Building up your immune system
In questioning times- it’s reassuring to have a strong immune system. On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease - if you take care of it.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Most are aware that eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies is an important part of taking in good nutrition for the vitamins and minerals benefit.
Vitamins C & E act as antioxidants, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals and can be found in citrus foods, berries, bell peppers, almonds or spinach – just to name a few.
Vitamin A helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly and can be found in sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe or eggs.
Probiotics are important as well, often called “good” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. Yogurt is a good food to find that.
Abby Renn, Monument Health Dietitian, says, “Just making sure we are getting all the nutrients that we need is really important right now to help keep us healthy. Keep your immune system up, so that’s getting in your fruits and vegetables, making sure you are getting in those good protein sources, healthy fats, whole grains – kind of all those nutrients together will really help us more than anything, more that just one single nutrient helping us. So really it’s just making sure you’re eating all colors of the rainbow as we like to say.”
You can supplement with a multivitamin if your diet is lacking in nutrients. The best option is eating foods in their natural form.
Abby says you don’t have to go overboard with a multivitamin because more than the recommended amount of one vitamin, is just expelled through the body. For example, one orange is about the recommended amount of Vitamin C you need per day.
Other pillars of healthy living include – adequate sleep, regular exercise, stress management, a healthy weight, not smoking, and eating a good diet.
Abby says, “Making sure you are taking care of your overall wellness- health, making sure you are getting in a good night’s sleep, also stress management so taking some time to really focus on yourself, stress can really bog down our immune system as well, also making sure we are eating a varied diet that can also really help.”