St Pete Healthy News


immunity boosters

Immunity Boosting Vitamins in Fruit and Vegetables

A diet rich in nutrients is one of the best ways to prevent illnesses. Immunity boosting vitamins found in fruit and vegetables help build a strong defense against sickness and disease. By eating a variety of produce, you gain the natural strength to protect yourself from viruses and bacteria.

The Immune System
The immune system includes complex parts of the body like cells, tissues, and organs that fight germs and infections. It is important to do everything you can to keep these parts healthy to continuously protect yourself. This is done by forming good dieting and exercising habits.

Eat the Rainbow
You may have heard the phrase “eat the rainbow.” This is a good way to remember that eating lots of colorful foods provides the most amount of natural vitamins and minerals. Because immune system health is a long-term goal, it is important to make eating plenty of different fruit and vegetables a habit.

Antioxidants can be found in fruit and vegetables with deep, dark colors: think leafy greens like kale, dark green broccoli, and deep red peppers. Antioxidants are important in fighting free radicals, or unstable molecules that damage your body’s cells. Incorporate these antioxidant-rich foods into your diet a little at a time to build healthy habits.
• Bell Peppers
• Berries
• Corn
• Kale
• Spinach
• Tomatoes
While antioxidant supplements are available, they are not as effective. Stick to a diet rich in vitamins C, E, selenium, and carotenoids.

Immunity Boosting Vitamins and Minerals
A good mix of vitamins and minerals will boost your immune system. Food rich in vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, and folic acid give your body the tools it needs to fight infection.
• Carrots
• Broccoli
• Mushrooms
• Beans
• Sunflower Seeds

Protein, Prebiotics, and Probiotics
Don’t forget to keep your body supplied with essential proteins like beans, lentils, seafood, and lean meats for muscle function. Remember, your immune system is complex and needs variety to function at its peak. Prebiotics and probiotics aid in digestion, and these essential foods cannot be overlooked:
• Low-fat Yogurt
• Other Fermented Foods (kefir, kombucha, etc.)
• Bananas
• Beans

Processed food, and food high in saturated fat, and refined sugars and flour can make inflammation worse. Avoid fried food, frozen dinners, desserts, soda, and white breads. Instead, look for these inflammation-fighting foods and add them to your diet:
• Fiber-rich Brown Rice
• Sweet Potato
• Spices (cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and more)
• Almonds, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Walnuts (rich in healthy fats and Omega-3s)

Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water. Staying well hydrated helps your heart pump blood throughout your body and disperse all those vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Stay away from sugar drinks like juice and energy drinks: water is always best.

Diet, Exercise, and Rest
Maintaining a healthy immune system over time requires a balanced diet, regular exercise, and plenty of rest. However, there is no “one-size fits all” treatment. Talk to a medical professional if you have specific needs or issues to be addressed.

Follow Healthy St. Pete to learn more about healthy eating. Join the Healthy St. Pete Facebook group for more updates and healthy, affordable recipes.