Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong. If you’re looking for ways to prevent winter colds and the flu, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. Plan your meals to include these 11 powerful immune system boosters.
1. Citrus fruits: Fruits like Orange, Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, Grapefruit which contain Vitamin C build up your immune system, increases the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.
2. Garlic: According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, garlic fights infections, lowers blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. It’s immune-boosting properties come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, allicin.
3. Ginger: This spice decreases inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea, chronic pain and possesses cholesterol-lowering properties.
4. Spinach: Rich in vitamin C, numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
5. Yoghurt: A great source of Vitamin D, Yoghurt regulates your immune system, helps fight and boost the body’s natural defense against diseases. You can sweeten plain yoghurt with healthy fruits.
6. Almonds: When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Almonds are packed with vitamin E and healthy fats.
7. Turmeric: This bright yellow spice is used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and also anti-inflammatory conditions.
8. Green tea: Packed with flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)- long word ey?,not to worry, it’s a powerful antioxidant that enhances immune function. It’s a good source of the amino acid, L-theanine, which aids in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells(white blood cells responsible for immune responses).
9. Papaya: Loaded with vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, and folate which boost your overall health. This fruit also has a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.
10. Kiwi: Contains essential nutrients like folate, potassium, vitamin K which keep your body functioning properly, and Vitamin C which boosts white blood cells to fight infection.
11. Poultry: Chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It improves symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, are high in vitamin B6 which helps the body create antibodies that our immune system uses to protect us, help form new and healthy red blood cells.
Variety is the key to proper nutrition. Eating just one of these foods won’t be enough to help fight off the flu, even if you eat it constantly. Pay attention to serving sizes and recommended daily intake so that you don’t get too much of a single vitamin and too little of others.