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From Our Dietitians: Immune-Supportive Nutrients and Recipes


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Boost your immune system by managing stress; getting plenty of sleep; practicing good hygiene; and — you guessed it — eating a well-balanced diet with protein, carbohydrates, fats, and lots of fruits and vegetables.

No single nutrient can protect you from illness, but regularly eating a variety of nutrients boosts your immune system. Look for these immune-supportive nutrients and foods that contain them:

●Vitamin C: citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), red and green bell peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, potatoes, and tomatoes.

●Vitamin D: rainbow trout, salmon, mushrooms, fortified milk, sardines, fortified breakfast cereals, and eggs.

●Beta-carotene: carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, squash, cantaloupe, and red and yellow peppers.

●Zinc: oysters, beef, crab, lobster, pork, beans, and fortified breakfast cereals.

●Protein: meats, seafood, eggs, beans, and peas.

●Probiotics: yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi.

Want to get started now? Try foods from the vitamin C list, some of which happen to be great snacks, then take it to the next level with one of our great recipes!


Orange-Peach Green Smoothie

Kick-start your day with this smoothie as part of a balanced breakfast or refuel with it as a stand-alone afternoon snack. An 8-ounce serving contains 70 milligrams of vitamin C.

Servings: 4

Ingredients: 7 fresh medium oranges 2 medium apples 7 ounces frozen unsweetened sliced peaches 4 ounces baby spinach 1 ¾ cups unsweetened apple juice

Preparation: Step 1: On a cutting board, segment and chop the oranges. Step 2: Slice the apples. Step 3: In a blender, add all the ingredients. Put the lid on the blender, and pulse the ingredients until they’re smooth. Step 4: Garnish with a fresh orange slice and enjoy!


Garlic-Roasted Broccoli

This broccoli pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or fish and makes a great addition to a rice or noodle bowl. A ½-cup serving contains 54 milligrams of vitamin C.

Servings: 6

Ingredients: 2 pounds broccoli bunches 3 fresh garlic cloves 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil ¾ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation: Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350⁰F. Step 2: On a cutting board, cut the broccoli into spears or florets. Step 3: Peel and mince the garlic. Step 4: On a sheet pan, toss the broccoli with the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place the pan in the oven and roast the broccoli for 10-15 minutes, until it’s tender and slightly browned. Step 5: Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more recipes that include foods from each of these key categories to support your immune system!

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