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Using Nutrition to Boost Your Immune System

As we settle into the Winter months here in New England, it might seem like catching a cold or
the flu is inevitable! Everyone around you is sick right?! You CAN take steps to arm your body’s
immune system during these closed in months and give yourself the best support group you
could ever look to: Your own immune system!

We all know that proper hand washing and avoidance of sick people is important, but did you
know that certain foods can actually help your body to have it’s best defenses ready for a
foreign invasion. Boosting your vitamin C during these months helps your body make
antibodies- essential for warding off illness! Citrus fruits, (oranges, grapefruit, etc) red bell
peppers, strawberries, and even papaya carry a hefty dose of this vitamin and can help your
body set up its defenses. Zinc helps the immune system work efficiently if you do happen to
catch something, and also aids in the healing process so that you can recover quicker from an
illness. Great sources of zinc are grass fed/finished meats, wild caught seafood, beans, seeds
and nuts.

Try to avoid products that claim to “boost” your immune system. The best way to keep your
body working optimally is by eating a whole foods diet, getting plenty of rest, and exercising
regularly. Each of us is bioindividual (a fancy word for unique) and has our own specific needs,
including regarding immunity. To find out what your specific body needs during these times, a
nutritional therapist can assess your body’s functions and dysfunctions and set you up for
success. Cheers to a healthy food-first year ahead!


Jessica Stephens, BS, NTP, FAS
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner