HOW TO KEEP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY
Although you may not be able to fully prevent a cold or flu this season, a healthy immune system is one way to give your body extra protection. Focusing on nutrient-rich foods and healthy lifestyle behaviors can help you and your family stay a step ahead of germs this season.
Immune-Boosting Nutrients—The following nutrients play a role in the immune system and can be found in a variety of foods:
· Beta Carotene is found in plant foods, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mango, broccoli, and tomatoes.
· Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, berries, melons, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli.
· Vitamin D is found in fatty fish and eggs. Milk and 100% juices that are fortified with vitamin D also are sources of this important nutrient.
· Zinc tends to be better absorbed from animal sources such as beef and seafood, but also is in vegetarian sources such as wheat germ, beans, nuts, and tofu.
· Probiotics are “good” bacteria that promote health. They can be found in cultured dairy products such as yogurt and in fermented foods such as kimchi.
· Protein comes from both animal and plant-based sources, such as milk, yogurt, eggs, beef, chicken, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils.
Aim for five to seven servings of vegetables and fruits daily to get immune-boosting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Good hygiene and hand-washing help prevent the spread of germs.
Remember to wash produce before eating or using in recipes.
Clean glasses, forks, spoons, and other utensils to reduce the spread and growth of bacteria.