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There are lots of foods that help boost your immune system, are you eating them? Be sure to check out this list of immune-boosting foods to help you stay healthy.
Foods That Boost The Immune System
We are all interested in keeping our immune system as healthy as possible, especially during cold and flu season each year. Did you know that there are a lot of foods that you can add to your diet that naturally give your immune system a boost? You probably already have some of these immune-boosting foods in your fridge or freezer, and if you don’t be sure to add them to your next grocery order!
When you are out shopping or ordering your healthy foods and foods that can help boost your immune system, be sure you are looking at the labels! Buy local, and when I say buy local I mean buy from your local farmer, buy produce grown in your city, buy produce grown in your state, buy produce that is grown here in the United States. When you buy local, you are not only supporting farmers (the 2% of the population that feeds the other 98%) but you are ensuring domestic food security.
8 Foods That Can Help Boost Your Immune System
Blueberries taste great and they can be added to cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or your favorite smoothie. You can also just grab a handful of them for a healthy snack. Blueberries contain a bunch of vitamins including vitamins A and C they also contain fiber, manganese, and flavonoids. Flavonoids are an antioxidant that boosts your immune system and helps your cells to repair any damage that they may have sustained. Did you know that blueberries are considered a superfood?
Oranges are another great food to add to your diet if you want to help give your immune system a boost. Oranges contain high amounts of vitamin C as well as vitamins A and B-6. They also contain a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium, selenium, and niacin making them a healthy and delicious choice for a snack. Oranges can be easily added to so many delicious dishes to give them a zip of freshness, and of course there is the old stand by a great big glass of orange juice!
Strawberries may not be thought of when it comes to foods that boost your immune system but they do. Strawberries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C both of which are important for your immune health. Strawberries are sweet and delicious yet contain very little sugar, they can be added to salads, smoothies, and yogurt. Strawberries also help to reduce bad cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in the body so be sure they are a staple in your healthy diet.
Loved by some and hated by others (usually children), this dark green vegetable is part of the cabbage family, it is native to the Mediterranean and is high in calcium. Broccoli is packed full of powerful nutrients and it also happens to be delicious! Broccoli contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as a healthy dose of fiber and some powerful antioxidants. The key to keeping broccoli as nutrient-dense as possible is to cook it lightly or not at all. Raw broccoli and your favorite dipping sauce anyone? If you can only stomach eating broccoli if you cook it soft, consider using the water that you cooked it in, in a dish as a substitute for the liquid, all of the good stuff is still in the water!
Yogurt can also be very beneficial when it comes to giving your immune system a boost, and it’s delicious and versatile. Plain or Greek yogurt can be used in dishes as a substitute for sour cream. Make sure that the yogurt you choose says that it contains live active cultures to ensure that you are getting the most from it. Look for yogurts without a lot of added sugar. You can always use fresh fruit or honey as a natural and healthy sweetener for it.
Garlic is known to be antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial and that makes it a great choice if you want to boost your immune system. You can add garlic to just about any dish and gain the benefits of it. Raw garlic or cooked will still give you the benefits that you need. If you absolutely can’t stomach the taste of garlic you can get odorless garlic capsules that give you the same health benefits of eating it.
Spinach is deliciously healthy and can easily be added to many dishes your family already enjoys. Spinach contains vitamin C, vitamin A beta carotene, and numerous antioxidants. Beta Carotene is important when it comes to boosting your immune system because it increases the body’s natural ability to fight infection. Spinach should not be overcooked, but light cooking helps to release vitamin A and other nutrients.
Ginger has been used for centuries to help combat viral illnesses such as the cold and flu. Ginger has a lot of vitamins including zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium and in addition to giving your immune system a boost, it also helps to improve your gut health. You can read more about the importance of digestive health here. Add some ginger to your favorite Asian dishes, or make some simple ginger tea by slicing off a few pieces and adding them to hot water.
These are just a few of the foods that you can add to your diet and help to give your immune system a boost. Remember that diet is only one part of a healthy immune system. Make sure that you are also drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.