A new year usually means a new challenge for improving your health, especially during the winter months when staying healthy becomes a top priority. This is why the Mushroom Council® is kicking off 2024 with Feed Your Immune System. We know the immune system is vital to your holistic health and well-being, but what exactly is it and how can we feed it?
With so much information out there, it can be hard to know where to start and what is actually beneficial. Let’s dive in deeper together and discover what you can do to feed your immune system this month and every month. 👇
What is the immune system?
The immune system is a complicated network of cells, tissues and organs in your body that protect against infection and disease. Given that there are so many pieces to the puzzle, there’s not one easy fix that can transform a weak immune system into a strong one in a snap of the fingers, but nutrition certainly plays an important role in its function.
What are the key nutrients found in mushrooms to support my immune system?
Your favorite cultivated mushrooms contain vitamins and nutrients that can be beneficial in supporting your immune system.
- Vitamin D*: Helps build and maintain strong bones by assisting the body in calcium absorption.
- Copper: Not only helps maintain the nervous and immune systems, but helps the body make energy, connective tissues and blood vessels.
- Selenium: Protects the body from infection and damage caused by free radicals.
- Zinc**: Helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
- Folate***: Needed by the body to make DNA and other genetic material.
- B vitamins: Help provide the body with energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
With an impressive list like that, you could say mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse. 💪
*When exposed to UV light. **8 crimini mushrooms contain 8% RDA. ***6 small oyster mushrooms contain 9% RDA.
How can I support my immune system?
- Add a variety of fruits, vegetables and fungi to your plate. Fruits, veggies and mushrooms contain important micronutrients that are vital to supporting your immune system.
- Make a batch of sipping broth for extra nutrients and a soothing way to keep a cold at bay.
- Vary your protein routine. Mixing up your daily protein intake is a good way to bring in key macro and micronutrients. Think chicken, salmon, beef, pork, eggs, yogurt, etc.
- Consume less sodium, fat and added sugar.
- Make half your grains whole grain.
- Check out our Feed Your Immune System recipes to eat well and feel well.
Follow us on the Mushroom Council’s social channels to get more #FeedYourImmuneSystem recipes, tips and tricks.