Interview: Protecting your health with nutrients

Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 4:25 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - It’s back-to-school and cold and flu season, so how can you protect your family this fall?

Hy-Vee Dietitian Jena DeMoss shares five key tips to support your immune system.

1. Vitamin C

While most people think of vitamin C in citrus fruit, it is present in a variety of foods!

· water-soluble vitamin that our body needs to obtain through food –

· acts as an antioxidant helping protect our cells from damage that can lead to inflammation or illness.

- Snack on red bell pepper strips (serve with your favorite hummus or dip), enjoy your morning cup of 100% orange juice or serve up a side of cooked broccoli or Brussels sprouts for dinner tonight!

2. Zinc

Referred to by researchers as the “gatekeeper” of immune function.

Zinc supports the growth and proper functioning of immune cells and has been also acts as an antioxidant

- Serve lean beef for dinner tonight whether that be for taco night, in chili, pasta sauce or burgers on the grill.

- Enjoy a bowl of Hy-Vee Tasteeos (fortified with zinc) served with milk for your morning fuel

3. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 plays a key role in the production of white blood cells –which play a crucial role in our immune response helping our body fight off infection.

- Pack in protein sources to your meal plan including beef, salmon and chicken breast!

- Add chickpeas to your favorite salad or enjoy a side of baked winter squash with dinner.

- frozen squash and suggest adding to chili

- Pack in vitamin B6 in the morning with a banana to round out your breakfast.

4. Vitamin E

Vitamin E supports our immune system by helping white blood cells perform at their peak level!

- Snack on dry roasted sunflower seeds, almonds or peanuts! Enjoy dark leafy greens such as spinach in your salad or stir into your pasta sauce for an extra serving of vegetables.

5. Hydration

Staying hydrated helps your body deliver critical nutrients to cells, helps you regulate body temperature…

Dehydration can occur during illness – especially via excessive sweat, or losing it from other not so great side effects of being ill (vomiting or diarrhea).

It’s important to focus on your hydration in order to support your immune system function.

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier Sugar-Free – a sugar-free proprietary amino acid allulose blend with vitamins and electrolytes for more efficient hydration.

Hy-Vee Healthy Habits: A dietitian-created menu program includes a 7-day meal plan including three meals and two to three snacks daily. The portions are aligned to fit your caloric needs and our program takes away the question of “What’s for dinner tonight?” This menu plan comes complete with a grocery shopping list and easy-to-follow recipes each week. Along the way, you will receive one-on-one support from a Hy-Vee registered dietitian.