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  • Elaine Zhang, Dietitian

How to boost your immune system in flu season?

Updated: Jan 26

Eating to have a good immune system is all about eating a healthy and balanced diet and meeting your nutrition requirements for all the nutrients. Nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals are important building blocks for our immune system. Lacking nutrients or unhealthy diet structure may linked to poor immune health.


Here are some tips for you:


1. Include a variety of vegetables and fruit in your diet (they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, polyphenols and etc) . Variety is the key. Each vegetable or fruit has unique nutrient profile. Including different colors and varieties is important in maintaining a good immune system.


Interesting food fact:

Have you tried rainbow carrots? Do you know you can get different colors of carrots in one bundle? Carrots are actually available in many colors (purple, red, white, yellow). You can enjoy the variety of colors when choosing rainbow carrots!


2. Having adequate protein is also important. Protein (amino acid) is building blocks for hormones and important for our immune health. Food sources of protein include fish, meat, tofu, meats, egg, beans, lentil, nuts and etc. Meeting our protein requirement is important for having a good immune system.


3. Probiotics. Having a good gut health and including food that is rich in good bacteria may also be linked to a healthy immune system. You may think about yogurt when we talk about probiotics. But have you heard about kefir? Do you know kefir is a great probiotic food? Kefir is a fermented dairy product and made from kefir grains (a bacteria culture). It is originated in North Caucasus. Many kefir products is labelled as "probiotic" food which a regulated claim by the Government of Canada. Try kefir today and see whether you like it!


4. Minimize added sugar intake such as sweets, cakes, pops and sugary drinks.

Try to have some nutrient-dense food instead!


5. Spending time outdoors and have a regular exercise routine.


6. Get adequate sleep.


7. Minimize stress. Self care and coping with stress are important.

Meditation and take deep breaths. Mindful breathing can help us to reduce stress and ease our anxiety. Taking a few minutes for mindful breathing can make a big difference to our stress level.


In summary, choosing a healthy diet and lifestyle are the first line of defense for a healthy immune system. Following a healthy and balanced diet and ensuring our body getting all the nutrients are important to keep our immune system strong.



If you have any nutrition questions, you can talk to a Registered Dietitian. Elaine provides one on one nutrition consultation and customized meal plans. Reach out to her if you have any nutrition concerns!

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