Eating healthy has become quite popular in San Antonio, TX, for many reasons. Some people do it to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. Others adopt a healthy diet because they like how they feel when they eat whole food. A large group uses food to maintain good health and boost their immune system. The recent pandemic taught people that living a healthy lifestyle helps protect the body from serious illness.
Your immune system functions better when it’s given the right nutrients.
Vitamin C is well-known for boosting immunity, but other vitamins are just as important. Vitamins E, A, B-9—also known as folate, and D are all immune boosters. Vitamin C is in citrus fruit, red and green bell peppers, and strawberries. Vitamin E, another infection-fighter, is in almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. Vitamin A is in both plant and animal sources. In plants, it’s made of orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, and also from green leafy vegetables. Fish, meat, and dairy also contain vitamin A. Folate from food like spinach and kale helps cells work properly. Vitamin D is crucial for the proper functioning of the immune system. It’s in salmon, tuna, and fortified foods.
You need minerals and phytonutrients for your immune system to be at its best.
Iron, selenium, and zinc are minerals necessary for a healthy immune system. Zinc is vital in the production of immune cells. Selenium helps prevent infection. Iron carries oxygen to help all cells function. Including oysters, lean meat, salmon, and tuna in your diet can help you get all three. Phytonutrients not only help boost the immune system but do so much more. Phytonutrients give plants their color and smell and are part of the plant’s immune system. Anthocyanin is one example. It makes blueberries blue but is also powerful in fighting disease in the human body.
Eating to boost immunity is about what you eat and don’t eat.
If you focus on whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid food with added sugar and highly processed food, you’ll be doing your immune system a favor. Food with added sugar can cause inflammation. Excess sugar reacts with immune proteins that change the immune system. Switching to a whole-food diet can relieve the problem.
- Adding probiotic food to your diet can also benefit your immune system. Your gut microbiome is an integral part of your immune system and these foods make it healthier. Yogurt is one example of a probiotic food.
- While probiotic food may add more beneficial microbes, to keep your microbes healthy, you need prebiotic foods to feed them. These are foods with soluble fiber, such as apples and beans.
- Getting vitamin D from food is difficult unless it’s fortified. Choose safe sunning as an option. It’s available year-round in San Antonio. The sun reacts with the skin to produce vitamin D.
- Exercise plays a crucial role in a healthy immune system. It lengthens the telomeres that protect the cells and releases cytokines and chemokines that keep the immune system functional.
For more information, contact us today at Iron Fit San Antonio