Stay Healthy this Holiday Season with New Immune Health Resources from the International Food Information Council Foundation

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Contact Matt Raymond or Jania Matthews at 202-296-6540 or media@foodinsight.org

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Stay Healthy this Holiday Season with New Immune Health Resources from the International Food Information Council Foundation

(Washington, D.C.) – Are you doing everything you can do to support your immune system? Today the International Food Information Council Foundation released new resources focused on immune health.  A video, “Foods for Health: Eating for Immune Health,” produced in partnership with registered dietitian David Grotto, author of “101 Optimal Life Foods,” and accompanying materials are filled with healthful eating and lifestyle tips that can help support your immune system through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  

According to International Food Information Council Functional Foods/Foods for Health research, the majority of Americans (80 percent) believe that foods and beverages can provide immune health benefits, but many often struggle to incorporate these foods into their daily lives.  

There are four key strategies to help our immune system do its job:

1) Eat a well-balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats and beans;

2) Exercise at least two and a half hours per week;

3) Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night; and

4) Practice safe food handling. 

“You can support immune health by eating certain foods with vitamins, minerals and other beneficial components, known as functional foods,” says Elizabeth Rahavi, RD, Associate Director, Health and Wellness, at the International Food Information Council Foundation. Try to include the following in your diet everyday: 

  • Vitamin C, perhaps one of the best-known immune supporting vitamins, is found in citrus fruits and juice, strawberries, bell peppers and certain fortified foods and beverages.
  • Vitamin D also has been shown to help support the immune system and can be found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, and also in certain fortified foods, including yogurt, milk, certain cereals and juices. Certain dietary supplements also provide vitamin D.
  • Selenium supports immune function. Increase intake by consuming foods rich in selenium like red meat, garlic and eggs, or try a daily multivitamin with selenium.
  • Flavonoids can help to bolster cellular antioxidant defenses. They’re found in foods like berries, bananas, tea, cocoa and citrus fruits.
  • Probiotics are helpful bacteria that research suggests may support immune health. They’re found in certain fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and cheese.

 There are more food examples, tips and strategies available on our Immune Health Hot Topics page

The immune health video is the second in the Foundation’s “Foods for Health” series featuring David Grotto.  The first video on Healthy Kids and Families was released in September, and both are available on our FoodInsightTV channel, which features a wide range of videos on food and health topics.  Future “Foods for Health” video topics, including weight management, digestive health, heart health and healthy aging, will be released in the coming months. 

For more on the International Food Information Council Foundation’s resources and videos or any other questions, please contact the Foundation media team at 202-296-6540, Mittenthal@ific.org or Matthews@ific.org