Ask An Expert: Maria, what are some things I can do to boost my immune system?
Q: I’ve got the flu – yet again! I've had it a couple times this year. Can you give me a few immune booster tips so that my body can repair itself and be prepared for the next virus that comes around? ~ Chris
A: No problem Chris! One of the best ways to maintain a healthy immune system is to include essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats. The stronger we can keep your immune system, the less likely you will get sick. Here's what you should focus on:
1. Vitamin E - Research has demonstrated that vitamin E has been found to reduce the risk of upper respiratory infections. Foods to choose include nuts, olives and leafy greens.
2. Vitamin D - The sunshine vitamin may have important roles within the immune system and if you live in a community where your exposure to the sun is limited, it is possible you may be deficient. Other ways to get this nutrient are fortified dairy products, salmon and sardines. You may also want to consider Vitamin D supplements.
3. Zinc - The research isn't concrete on zinc. Some studies show that zinc can reduce the duration of colds, while others don't confirm this effect. What should you do? Focus on foods with Zinc, including red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts and cheese.
4. Multivitamin - A multivitamin is like insurance. When people start to feel 'under the weather' energy levels dip and they often spend less time cooking. The multivitamin will help fill in the cracks of what may be missing in your diet.
Yours in Health,
Maria Thomas, RD
Nutrition Expert for The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp
For more great nutrition tips, follow Maria on Twitter, and check her website at http://www.urbannutrition.com/
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