A healthy immune system is essential to our overall health and especially important as the weather gets colder. Making sure you practice healthy behaviors like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating healthy will help keep your immune system healthy.

The immune system defends our body against infection. It is important to work towards boosting your immune system year round. Within the past year or so, there has been more talk around the immune system due to the pandemic. Taking care of your health all year round can help protect your immune system, during times like these.

Diet plays an important role in boosting your immune system, but diet alone is not enough- the following are also important factors to help support a healthy immune system:

  • Sleep
  • Staying hydrated (at least 8 C of water daily unless advised otherwise by your doctor)
  • Self care
  • Stress management
  • Physical activity
  • Social interaction
  • Limiting screen time as this impacts mental health and overall well being

Foods that can help boost your immune system include Vitamin C, zinc and magnesium rich foods as these are all important vitamins/minerals for immune health due to their antioxidant properties.

Foods rich in Vitamin C:

  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Grapefruits
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tomatoes
  • Red and green peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Potato

Foods rich in Zinc:

  • Cashews
  • Chickpeas
  • Yogurt and milk products
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Whole grains and ready to eat breakfast cereals (fortified with zinc)
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Legumes (beans and peas)
  • Nuts
  • Oysters
  • Red meat

Foods rich in Magnesium:

  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Whole grains
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Black beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate
  • Brown rice
  • Plain yogurt
  • Banana
  • Kidney beans
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Apples
  • Tofu

Immune Boosting Snacks:

  • Greek yogurt, strawberries, dark chocolate
  • Apple, peanut butter, cheese stick
  • Pineapple and cottage cheese
  • Hummus, peppers, orange
  • Cereal, almonds, milk, dark chocolate bits
  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter, cantaloupe on the side

There is no better time than now to start working on improving your diet and practicing healthy behaviors. Nutrition Services at Behavioral Nutrition give patients the support they need to improve their diet and lead a healthier lifestyle. We analyze eating habits and daily routine to find areas that can be improved and develop a plan that works for each of our patients. Our behavioral therapy services take a holistic approach and aim to find sustainable solutions that will help you feel great. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you improve your diet and lead a healthier lifestyle to help boost your immune system.