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  • Dr. Holly Durning

Tips To Boost Immunity with Food



During this time of COVID-19 a lot of us want to turn to our "comfort foods" that are not necessarily healthy for us and can actually weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to infections, weight gain and chronic disease.



Now is the time to start with self care!


You'll want to choose nutrient dense foods that are high in zinc, vitamins C and D to boost immune function and prevent cold and flu.


Here is a list of foods to help build Immunity:


Zinc:

Red Meat- in moderation (large amounts of red meat, especially processed meats have been linked to an increase risk of heart disease and cancers).

Shell Fish- oysters, Alaskan crab, mussels, shrimp

Legumes- chickpeas, lentils, beans- lima, black

Seeds- pumpkin, flax, chia, hemp, sesame

Nuts- almonds, pecans, pine nuts, cashews

Vegetables- spinach, green peas, asparagus, squash, avocados

Other items- Oatmeal, Quinoa, wild rice, shiitake mushrooms, white button mushrooms, yogurt, dark chocolate (moderation-high in sugar)


Vitamin C:

black current, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, guava, honeydew, kale, kiwi, lemon, mango, oranges, papaya, red, green and yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes

Vitamin D:

Fatty Fish- salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines, trout

Beef liver, pork, chicken, eggs, cheese, wild mushrooms- maitake & shiitake

Fortified foods such as cereals, almond milk, orange juice, yogurt, cow's milk, soy products.

~ Spend time in the sunshine- nature's source of Vitamin D!

* I'm not a fan of dairy products- they tend to be inflammatory and contribute to mucus in the body, nor do I advocate consuming processed soy products.

Make sure to eat foods on a rotational basis- you don't want to be eating the same foods everyday... variety is important!


** And remember sugar and alcohol can reduce immune function so we want to avoid these things and choose nutrient rich foods!



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