Did you know there is an actual day called May Day? It’s the halfway point between the spring equinox and summer solstice deep-rooted in astronomy celebrating the coming of Spring. As with many holidays’ springtime holidays are filled with family and friends. Business prepares, rebuilds, and reopens across the country in hosting events, employ us, and provide services as we continue to fight against today’s pandemic.
Our environment helps us with sustaining human life by providing food, breathable air, and natural resources along with meaningful relationships and community. Individually, our bodies have defenses that protect us against various types of infectious disease or foreign invaders.
You guessed it our immune system. Our immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that all work together to protect our bodies. So, as you excitedly get ready to go out and celebrate spring don’t forget about how hard your immune system is working to protect you.
Good nutrition is a vital component for creating a healthy immune system. Proper nutrition may offer protection from seasonal illnesses such as the flu and other health-related problems. Keep in mind although no one nutrient can prevent disease a variety of nutrients can help support and may prevent it. A variety of nutrients are more helpful than only one especially therefore try to consider as a part of your overall eating.
Here are some ideas on how to build that plate with a variety of nutrients in mind.
- Protein – helps with building and repairing the body’s tissues. Antibodies that are part of your immune system cells rely heavily on protein. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, beans, soy foods, nuts, and seeds.
- Vitamin A – helps in maintaining your body’s natural defense against disease. Vitamin A has many functions it is important for the growth and development and maintenance of your immune system. Some good sources of Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and butternut squash to name a few.
- Vitamin C – Another powerhouse in stimulating the formation of antibodies and is considered one of the biggest immune boosters of all. Good Sources of Vitamin C include oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, and tomatoes.
- Vitamin E – acts as an antioxidant and has been shown to support immune function. Foods high in vitamin E include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, shellfish, fish, plant oils, broccoli, squash, and fruits.
- Zinc – helps in assisting the immune system and is essential for human growth. Zinc may play a role in antibody production to help fight infections and improve wound healing. Good food sources of zinc are meats, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, legumes, and milk.