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Tips for supporting your immune system

The immune system is a powerful thing – helping us stay healthy as we come across germs throughout each day. Fortunately there are some things you can do to support the essential functioning of the immune system, including eating nutrient-rich foods and adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours.

Here are some nutrients shown to be good for your immune system, and where to find them:

Folate

The body uses folate to make DNA and genetic material, and you can find it in foods including asparagus, broccoli, kidney beans and avocados.

Selenium

This nutrient helps prevent cell damage to keep your body’s tissues healthy. It’s in crimini and portabella mushrooms, brazil nuts, halibut, ham and turkey.

B12

This vitamin helps nerve and blood cells stay healthy. You can get it from protein-rich salmon, tuna, beef, chicken, eggs, milk and nutritional yeast.

Zinc

Zinc supports the immune system to do what it does best – fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It’s found in mushrooms, lobster, beef, pork, swiss cheese and nuts.

B6

This vitamin is required for enzymes to work properly, and it helps the body use and store energy. Foods such as shiitake mushrooms, bananas, squash, chickpeas and tuna contain this one.

While you might be aware of the health benefits of green vegetables, nuts and high-quality protein, you might be surprised to see how often mushrooms show up on this list. And yet, they certainly pack a nutritional punch. Choosing a variety of powerhouse foods like mushrooms alongside your leafy greens is a great way to get the nutrients you need and support your immune system without overthinking it. In addition to other healthy lifestyle behaviours such as being physically active and reducing stress, it’s helpful to vary the proteins, fruits and vegetables you eat to get a wider range of benefits.

Find more tips and healthy recipes at mushrooms.ca.

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