We made it to spring and we only had one round of sickness go through our house. I made a mushroom lentil soup and pushed the citrus fruit. Two out of the five of us made it through the week without sickness...so healthy eating (and hand hygiene, essential oils, and prayer) really can help!
Here are eight key nutrients that boost the immune system and key food sources for those nutrients. Eat well and stay well!
- Vitamin C - increases white blood cells and antibodies. Aim for a minimum of six servings of fruits and vegetables to get the recommended 200 mg/day for cold prevention. Food sources: guava, papaya, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, orange and grapefruit, bell peppers and broccoli
- Vitamin E - acts as a antioxidant to boost immune cells. Food sources: sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, Swiss chard, avocado
- Carotentoids - Beta carotene is the most familiar and increases the number of infection fighting cells. Food sources: carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens and tomatoes.
- Bioflavonoids - protect against pollution and boost immune response to viruses and allergens. Food sources: citrus fruit, grapes, red wine, dark chocolate, onions, radishes and green tea.
- Zinc - increases production of white blood cells that fight infection. Food sources: oysters, beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, lentils.
- Garlic - stimulates multiplication of infection-fighting white cells. Recipes with garlic abound in cookbooks and online. And who doesn't love garlic!
- Selenium - increases natural killer cells. Food sources: tuna, shrimp, salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms, sunflower seeds.
- Omega - 3 fatty acids - increase activity of cells that eat up bacteria. Food sources: fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, flaxseed and flax oil, walnuts.
Which of these foods will be making it onto your upcoming meal plan? Let me know in the comments below!
Pin for later!