Immune boosting Antioxidants – Flu Season Fighters
When flu season hits, immune function hits the brain. Most people think of Vitamin C for flu or cold prevention, but why? The answer is “ROS.” Reactive oxygen species, ROS, are the byproducts of natural metabolism of oxygen in the body. The formation of ROS, while normal, can be increased by exposure to pollution, UV radiation, certain foods, and even exercise. When produced in overabundance, ROS can cause damage to the cells leading to compromised immunity, inflammation, and disease. Antioxidants are essentially ROS neutralizers, giving the ROS something else to react with so that they do not harm other cells. Vitamin C is one of the most commonly known antioxidants, but others that can be found in the diet include Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and polyphenols. The easiest places to spot antioxidants are in the colors of your whole fruits and vegetables. Get a variety of colors to maximize different nutrients and immune boosting antioxidants. Your body will thank you.
By Abby Forman, Registered Dietitian with Bon Secours Physical Therapy & Sports Performance
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