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Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

Foods that help to strengthen your immunity

  Carrots, kale and apricots for beta carotene

 

Carrots, kale and apricots for beta carotene

 


Beta carotene gets converted to vitamin A, which is essential for a strong immune system. It works by helping antibodies respond to toxins and foreign substances.

Good sources of beta carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, apricots, spinach, kale, broccoli, squash and cantaloupe.

 

Oranges, strawberries and broccoli for Vitamin C

Oranges, strawberries and broccoli for Vitamin C

 


Vitamin C increases blood levels of antibodies and helps to differentiate lymphocytes (white blood cells), which helps the body determine what kind of protection is needed.

You can easily consume 200 milligrams of vitamin C from a combination of foods such as oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, broccoli, cooked cabbage and cauliflower.

 

Beans, nuts, cereal and seafood for zinc

Beans, nuts, cereal and seafood for zinc

 

 

 


Zinc helps cells in your immune system grow and differentiate. One meta-analysis revealed that zinc supplements may shorten the duration of symptoms of the common cold. However, it concluded that "large high-quality trials are needed" before definitive recommendations can be made.

Sources of zinc include beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, oysters (including canned), crab, lobster, beef, dark meat poultry and yogurt.

Eggs, cheese, tofu and mushrooms for Vitamin D

Eggs, cheese, tofu and mushrooms for Vitamin D

 

 


Vitamin D regulates the production of a protein that "selectively kills infectious agents, including bacteria and viruses," explained Dr. Michael Holick, an expert on Vitamin D research from Boston University.

Winter-associated vitamin D deficiency -- from a lack of sun-induced vitamin D production -- can weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of developing viral infections that cause upper respiratory tract infections. Inversely, research suggests that vitamin D supplements may help to protect against acute respiratory tract infections.

Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, including canned fish like salmon and sardines; eggs, fortified milk and plant milk products; cheese, fortified juice, tofu and mushrooms.

 

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