Summer may signal the start of hot, hazy days, but it also heralds the arrival of a bounty of fresh, colorful foods. Summer produce is filled with nutrients that can give your immune system the boost it needs to function at its best and help protect you from illness.
Caryn Alter, MS, RD, FAND, a registered dietitian at CentraState, shares some of the nutrition superstars of summertime.
Iron and vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Iron helps convert beta-carotene to vitamin A and supports a healthy immune system; vitamin B2 works as an antioxidant to prevent damage to cells in the body.
Beta-carotene, found in plant-based foods, which converts to vitamin A in the body
Beta-carotene may help protect against infections by keeping the skin and tissues in the mouth, respiratory system, stomach, and intestines healthy.
Folate (folic acid)
Folate plays an essential role in making new body cells, and may lower heart disease risk.
Vitamin C protects the body from infection by spurring the creation of antibodies, an important component of the immune system, and helps heal cuts and wounds.
Vitamin E and zinc
Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and contributes to immune function; zinc helps with wound healing and helps the immune system to work properly.
Hungry? Click here to enjoy some delicious and nutritious recipes and cooking videos using fresh produce.