Now more than ever, it's important for your immune system to stay in tip-top shape during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as new strains like the Delta variant emerge. One of the best ways to stay healthy is by maintaining a nutritious diet. UC Davis Health registered dietitian Tiana Carey shares some foods that can help boost your immune system.
Vitamin A (Beta Carotene)
This vitamin assists with the health of your intestines and respiratory system. Vitamin A-rich foods include carrots, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli and red bell peppers.
Vitamin C helps stimulate the formation of antibodies. Citrus fruits, strawberries, red bell pepper and kiwi are all rich in vitamin C.
This nutrient promotes the neutralization of free radicals by working as an antioxidant. Foods full of vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and avocado.
There are many zinc-dependent enzymes in our body and deficiency has been linked with immune dysfunction. Zinc-rich foods include beans, seeds, nuts, meat, poultry and seafood.
Specific amino acids found in protein are essential for T-cell function, which are cells that protect the body against pathogens. Meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds all have lots of protein.
These nutrients have been shown to help your immune system work most efficiently and effectively, but too much of a good thing can be harmful. Eat these nutrients in moderation and don’t go overboard. If you eat too many carrots, you may just turn orange! As always with preventing the spread of illness, wash your hands frequently.
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