• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show 2018
    Show 2018 May 19-22, 2018 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Ask the Nutritionist: Dine your way to a healthy immune system

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

Email Print
News RSS

Ask the Nutritionist: Dine your way to a healthy immune system

In her latest Ask the Nutritionist commentary, the National Restaurant Association’s Director of Food & Healthy Living Joy Dubost, Ph.D., R.D., provides tips for boosting the immune system by eating nutrient-rich foods.

As the seasons change, the risk of cold and flu can increase. Proper hygiene is one of the best defenses against spreading cold and flu, and eating the right foods can help your immune system perform at its best to resist the cold and flu bug. 

When dining out, consider selecting menu items that are high in essential nutrients that help support a healthy immune system, including vitamin C, zinc and vitamin A (beta carotene). 

Many fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins C and A, so a variety of salads (be mindful of dressings), prepared vegetables, fruit cups, and 100% juice are good choices. In order to pump up the levels of zinc in your diet, select items with whole grains (which also have other great health benefits!), nuts, legumes, various meats and oysters (be careful with raw). As a rule of thumb, high-protein food typically contain higher levels of zinc.

Other nutrients such as B6, folate, selenium, iron and copper can also help play a role in keeping your immune system strong. A well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, sources of protein (such as chicken breast or turkey, lean beef and pork, fish, nuts, legumes, and eggs), low-fat dairy, and complex carbohydrates (think whole grain pasta and brown rice) is needed to ensure adequate amounts of all of these nutrients.

Also, many of us lack vitamin D during the fall and winter months due to lack of exposure to the sun (the best source of vitamin D). However, you can get vitamin D in your diet through low-fat dairy, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, and fortified products, such as 100% orange juice and soy or almond milk.

And don’t forget to consume fluids to prevent dehydration and fatigue. Fluid recommendations are 3.7 L (12 cups) for men and 2.7 L (8 cups) for women. Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables counts toward your daily fluid intake.

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156