If these trying times have taught us anything is that we all have to prioritize our health and wellness. Health should always come first. Taking care of your body is simply non-negotiable. Once you take care of your health, everything else falls into place. But how do we do this? What steps should we take to better health and wellness? Well, having a strong immune system is a good start. There are many healthy habits that can boost immunity and protect your body from illness. One of them is eating healthy, immunity boosting foods.
Immunity Boosting Foods
When looking for immunity boosting foods, look into foods that are rich in Vitamin C. Research shows that this vitamin plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system. It supports healthy immune system by encouraging the creation of white blood cells, which protect the body from infection. It can also prevent free radical damage by neutralizing the free radicals.
Ensuring adequate intake of vitamin C through the diet or via supplementation is required for proper immune function and resistance to infections.
Other vitamins and minerals that promote a strong immune system include: Vitamin B-6, A, E and D, Zinc, Iron, Selenium, folate, as well as healthy probiotics.
There are many delicious fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals that stimulate immune cell activity. You can easily incorporate these in your diet and eat your way to a healthy immune system.
Here are some of the best immunity boosting foods:
In a case of a common cold, vitamin C is the first thing we reach for. This is because it is a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function. Most citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which makes them excellent immunity – boosting foods.
Citrus fruits that will help you boost your immune system include: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, clementines and tangerines.
Another fruit rich in vitamin C is kiwi. Kiwi actually contains more vitamin C than oranges. It is packed with vitamins and minerals that provide many health benefits – one of them being immune system support. As an antioxidant, it can help in the prevention of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. It also promotes good digestion and hydration.
Broccoli seems to make it on every healthy foods list ever – and that’s because it is truly a superfood that provides amazing health benefits. Broccoli contains vitamin C, calcium, lutein, sulforaphane, iron, vitamin A, zinc and phosphorous, among other vitamins and minerals.
It can improve heart health, lower cholesterol levels, promote good digestion, improve eye health and support healthy immune response.
Spinach is another amazing green vegetable that can help you boost your immune system. Spinach is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that are good for your overall health. It contains Vitamin C, Potassium, Iron, Vitamin A, folate, magnesium and Vitamin K. It can help in the prevention of asthma and cancer, improve eye and bone health, as well as boost the immune system.
Garlic is one of the most powerful immunity boosting foods. It is commonly used in fighting bacteria and viruses because of its’ antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties. It contains selenium, vitamin C, manganese, iron, copper, calcium and potassium.
It can reduce blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease and improve immune response. Garlic is also known to improve the function of the respiratory system and prevent upper respiratory tract infections.
Fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, king mackerel, are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids – an essential in any healthy diet. Oily fish are rich in vitamin A and B vitamins: B-2, B-6 and B-12, which are known to support the immune system.
Dark chocolate is made from cacao, which can provide amazing benefits to your overall health. Cacao can reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and prevent heart diseases. It also contains zinc, iron and magnesium, which help your immune system function properly.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are rich in Vitamin C, and also contain vitamins A, E, K1, B-6, potassium, folate and lutein. They’re great for eye health and anemia prevention.
The amount of vitamin C in red bell peppers is higher than that in oranges, which places them at the list of foods that improve immunity.
Green tea is probably the healthiest tea you could consume. It has medicinal properties that can aid in many conditions and diseases. Green tea contains vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium, potassium, and powerful antioxidants and amino acids that improve immunity.
Chicken soup might be the oldest remedy for common colds, and there’s a good reason behind this. Poultry like chicken and turkey contain high amounts of vitamin B-6, which promotes the production of red blood cells and transports oxygen throughout the body. When accompanied by vitamin C rich vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, it is one of the best immunity boosting foods.
Another cold – fighting staple, ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger contains vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, magnesium, and a compound called gingerol , which makes it a powerful plant that helps reduce inflammation and lower the risk of infections.
Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, a type of antioxidant that is a source of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamins C, B-6 and E, manganese and potassium – all vitamins and minerals that are good for immunity.
Maintaining a healthy diet is not as restrictive, or as difficult as it sounds. You don’t have to make a drastic change and quit your favorite foods for good. You can still indulge in savory sweets and snacks – you just have to find a balance in your diet by adding some of these healthy foods that improve immunity.