This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.com.
This year—perhaps more than ever before—immunity is top of mind for the vast majority of people, especially heading into cold and flu season. You probably already know the obvious ways to protect yourself from getting sick (ahem: washing your hands, minimizing stress, getting enough sleep…), but fending off sneezing, coughing, and sore throats also starts with a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
“The body’s role is to protect and defend against disease by fighting infection. To do that properly, it needs to have the right nutrients,” says Acacia Wright, R.D., Nutrition Communications and Support Manager for Orgain, a brand dedicated to making clean nutrition accessible, with delicious, high-quality shakes and protein powders free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. “Certain nutrients are essential for your immune system to run smoothly, and even marginal deficiencies have been shown to impair this process.”
Sure, eating healthy is easier said than done when you’re juggling a full workload, childcare, and the thousand other distractions that pop up every day. But if you want to give your immune system some help, making these simple swaps in the kitchen (or on the go!) can help you stay healthy throughout the long, cold days of winter.