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.
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.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture