Boost your immune system with these natural foods that you can find in any supermarket!
Every year, we have this so-called cold-and-flu season! Colds and flu are obviously annoying, and this speaks to me like having a strong and healthy immune system is a must to prevent or at least reduce the risk of getting one.
One important key to maintain a healthy immunity is to eat the right foods. Give your immune system an all-time boost by consuming these healthy, affordable foods that are readily available. If you’re suffering from colds and flu, these foods are also sure to improve your symptoms!
1. Citrus Fruits
This is a well-known a fact; citrus fruits contain Vitamin C, a primary nutrient for building up the immune system and fighting colds and flu. The said vitamin is also believed to help increase the production of white blood cells, the component of blood that is responsible for fighting infections.
Popular citrus fruits include grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, and oranges. You can also try non-citrus fruits that are also good sources of Vitamin C such as papaya and kiwi.
2. Red Bell Pepper
If you’d be asked to choose between red bell peppers and citrus fruits on which one has the higher amount of Vitamin C, I bet you will tell me it’s citrus fruits. But wrong because red bell peppers have twice as much as any citrus fruit!
Aside from that, they are also great sources of beta-carotene, which helps keep your skin and eyes healthy. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is not only for fighting colds and flu but also for maintaining healthy skin.
3. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are packed with the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is believed to raise the activities of T-cells that help fight infection. They are also rich in Vitamin C, and we all know this vitamin plays a major role in keeping the immune system healthy to guard the body against bacteria and viruses!
If you’re getting tired of eating sweet potatoes, you can try other similar foods also rich in antioxidants such as carrots, pumpkin, and acorn squash.
Almost every dish has garlic in it. Why not, it spices up your food and adds flavor to it. Not only that, but garlic also holds treasures as far as your health and immune system are concerned. It contains Allicin, an antioxidant that has been shown to fight colds and flu.
Garlic also helps lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of arteries. Grilled, raw, or roasted — you’ll never go wrong with garlic!
Another vitamin that boosts the immune system is Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin that protects cells from damage and oxidation. Almonds and other nuts also contain a high amount of healthy fat such as Omega-3.
Just a cup of almond can provide almost 100% of the recommended dietary intake for the vitamin. You can also try seeds, whole grain, and peanut butter for your supply of Omega-3 and Vitamin E.
Packed with minerals and vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, and E, broccoli is considered a superfood loved by many! This vegetable is rich in folate, which is known to aid in the production of new cells especially lymphocytes.
Broccoli is best consumed raw, or if you prefer it cooked, make sure not to overcook to preserve its nutrients. You can also get folate from other sources like avocado, spinach, and peanuts.
Salmon is rich in Selenium, a mineral with antioxidant effects and works with Vitamin E. This powerful duo protects cells against damage usually caused by stress, making the body more prone to infections and illnesses.
Other similar food sources of the mineral are whole grains and seafood.
Ever had a taste of chicken soup during your sick days? It is a great food for improving the symptoms of colds.
Poultry products like chicken and turkey are rich in Vitamin B-6, a key nutrient in various chemical reactions in the body and also aids in the production of new red blood cells. Chicken stock also contains nutrients beneficial for immunity and gut health.
We all know yogurt does our digestive system good. What we don’t know is that our gastrointestinal system is key to a healthy immune system because it is where the 25% of your immune cells are and where helpful bacteria thrive.
The live and active cultures in yogurts boost probiotics, thereby activating cells that help fight colds and flu. As much as possible, get plain yogurts than the flavored ones. You can also get the same benefits from miso and kefir.
10. Green Tea
Although green and black teas are rich in the antioxidant flavonoid, green tea is ahead in terms of epigallocatechin gallate levels, the EGCG is also a potent antioxidant that is shown to improve immune functions. This is because rather than being fermented, green tea is steamed.
Besides that, green tea also contains high amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid that may help produce the compound in T-cells that fight microorganisms.
Eating right is just the start! There are other ways to fight colds and flu: getting adequate sleep, proper hand washing, and regular exercise are among the most common.
Would you eat these immunity-boosting foods? Which one is your favorite? Share this post with your loved ones to keep them away from colds and flu!