Here we are, right in the middle of cold and flu season. During this time of year, our immune systems are working overtime to keep us healthy. Help feed your immune system to keep it strong and healthy!
The protein and vitamin A that dairy provides are both essential to a healthy immune system. Vitamin A helps to protect your skin, stomach, mouth, intestines and respiratory system. Protein is a major part of the body’s defense system. Selenium is another nutrient found in milk. Selenium is important for helping influence immune responses to illness. Zinc is essential for wound healing and making sure our immune system works properly. An 8oz. glass of milk contains 10% of the DRI for zinc! Vitamin B6 is another vitamin that helps our immune system, and there is 7% of the DRI found in an 8-oz. glass of 2% milk. Whole milk also provides vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that may improve immune function. In addition, yogurt contains probiotics, which can help keep your immune system stay strong and healthy.
But wait – doesn’t dairy increase mucous production? This is actually false! In fact, all of these amazing nutrients found in milk will help your body recover from illness – not make it worse! So next time you’re feeling under the weather, skip the chicken noodle soup, and reach for a nutritious glass of milk instead!
Megan Johnson, Dietetic Intern