Antioxidants are nutrients that help balance the damaging effects of normal processes in our body. Vitamins function as dietary antioxidants and work together in an overlapping system.
Let’s use Kale as an example of an “Immune boosting” food
High in: vitamins A, C, and K
Vitamin K is important for bone mineralization, connective tissue, and blood clotting factors. Vitamins A and C function in the body as antioxidants.
Low in: zinc, selenium, and vitamin E.
Zinc is a mineral important in immune function. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Selenium plays a role different from vitamins A and E in the antioxidant system. Brazil nuts, seafood, and meats are good sources of selenium and meat is also a good source of zinc.
Calories and Protein
Kale is also low in calories, protein, carbohydrate, and fat. All of these nutrients are necessary for making new cells of any type, including immune cells!
A diet high in variety and balance will ensure that that your body is meeting its needs. This includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, protein sources, healthy fats, and dairy.