Boosting your immune system through the power of food

Fall is a favorite season for many with the beautiful changing leaves, cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice everything! However, one thing that fall brings that is a little less thrilling is cold and flu season.

 

This year especially, staying healthy is top priority and there are many things we can do to help prevent us from getting sick this fall. Some of these things include getting your flu shot, staying away from others who are sick, getting enough sleep, washing your hands regularly and eating a healthy diet. While most of these are straight-forward, when it comes to knowing what to eat to include in your diet, it can be a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are three simple things you can add to your diet to help boost your immunity:

  1. Vitamin C – Research shows that Vitamin C can help to make your immune system stronger, but before you reach for the supplements you should know that food sources of vitamin C are abundant. Typically, the first foods that come to mind when people think of vitamin C are oranges and other citrus fruits. While these are a great source of vitamin C there are many others that you can add into your diet as well. Reach for foods like tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, kiwi to help you get your daily dose of vitamin C.

  2. Zinc – Include adequate protein-rich foods because they contain nutrients that are important for immune health.  Zinc helps to maintain immune function and can be found in meat, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, soy, legumes, as well as nuts and seeds. Try adding more beans to your soups and sauces or nuts and seeds to your yogurt and baking to get more of this immune-boosting nutrient.

  3. Probiotics – Eating foods that contain probiotics, which can benefit our gut and immune health.  Sources of probiotics include kefir and yogurt.  Be sure to look for the word ‘probiotic’ on the label, as this is a regulated term.  Try including more of these foods by having yogurt parfaits, using yogurt in dips and adding kefir to your morning smoothie.

Reach out to your Loblaws in-store Registered Dietitian for more immune-boosting recipe ideas. They provide a range of services including phone consultations and online workshops and can help you to set SMART goals to help you achieve your health & wellness goals. Visit bookadietitian.ca to find a registered dietitian near you.   Follow me on Facebook

Lisa Ireland
Registered Dietitian
Pickering

 

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