Importance of Immune Health

A breakdown in immune health can open the door to a wide variety of health problems. Supporting the immune system with diet and healthy practices is our body’s best defense. If the immune system is not operating optimally, not only can the body’s ability to fight illness and infection be compromised, but the body can also misinterpret healthy cells for invaders and begin to attack itself.

As important as it is to eat the right foods, what you avoid eating can be just as important. The obvious food to avoid or eat minimally are alcohol, caffeine, sugar, excess fats, and highly processed foods, as they can deplete or block absorption of the good nutrients. There are some key nutrients that help support immune functions because of their protective qualities and the roles they play in building a healthy body. These include vitamins, minerals, the amino acids including alanine, arginine, cysteine, lysine and threonine (found in protein food sources) and the fatty acids: linoleic acid and linolenic acid (found in nuts seeds and their oils). These are most readily used by the body in food, rather than supplements.

The following are rich sources of multiple nutrients that support a healthy immune system:

Almond (dried) 14 nutsAsparagus 1 cup (cooked)Beef (broiled)
Blackberries (raw)BroccoliCabbage Chinese, Bok Choy (cooked)
Carrots (raw)Clams (cooked moist)Crab (blue¸ cooked, moist heat)
Dandelion GreensGrapefruit (pink and red)Haddock
Hummus (1/4 cup)Kale (1/2 cup raw)Lentils (cooked) or sprouted (raw)
Milk nonfatMushroom pieces (cooked)Mushrooms – shitake (dried)
Mustard greensOnions (cooked)Peas – edible podded (1C)
Red Pepper 1 ½ c (raw)Pollock/walleye (dry heat)Pork, center loin (roasted)
Potato, with skin (baked)Potato Sweet (baked)Pumpkin or Squash Seeds
Raspberries 1 ½ cupSalmon dry heatShrimp
Spinach (cooked)Squash (butternut)Tuna (light, canned in water)
Turkey (roasted)Walnuts, English (dried)Wheat Germ (raw)

If you have any questions or would like a nutrition assessment, please contact us.

Be your best health!

Jill,
Certified Nutritional Counselor, Lifestyle Educator and Eating Psychology Coach

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