Written By: Stefanie Weaver MS, RDN
With cold and flu season upon us, many people often turn to home remedies or depend on popular myths to combat the season, such as… “drinking milk will make your cold worse” or “feed a cold, starve a fever”. While this advice is well intended, these claims are not supported by current scientific evidence. Unfortunately, there is no one food or nutrient and no one magic bullet that can prevent illness.
What do we know about the immune system?
A well-balanced diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise are all very important in supporting the immune system. A well-balanced diet encourages the intake of positive food groups, including vegetables, fruit, beans/legumes and whole grains that provide key essential nutrients, while limiting sodium, saturated fat and sugars. From reputable government authorities, such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), ten essential nutrients can help support normal function of the immune system. These nutrients are vitamins A, D, C, B6, B12, folate, selenium, iron, zinc and copper. Nutrient dense foods that provide these nutrients can be incorporated into everyday meals.
Delicious and easy to prepare recipes!
At Unilever, our Registered Dietitians work closely with our Chefs to create a variety of delicious Better- for-You recipes that meet various dietary needs and preferences. Our Holistic Wellness Immune Support Recipe Book (PDF 1.59MB) includes some of our favorite recipes that encourage a well-balanced diet and deliver an excellent source (providing 20% or more of the daily value) of at least five of the ten nutrients listed above to help meet one’s daily nutritional needs.
How can you use this recipe book and become your own creative chef?
- Enjoy these delicious, nutritious recipes as is, you and your family won’t be disappointed!
- Utilize the ‘Top Food Sources of Key Nutrients’ for inspirational ways to incorporate a variety of foods that deliver essential nutrients into your favorite dishes.
- Make simple recipe swaps to popular dishes that use nutrient dense ingredients
- A simple shepard’s pie can use a sweet potato topping instead of regular potatoes for some added vitamin A.
- Jazz up a simple macaroni and cheese with added cauliflower and beans. Cauliflower can provide vitamin C while beans can provide vitamin B6, iron, protein and fiber.
Unsweetened Tea and the Immune System
Proper hydration also helps support a healthy immune system. Unsweetened tea is 99.5% water making it a great beverage to stay hydrated. You can also enjoy a cup or two each day of Lipton Daily Support or Lipton T + Probiotic Immune Support. Each cup provides an excellent source of Vitamin C to help support your body’s natural defenses.