(CNN) -You've heard that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." According to registered dietitians, there is a lot of truth behind the old saying.
Cleveland Clinic registered dietitian Julia Zumpano says foods that are rich in vitamins C, B and E are the most effective when it comes to warding off illness, and the more colors, the better.
"Try to eat a variety foods, so try to eat fruits and vegetables within every color scheme of the rainbow, because you're getting all of the different vitamins and nutrients from all those different colors," Zumpano explained.
Citrus fruits—such as oranges, grapefruits and tangerines—are good for vitamin C, which is your body's connection to the immune system.
For B vitamins, Zumpano recommends chicken, cold water fish like tuna and salmon, as well as chick peas and green veggies.
Vitamin B6, in particular, is vital to supporting reactions in the immune system. Foods such as nuts, seeds and spinach are rich in vitamin E; a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection.
Zumpano says supplements can help, but that getting nutrients directly from food is best.
"Your body certainly absorbs and uses the food better when it comes from a dietary source. When it's a supplement, it's questionable as to how much you're actually getting," Zumpano said.
Zumpano added that staying hydrated is an important key to staying healthy. She says in addition to drinking enough water, it's important not to overdo the drinks that zap your hydration, such as coffee.
In other health news, the Southwest Oklahoma Amputee Program will meet Thursday, Jan. 21, at 4 p.m. in the Jim Thorpe Rehab Dayroom. The support group is open to anyone with an amputation. For more information, call 580-353-9414.