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12 Food Items to Boost Your Immune System

March 17, 2020

12 Food Items to Boost Your Immune System

We encounter a myriad of bacteria and viruses everyday and our first line of defense is not just how well we clean and disinfect everything we touch or how much we protect our bodies from the outside— the most important defense is from the inside.

It’s very simple and basic, and inexpensive but a lot of times, it is what we forget to build up. In fact, in a time of health risk, our first step must be to make sure we eat healthy, immunity-building food. Here are our top 12  easily available food to keep in your fridge and pantry:

  1. Citrus fruits

Most of us turn to vitamin C to avoid sickness or recover quickly because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C helps increase the production of white blood cells. These cells are key to fighting infections.

Citrus fruits that can’t go wrong are:

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Clementines

Because our body doesn't produce or store Vitamin C, we need a daily dose for continued health. 

  1. Red bell peppers

It’s easy to believe that citrus fruits have the most vitamin C, but that’s actually not the case.

In fact, ounce for ounce, red bell peppers actually have double the amount of vitamin C as citrus. They are also rich in beta carotene. Aside from boosting your immune system, vitamin C also helps maintain healthy skin and beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.

  1. Broccoli

Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables we can have. The best way to preserve these nutrients is to cook broccoli as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.

  1. Garlic

Garlic adds rich flavour to food and it's a must-have for your health. Even early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic also helps lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. Its immune-boosting properties come from its heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

  1. Ginger

Ginger helps decrease inflammation, so it can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. It is also used to decrease nausea.

Ginger is amazing for its heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. Ginger helps decrease chronic pain as well.

  1. Spinach

Spinach is also rich in vitamin C. It also packs numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Some light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

  1. Yogurt

Yogurts that have live and active cultures like Greek yogurt stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. It is also a great source of vitamin D, which helps regulate the immune system, boosting our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

  1. Almonds

Vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin— it means it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin AND also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

  1. Turmeric

This bright yellow spice has been used for years in various cultures as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

  1. Green tea

Green tea is packed with antioxidants like flavonoids  and epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which has been shown to enhance immune function. 

Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, which aids in the production of germ-fighting compounds in our T-cells.

  1. Papaya

We can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a one regular sized papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Papayas also have decent amounts of potassium, B vitamins, and folate.

  1. Poultry

Chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food we cook for the sick.

Poultry like chicken and turkey are high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains roughly half of our daily recommended amount of B-6, which is an important player in many of our body’s chemical reactions. It’s also a vitamin that is important to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Chicken stock or broth contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful to heal the gut and improve immunity.

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