|Vitamin A||It helps regulate the immune system to help prevent or fight off infections by making the white blood cells that fight harmful germs and viruses.||Dark greens such as kale (we carry 5 varieties!) and Swiss chard
|Vitamin C||Not only does it directly fight oxidative damage from free radicals, but it also keeps other antioxidants such as vitamin E in good shape||Citrus fruits including oranges and grapefruit
|Vitamin E||Vitamin E is essential for a strong immune system. It is also a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of damaging free radicals called ROS (reactive oxygen species) during fat oxidation||Vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and walnut oil
|Zinc||It helps maintain a healthy balance of white blood cells, which help the body’s natural defense systems, and its ability to get better faster after a cold or flu.||Seafood such as oysters, crab, lobster, and flounder
Fun Fact: There is some truth to treating a cold with chicken soup. The Mayo Clinic says it may work because of its “possible anti-inflammatory and mucus-thinning effects,” a statement based on research findings published in peer-reviewed journal Chest. Then again, steaming chicken soup may make people feel better because it helps with rehydration, and physical and emotional comfort. Either way, it can’t hurt, and it might help! Try this recipe for Poule au Pot (chicken in a pot) from At Home with the French Classics: http://www.freshdirect.com/recipe.jsp?recipeId=rec_wk_poule_au_pot&trk=rsrch
Insider scoop for EatRightHere readers: Some of my favorite immunity-boosting foods are on-sale through December 13th at my Healthy Living for Less section of the store. Check out my page for savings on gorgeous and nutrient-packed cara cara oranges, Satur cut kale, fresh ginger, soothing teas, and more.