Maintaining a balanced diet is a crucial part of supporting a healthy immune system – you have to do what you can to give your body essential vitamins and minerals from natural food sources like fruits and veggies. We understand that it isn't always easy to know which foods to focus on, so we decided to take the guesswork out of it by giving you five foods you can easily add in to your diet in place of things you currently eat.
These nutrient-rich food swaps make it easy to eat well and support your immune function without making drastic changes to your eating habits.
- Sweet Potatoes Over White Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent infection by keeping the lining of your lungs and skin from getting too dry. It also helps build antibodies, which fight pathogens.
- Red Bell Peppers Over Green Ones
Another great source of Vitamin A to help support your immune system. Even better, red bell peppers are an awesome source of Vitamin C too – a solid bang for your immune health buck.
- Pick Carrots and Dried Apricots Over Processed Snacks
More Vitamin A rich options. Notice what all these foods have in common – the orange hue. This is why eating the rainbow is so important. Each color and variation offers new and different nutrients.
- Pick Cashews and Walnuts Over Almonds
Cashews are a great source of zinc, a powerful antioxidant. While walnuts are a great source of B-vitamins, which help produce T-Killer cells. These cells seek out pathogens, like viruses and bacteria, and cause them to implode.
- Oranges and Berries Over Apples
Citrus fruits and berries are two great sources of Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. So, lean on citrus right now more than your apples and bananas. Then, add berries to your smoothies or oatmeal.
Try a Few of Our Favorite Foods:
We're all stuck at home and the days aren't the only thing starting to blend together — so are our meals. Even the best grocery lists can feel boring after a few weeks. If you're looking to shake up this week's shopping list get a boost of immune-supporting nutrients, try a few more of our favorite foods:
Eat Eggs Daily
Scramble them for breakfast, have them as a snack, or poach them over some potato and brussels sprout hash for dinner. Eggs are loaded in immune supporting vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Iron, and Zinc.
Add Lentils to a Meal Weekly
Lentils provide the trace minerals iron and zinc. Iron help destroy pathogens and zinc is a powerful antioxidant. They’re also a great source of fiber and easy to cook. All you need is some onion, garlic, vegetable stock, and a can of diced tomatoes and you’re well on your way.
Get Animal Protein Regularly
Lean animal protein is the best source of iron. Iron helps support the immune system by destroying pathogens. Aim for 1-2 palms of lean animal protein like fish, chicken breast, turkey, or top round daily.
Eat Dark Leafy Veggies Every Day
These leafy greens are loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, so find a way to get these these vegetables into your diet daily. Salads don’t need to be your only option – try sautéing into eggs, blending into a smoothie, or adding to a soup.
Get Your Vitamin D
Whether you have a spoonful of Cod liver oil daily, get out in the sun for 15-30min daily, or take a supplement make sure you get you daily dose of Vitamin D. It plays a key role in destroying pathogens that cause infection.