Besides providing entertainment means, nature is a grand supplier of nutrients. During agritourism tours, some farmers proudly talk about their crops’ health benefits. A wide variety of agricultural products provide us essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutritious components. We find worthy highlighting some nature’s gifts that, along with other wellness lifestyle choices, may contribute to strengthening our immune system. +
Examples of Farm-Food Sources per Some Nutrients Good for the Immune System:
1) Vitamin A
a)Provitamin A carotenoids (mostly formed from beta-carotene, an antioxidant pigment found in plant foods): sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, pumpkin, broccoli, cantaloupe, red bell peppers, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.
b) Preformed vitamin A: eggs, liver, milk and other dairy products, chicken, fish, and shellfish.
2) Vitamin C (antioxidant): Mangoes, oranges, lemons, strawberries, papaya, kiwi, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruits, pineapples, broccoli, tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, cauliflower, spinach, kale and other leafy greens.
3) Vitamin E (antioxidant): spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, mangoes, kiwi, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds.
4) Vitamin D: carrots, apples, banana, broccoli, mushrooms, lentils, egg’s yolk, chicken, sunflower seeds, and almonds.
5) Zinc (mineral): kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, chicken, milk, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and nuts.
6) Iron (mineral): white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, mushrooms, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, cantaloupe, milk, egg, turkey, and chicken.
The above vitamins and minerals are just some of the nutrients that may contribute boosting the immune system. Proteins and fiber, among others, may also help sustain physical well-being.
A combination of a balanced diet and wellness practices such as regular exercise, healthy weight, stress management, 7-to-9-hour sleep, nonsmoking and non-alcohol-abuse behavior and precautionary measures to prevent infections may support the immune system, according to various medical sources. Therefore, Mother Earth has granted us one of the keys to be physically fit, but we must act to take advantage of natural nutritious food and keep a healthy lifestyle overall.
+ This article provides a general summary about nutrient's facts gathered from various cited sources. This content should not be used as physician or medical advice. You are solely responsible for consulting your doctor or other qualified physicians in relation to nutrition, health or any other topic referred to in this article.
“Foods to Boost the Immune System”, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 13 Mar 2020, https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/foods-boost-immune-system
“The Nutrition Source: Vitamin A”, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-a
The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, “Chemistry: Vitamin A”, Britannica, 9 Jan. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/science/vitamin-A#ref119565
Booth, S.L., Johns, T., and Kuhnlein, H.V., “Natural food sources of vitamin A and provitamin A”, SAGE Journals, 1 March 1992, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/156482659201400115
“Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Health Professionals”, Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (NIH), 14 Feb. 2020, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional
“Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Health Professionals”, Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH, 27 Feb. 2020, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional
“Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Health Professionals”, Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH, 11 Sept. 2020, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional
“Vitamin E Fact Sheet for Health Professionals”, Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH, 31 July 2020, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional
“Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals”, Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH, 15 July 2020, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional
“Iron Fact Sheet for Health Professionals”, Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH, 28 Feb. 2020, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional
“Vitamin C”, MedLinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine,https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002404.htm
“The Nutrition Source: Kale”, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/kale
“The Nutrition Source: Nutrition and Immunity”, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity
“Best source of vitamins? Your plate not your medicine cabinet”, Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/best-source-of-vitamins-your-plate-not-your-medicine-cabinet
“How to boost your immune system”, Harvard Health Publishing, 6 April 2020, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system