1074 W Taylor, 126, Chicago, IL 60607
Published January 18, 2022
The winter months can be cold and bitter. With COVID-19 variants on the rise again, one can’t be too careful when it comes to maintaining good health. Along with dealing with the continued pandemic, the winter months bring along increased cases of the cold and flu. Flu season lasts from October to early May, meaning we are right in the middle of it. One of the best ways to keep the immune system healthy is by eating well. At Gourmet Gorilla we like to provide quality, balanced nutrition that is filled with a variety of healthful nutrients that can help support the immune system to stay healthy. So, what nutrients offer the best help?
Vitamin C: It is an antioxidant and protects the body’s cells from the effects of free radicals. It helps prevent infection or shorten its stay if you do get sick.
Vitamin C can be best found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, and papaya. Fun fact! Vitamin C is in so many foods that most people don’t need a supplement (unless advised by a doctor).
Vitamin A: It is important for immune system development and function, helping to regulate the body’s immune response, and the formation of antibodies against antigens. It also crucial for maintaining vision health.
Vitamin A can be best found in both animal sources, like fish (especially tuna), meats, and dairy, and plant carotenoids like butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin E: Another powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in the normal functioning and response of the immune system
It is best found in high-fat plant foods like almonds, peanuts, nut/seed butters, sunflower seeds, oils (sunflower, soybean), and hazelnuts.
Vitamin D: The immune system requires it to help in the activation of T cells, or fighter cells, and their immune response to pathogens like viruses and bacteria. It is also known as “the sunshine vitamin”, due to Vitamin D being made in the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D can best be found in salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, and fortified foods like milk, OJ, cereals
Zinc: It is necessary for good health. It is needed for making proteins that produce new immune system cells, growth and development, wound healing, and to support the immune system.
Zinc is best found primarily in animal foods like oysters, crab, lean meats, and poultry, but can also be found in baked beans, yogurt, and chickpeas/hummus
Gourmet Gorilla offers a lot of these options by providing a range of colorful fruits for a morning snack and at breakfasts and a variety of both fruits and vegetables with healthy, lean protein options at lunch.
Although some fruits and vegetables that contain these high immune health properties are not in season in the winter, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables still contain great nutritional value. Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness and then frozen, so they contain all the needed nutrients and are a great option during the cold months.
Stay warm and healthy this winter season!