Seasonal Foods

Seasonal Foods to Maximize Immune-Supportive Nutrients

Vitamin A

Why it’s important: Helps to maintain strong and balanced mucosal membranes. Promotes T-regulatory cells which support homeostasis of the immune system, reducing unnecessary inflammation.

Good sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, kale, and swiss chard.

Vitamin D

Why it’s important: Arms your innate immune system by activating immune cells and stimulating production of antimicrobial proteins.

Good sources: Seafood such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Eggs and dairy products. Mushrooms; specifically maitake, dried shiitake, and chanterelles.

Vitamin C

Why it’s important: Maintains and speeds healing of tissue and wounds. A necessary molecule for many components of the immune system to function properly. Associated with shortened duration and frequency of colds.

Good sources: Brussels sprouts, fennel bulb, broccoli, turnips, apples, and avocados.

Zinc

Why it’s important: Activates some key immune mediators and enzymes (300 known), when in absence of zinc, cannot function. Associated with shortened duration and frequency of colds and has been shown to exhibit antiviral effects in nasal passageways.

Good sources: Oysters,  beef, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, oat bran, pecans, and almonds.

— Taylor Jeffers