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A nutritious diet is key for a healthy immune system

Spring 2021 Health Matters Newsletter

Keep your immune system healthy by giving your body a well-balanced diet filled with nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, these nutrients can help strengthen your immune system:

Probiotics: These good bacteria can be found in cultured dairy products like yogurt.

Protein: This may be especially helpful in healing and recovery. You can find this in plant and animal products, such as milk, eggs, beef, chicken, fish, nuts, beans and seeds.

Vitamin A: This helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections. Look for it in sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, eggs, or milk and cereal fortified with Vitamin A.

Vitamin C: Look for this in citrus fruits. It helps the immune system by increasing the amount of antibodies in your system.

Vitamin D: Find it in fatty fish and eggs, as well as drinks fortified with Vitamin D.

Vitamin E: This works as an antioxidant. Antioxidants decrease inflammation. Find Vitamin E in fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils and peanut butter.

Zinc: This may help wounds heal. You can find it in wheat germ, beans and tofu. However, zinc is best absorbed from animal sources like beef and fish.

The best way to get the nutrients your immune system needs is to include a wide variety of healthy foods in your diet. That’s usually a better option than a supplement. Overloading on specific nutrients won’t give your immune system a super boost. In fact, taking too much of some of them can actually do more harm than good.

Learn more about a healthy diet from CMH Medical Nutrition Therapy. Call 503-338-4526 or visit columbiamemorial.org/services/medical-nutrition-therapy for more information.

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