Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong. Plan your meals to include these 15 powerful immune system boosters.
1. Citrus fruits
Vitamin C is used to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections. Popular citrus fruits include: grapefruit, lemons, limes, clementines, oranges, tangerines.
2. Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table.
Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea.
Spinach made our list not just because it's rich in vitamin C. It's also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
Look for yogurts that have "live and active cultures" printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases.
Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.
Turmeric has been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritisand rheumatoid arthritis. Also, research Trusted Source shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.
10. Green tea
Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant.
Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.
Kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.
When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place.
14. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
Some types of shellfish are packed with zinc. Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include : crab, clams, lobster, mussels
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