Boost Your Immune System with Nutrition

Having a healthy immune system is one of the best ways to protect your body from getting sick. Our immune systems are designed to naturally help our bodies fight off viruses and bacteria that can make us ill. Incorporating nutrient rich foods and healthy lifestyle behaviors can help you stay ahead of the germs.

Studies have shown that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits does in fact boost immune function. Sadly, according to the CDC’s data, just 12% of American adults are consuming enough fruit, and 9% are consuming enough vegetables. It is important to fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal to make sure you are eating enough each day. It is also important to make sure you are eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.

Fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients that help keep us healthy. To get the broadest range of nutrients, all colors are important- purple, blue, white, red, yellow, orange, and green. The pigments in each fruit and vegetable provide important nutrients, called phytonutrients, which help protect us from diseases like cancer, boost our immune system and help protect our skin and eyesight. Eating a diversity of colorful foods can be an easy way to get a complete range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. Different color fruits and vegetables contain different types of nutrients and vitamins.

  • Red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables contain beta carotene, a chemical that is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A keeps your eyes and skin healthy and helps protect against infections.
  • Green fruits and vegetables are rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K — which is essential for blood and bone health.
  • Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients and have been studied extensively for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.
  • White and brown produce may not be as brightly colored as other foods, but they still are a healthy choice and have phytonutrients.

Fruits and vegetables are available fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. Nutritionally speaking, they are very similar. If you can't get fresh fruits or vegetables, canned or frozen certainly are good alternatives. When buying fresh fruits and vegetables, buy them when they are in season. They are less expensive then and are at their peak flavor. When purchasing canned vegetables make sure you look for the low sodium or no salt added labels. With canned fruit make sure it says 100% fruit juice on the label.

A healthy immune system needs good and regular nourishment and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of your body.

5/26/2022 2:08:32 PM
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