Healthy Immunity Diet Guidelines
These nutrition tips and guidelines can help keep your immune system strong.
The best nutritional strategy for keeping your immune system strong, then, is to have a well-nourished, well-rested body and move it regularly. Follow these tips from the nutrition experts at EatingWell to keep your system fully charged.
Get enough vitamin C
Your body needs vitamin C to build and maintain healthy skin—your body’s first line of defense in preventing disease and infection. The vitamin is also critical for producing white blood cells and antibodies that fight off infections, and it is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free-radical damage.
While vitamin C has long had a reputation for helping prevent the common cold and many people gulp megadoses when they feel cold symptoms coming on, clinical studies have shown no effect for vitamin C in cold prevention in normal situations. However, in a handful of studies the vitamin did appear to slightly reduce the duration of a cold, as well as the symptoms.
The best way to get enough vitamin C is by enjoying it in foods, not pills. It’s easy to do: just one large orange or a cup of orange juice will meet your daily needs. You’ll get more nutrition in the bargain: foods high in vitamin C tend to also be rich in other immune-protective compounds.
When you’re looking for vitamin C, think outside the orange crate. Cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, mangoes, papayas, raspberries, starfruit, strawberries and tangerines are all rich in the vitamin. In fact, each serving supplies at least 25 to 30 percent of recommended amounts of vitamin C for a day. And don’t forget that many vegetables, including broccoli and peppers, are terrific sources. Aim for at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day, including at least one that is rich in vitamin C.