Table 4

Important dietary sources of nutrients that support the immune system

NutrientGood dietary sources
Vitamin A (or equivalents)Milk and cheese, eggs, liver, oily fish, fortified cereals, dark orange or green vegetables (eg, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, kale, spinach, broccoli), orange fruits (eg, apricots, peaches, papaya, mango, cantaloupe melon), tomato juice
Vitamin B6 Fish, poultry, meat, eggs, whole grain cereals, fortified cereals, many vegetables (especially green leafy) and fruits, soya beans, tofu, yeast extract
Vitamin B12 Fish, meat, some shellfish, milk and cheese, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, yeast extract
FolateBroccoli, brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, cabbage), peas, chick peas, fortified cereals
Vitamin COranges and orange juice, red and green peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, kiwi, broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes
Vitamin DOily fish, liver, eggs, fortified foods (spreads and some breakfast cereals)
Vitamin EMany vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, wheat germ (in cereals)
ZincShellfish, meat, cheese, some grains and seeds, cereals, seeded or wholegrain breads
SeleniumFish, shellfish, meat, eggs, some nuts especially brazil nuts
IronMeat, liver, beans, nuts, dried fruit (eg, apricots), wholegrains (eg, brown rice), fortified cereals, most dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale)
CopperShellfish, nuts, liver, some vegetables
Essential amino acidsMeat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and cheese, soya, nuts and seeds, pulses
Essential fatty acidsMany seeds, nuts and vegetable oils
Long chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)Oily fish
  • DHA, docosahexaenoic acid; EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid.