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Nutritional Strategies to Boost the Immune System

These key nutrients can help boost your immune system...

1) Vitamin C

Vitamin C has a known connection to the immune system. It’s one of the most common vitamins we can all take to boost our immune systems. Did you know you can get it from much more than just citrus fruits? Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, brussel sprouts, and strawberries are also great sources.

2) Vitamin E

Like vitamin C, this vitamin can be a powerful antioxidant that helps your immune system. It also appears to be supportive in tissue healing. Foods rich in Vitamin E include almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, aloe and sunflower seeds.

3) Vitamin D

You can easily get most of your vitamins from food, but vitamin D may be the exception to that rule. You can increase your intake through fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines).

Of course you can also stimulate your internal vitamin D production by exposing your skin to sunlight. Adjust your time according to how sensitive your skin is so that you don’t burn.

4) Vitamin A

Don’t forget about vitamin A! The body turns the colorful compounds called carotenoids found in bright yellow and orange foods into vitamin A, and they have an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system. You can find vitamin A in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and squash.

5) Vitamin B9 (folate)

This vitamin is found in natural food sources such as legumes (peas, beans, lentils), eggs, asparagus, leafy greens (arugula, kale, etc), papaya, citrus, beets. It appears to be involved in balancing many processes at the cellular level.

6) Zinc

Zinc appears to help heal tissues, regulate the immune response and control inflammation in your body. You can find zinc in foods such as oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, beans, yogurt, and chickpeas.

7) Iron

Iron helps your body carry oxygen to cells and comes in different forms. “Heme iron,” is abundant in proteins like chicken, turkey, and seafood. You can also get "non-heme" iron from vegetables and vegan sources such as beans, broccoli, kale, spinach and molasses.

8) Selenium

Selenium seems to have a powerful effect on the immune system! It also appears to play a role in cellular detoxification and regulation. You can find it in garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, brazil nuts, and barley.

A quick reminder that lightly steaming the brassica family of foods (kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, etc) often results in better digestion, increased nutrient uptake and absorption.

Stay healthy & hydrated - balance those electrolytes!

Stay strong in body, mind and spirit!

Blessings and light to all!

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