Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have been focusing on enhancing their immune health. None of us want to get sick and keeping our immune systems healthy is the first line of defense! Did you know you can buy wellness by the gallon?
Real milk offers a unique combination of 13 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and protein that are vital to a healthy immune system. Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods, like milk and yogurt, and is added to other foods, like fortified breakfast cereals. When you’re feeling under the weather and browsing for cold remedies or cough drops at your local pharmacy, you may notice many labels touting the inclusion of zinc in their product. That’s because zinc plays a role in immune function, wound healing, and many other cellular functions. But it’s not enough to start taking zinc after getting sick, it needs to be consumed daily because the body does not have a way of storing it. Starting your day with a bowl of your favorite fortified cereal with real milk is an easy way to boost your immunity!
Selenium also helps maintain a healthy immune system and is found naturally in many foods, including milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Selenium has antioxidant properties, meaning it helps reduce inflammation and protects healthy cells from damage. The amount of selenium found in plant-based foods will depend on the amount of selenium in the soil where they were grown, whereas animal products generally contain the same levels of selenium because they are fed formulated livestock feeds with standard selenium concentrations.
Our immune systems are very complex, but small changes can help keep us strong. Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, practicing stress management, and getting adequate sleep can make a big difference in your overall health.
Check out our recipes and find your next favorite dairy-filled dish. It’s for your health!
A collection of stories related to my work as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with The Dairy Alliance.
Views are my own.