Dietary Strategies to Support a Strong Immune System
Antioxidant rich foods ~ While there is no one food or nutrient that can guarantee health, a balanced diet that includes a variety of protein, whole grains, nuts/seeds, and plenty of fruit and vegetables will help build a strong immune system.
Vitamin D ~ studies continue to link a shortage of this mighty nutrient to many serious diseases including: cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease and influenza. It is believed that vitamin D increases the body’s production of proteins that destroy viruses.
During the fall and winter months, when the sun in the northern hemisphere is not sufficiently strong to synthesize vitamin D under our skin, adults are advised to take a minimum of 1,000 IUs (international units) of vitamin D per day while children should supplement in the range of 400 IUs daily. Older adults, people with dark skin, those who don’t spend a lot of time outdoors and those who wear clothing that covers most of their skin, should consider supplementing year round. Vitamin D levels can be easily tested through your medical or naturopathic doctor.
Probiotics ~ studies reveal that good bacteria (the ‘friendly’ strain of live microbes that are used to repopulate the gastrointestinal tract) can enhance the immune system helping to both prevent and reduce symptoms of flu and cold.
The information in this post is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician or other health care professional directly before beginning or changing a course of health treatment.
- 2 large yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms of choice
- 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup shelled edamame beans, (run frozen beans under hot water for 15 seconds)
- 1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 package (about 500 grams or about 2 cups) firm tofu, diced
- 6 Tbsp miso paste, or to taste
- 1 bundle green onion (scallions), finely chopped