b'Immune cell activity depends on zinc. This mineral also fights viruses. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, pumpkin seeds, nuts (pecans, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts), split peas, whole wheat, rye, oats, and lima beans. Vitamin E helps to prevent oxidative damage to cells and viral infections. Vitamin E is found in wheat germ and wheat germ oil, seeds, safflower oil, sunflower oil, whole wheat, and spinach. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with increased risk for cancer and autoimmune disease. We derive most of our vitamin D from the sun.Unfortunately, most of us eat too Cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, and tuna, can also helpmuch fat and the wrong kind of fat. Fat meet our bodys demand for vitamin D. However, because of its highshould comprise no more than 30% of the total daily calories. This translates mercury content, tuna should not be consumed frequently. to about 65 grams of fat based upon a Plant sterols and sterolins have also been shown to stimulatestandard 2,000 calorie-a-day diet. natural killer cell activity, as well as enhance anti-inflammatory actions. Plant sterols also possess cholesterol-lowering, anti- inflammatory, and anti-oxidation properties. The most abundant plant sterols are sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. Dietary sources include vegetable oils (especially unrefined oils), nuts, seeds, and grains. Carotenes are potent scavengers of free radicals. By scavenging free radicals, carotenes prevent oxidative damage to cells and organs. -carotene can protect phagocytes from oxidative damage and enhance T and B lymphocyte responses, T-cell activity, and natural killer cell actions. Carotenes are found in dark green vegetables, squash, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, red peppers, and tomatoes. It is best to obtain these selected nutrients through food. Nutrients in food tend to be better absorbed than isolated and extracted compounds found in supplements.Good FatFat is a critical nutrient. In fact, certain fats are considered essential fats, or essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs include omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. Omega-6 EFAs are prevalent in most peoples diets, but omega-3 EFAs are the less common. Fish, especially sardines, salmon, cod, and halibut, are excellent sources of omega-3, EPA and DHA. Omega-3 EFAs are critical to a strong immune function and help decrease the risk of autoimmune disease, allergies, and other inflammatory immune conditions. SugarNo discussion of diet and immunity would be complete without the mention of sugar. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, and any other form of sugar directly impairs immune function. In one study, within 30 minutes of ingesting a 3.5 ounce (100 g) portion of sugar, human subjects experienced reduced neutrophil activity by 50 percent for up to five hours. The immune system becomes crippled because the neutrophils are napping instead of working. As a result, the immune system doesnt get the message about the antigens, so it doesnt spring into action to kill the invaders. Sugar also impairs lymphocyte activity. The average person consumes 150 g of sucrose every day. This means that most people are suppressing their immune system daily by consuming sugar. If we simply decreased our sugar intake, we would experience a major decrease in colds, flu, and other infections. Try to minimize sugar intake. Keep in mind the hidden sources of sugar such as salad dressings, ketchup, granola bars, and juices.8IMMUNITY'