It goes without saying that a diet high in fruit and especially vegetables are the basis for a healthy body and immune system. Red, yellow and orange vegetable are rich in antioxidant nutrients, lycopene, beta carotene and vitamin C, and are a great support to your immune function. Include the following immune boosters on a regular basis – garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric and chilli, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts; and beta carotene containing foods such as carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C – Eat foods high in Vitamin C daily, such as citrus, kiwi fruit, pawpaw, capsicum, strawberries and pineapple. Vitamin C decreases the length of time and severity of symptoms associated with colds and flu and supports our white cell immune function.
Zinc – is an important mineral for immune function, healing and fighting infection. It is essential for T cell and natural killer cell function as well as proper lymphocyte activity and is involved in producing antibodies to help you fight infection. Good sources of zinc include spinach, beef, blueberries, capsicum, egg yolks, ginger, lamb, oysters, asparagus, mushrooms, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, cashews and quinoa.
Vitamin D – Low vitamin D levels are associated with poor immune function. Vitamin D3 is produced in our body when sunlight hits our skin, and its properties and actions sit in the middle ground between a hormone and a vitamin, regulating more than 1000 genes in our body. In one three year study, daily supplements of Vitamin D eliminated the occurrence of yearly colds and influenza.