Immune Boosting Nutrition Tips

Nutrients found in foods can help boost our immune systems and provide our bodies with extra protection. That being said, it is not guaranteed that any of the foods will actually prevent you from ever becoming sick. However, here are just a few foods that can give us a little help in staying healthy!

  • Carrots, mangos, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and sweet potatoes– all contain Beta Carotene, a naturally occurring retinol precursor that can help stimulate the release of natural killer cells, lymphocytes and monocytes while inhibiting free-radical damage to DNA.
  • Citrus fruits, berries, melons, bell peppers, broccoli and tomatoes– contain Vitamin C which supports other cellular functions and has antioxidant properties. Vitamin C helps direct immune cells (neutrophils) to sites of infections.
  • Fatty fish, eggs and fortified milks & juice– contain vitamin D which has anti-inflammatory properties that can counteract microbial infections in addition to inflammation.
  • Beef, seafood, bean, tofu and nuts– good sources of Zinc that is critical for normal development and function of cells that can help fight infection & heal wounds. Zinc may also reduce the duration of the common cold and reduce risk of upper respiratory infections in children.
  • Cultured dairy products and fermented foods– provide probiotics to promote good gut health
  • Dairy products, eggs, beef, chicken, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils– great sources of protein which is crucial to build, maintain and repair body tissue. Antibodies that help fight disease are made of protein (amino-acids).

During these trying times, focus on having a healthy balance in your life including eating well, moving (as much as possible) and getting adequate sleep. Aim for 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies daily to get these immune boosting minerals, vitamins and antioxidants!

Of course, proper hand hygiene is one of the most effective way to help prevent the spread of germs. We would also like to remind everyone to properly clean utensils, glassware and other serving dishes. Refrain from sharing silverware, cups, bottles, etc… to avoid the spread of germs from on to another.

The recipe today is one that Ebenezer’s Registered Dietitian Becca thinks we all deserve at this time because it features steak! Steak is a wonderful source of protein, zinc and iron. Pairing foods like steak with other foods containing vitamin C (strawberries) helps our bodies absorb iron more efficiently too! Enjoy!

Strawberry Bleu Cheese Steak Salad