Can Good Nutrition Give Your Immune System a Power Boost?

Can Good Nutrition Give Your Immune System a Power Boost?

by | Feb 10, 2021 | Health & Wellness

By Katrina Trisko, Registered Dietitian

It’s February, it’s cold, the days are short, and there’s a pandemic going on. Especially now, when staying healthy is on everyone’s mind, maybe you’ve wondered what you should be doing to ramp up your immune system. There are plenty of supplements, cleanses, and other fads that claim to boost immunity, but is there truth behind the trends?

While we all wish there were a silver bullet that could supercharge our immune systems and keep us healthy, it’s not quite that simple. What really works is to take a holistic approach to your health. That said, nutrition and immune function definitely do go hand in hand. Here are three simple habits to keep your immune system strong:

1. Eat a colorful diet.
Nutritionists have a saying: “Eat the rainbow.” It’s a quick rule of thumb to remind you that when choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, you want to see the full range of colors on your plate. Leafy greens have lots of Vitamin K; orange fruits and vegetables are rich in beta-carotene. The list goes on, but you don’t need to memorize it. Just make sure you’re eating a colorful diet, and you’ll boost your vitamin intake without even thinking about it.

2. Maintain consistent sleep habits, and make sure you’re sleeping enough.
Don’t forget that adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. In these stressed-out, work-from-home times, you may need to set boundaries to protect your sleep. Go to bed at a set time if you can, and try to avoid screens for 30-45 minutes beforehand. Sleep in a dark, quiet room. And aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise, three to five days a week; your sleep will be more restful if you do.

3. Manage your stress levels.
Stress can chip away at your immune response. That means good stress management is key to staying healthy. So be proactive; build simple habits into your routine that keep you feeling calm. Take a few minutes each day to connect with friends. Make a playlist of your favorite songs. Get outdoors as part of your routine, even if it’s only for a short time. Meditate. Just setting the intention to take control of your stress can make a difference. Try it and see!

Katrina Trisko is a Registered Dietitian offering nutritional services to ELITE members. To learn more, find Katrina on the ELITE App.