How to Build Up Your Immune System

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Many things can be done to build up the immune system, including stress management, physical activity and nutrition. Get plenty of vitamins and minerals to promote a strong immune system with advice from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on nutrition and diets.

Part of the Video Series: Nutrition & Diets
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette and I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with The Austin Regional Clinic and I am going to talk to you about how to build up your immune system. There are a lot of different things that can impact your immune system. For example if you are under a lot of stress that can actually depress your immune system so one thing you want to do is actually practice stress management. Physical activity is a good way to help release some of your stress hormones so if you are under a lot of stress try to include some physical activity to help build up your immune system. The next big step is your nutrition. You want to make sure that you are getting plenty of fruits and vegetables. Those tend to have the highest levels of your vitamins and minerals and your vitamins generally a lot of them are antioxidants so that will help build your immune system, different types of fruits that contain a lot of Vitamin C, lots of variety there, citrus fruits, the berries, they all have a lot of Vitamin C in them and a lot of your vegetables have a lot of Vitamin C as well. Vegetables like broccoli, the bell peppers, potatoes, those all have quite a bit of Vitamin C in them so you want to include those types of vegetables as well. Another antioxidant that can be found in your food is Vitamin E that is going to be in your nuts and seeds and oils so you want to make sure you include those regularly. Another important aspect in nutrition as far as your immune system is protein. You want to make sure you are getting plenty of lean protein that could come from various types of beans, peanut butter, again the nuts and the seeds, also lean cuts of meat whether it is seafood or poultry without skin or lean cuts of beef or pork so the key to building your immune system is getting a variety of your foods. Another important aspect is including probiotics. Now that would be things found in yogurts primarily. Keifer is another dairy product that contains a lot of probiotics and those are very beneficial for your immune system because they effect the good healthy bacteria that is found in your digestive tract so a lot of times if your immune system is under stress you need more of that healthy bacteria in your digestive tract so that is a good time to increase your intake of yogurt or of Keifer milk. You will find that they have come out with new products for example different types of cheese that also contain probiotics so that would be another option for somebody say who doesn't like yogurt very much or maybe do not want to try Keifer milk they can actually go for some of these cheeses that include probiotics as well. So to recap to build your immune system make sure you include some type of probiotic whether it is from a dairy product or you may also get it in a pill form. Make sure you are getting plenty of antioxidants by consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables and make sure you are getting a lot of protein by consuming lean sources of meats or beans, nuts or seeds.

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