New Hope Hy-Vee Offers Tips To Boost Immunity
Midwinter means cooler days, more time indoors and, inevitably, cold season.
But adjusting your diet can help with that last concern. Registered dietician Jena DeMoss took CCX News on a tour of the New Hope Hy-Vee, pointing out nutrients that can make it easier for you to fight off colds.
Those five key nutrients are according to DeMoss: vitamin C, vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin D and hydration.
Vitamin C is commonly found in citrus fruits. One classic example is oranges or a cup of 100 percent orange juice.
“Vitamin C is an antioxidant, it’s going to help protect our cells from gut damage that can lead to inflammation and illness,” DeMoss said.
DeMoss said other ways to get Vitamin C in your diet is through strips of red bell peppers, cooked broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
Another immune-supporting option is Vitamin B6. DeMoss said it plays a key roll in the production of white blood cells. Those cells help our body fight off infection.
Bananas are one easy option to get B6 in your diet.
“Things like seafood and meat and different things like canned chickpeas, so throwing them on your salad,” DeMoss said.
Another example is a baked winter squash, which DeMoss suggests putting into a chili.
“Zinc is kind of coined as the gatekeeper of the immune system,” DeMoss said.
She said zinc is another antioxidant that also supports the growth and function of immune cells.
DeMoss said Cheerios are fortified in a number of different nutrients, including zinc and vitamin D.
“Adding that with milk, which actually has natural zinc in it, is a great option to pair,” DeMoss said.
Zinc is also found in lean beef, which can be served in tacos, chili, pasta sauce or burgers.
Vitamin D often comes from the sunlight, but shorter days make it harder to get outside.
The National Institute of Health reports that 41.6 percent of the population is vitamin D deficient.
“It’s not in a ton of food sources. I would say egg yolk, salmon and, like we talked about, it can be fortified in things like cereal,” DeMoss said. “But a lot of times, people might have to choose a supplement.”
Hy-Vee offers free vitamin D screenings for those who believe they might be deficient. If you are, dietitians recommend supplementing.
DeMoss said it just takes a finger stick and results will be available within a week or two. You can sign up on Hy-Vee’s website.
DeMoss also said staying hydrated is another key component, because it helps you regulate your body temperature.
She recommends multiplying hydration with something like sugar-free Liquid IV, which can be mixed with water.
More nutrition information, and details on your local dietician, are available on Hy-Vee’s website. DeMoss said you can sign up for a free discovery call to get specific details on how to support your health.