Eating immune-boosting foods is key to living a healthy lifestyle. That’s because, with every bite, you’re helping your body fight off viruses, infections, and diseases.
Foods that Boost Immunity
While this list isn’t cumulative, the foods listed below are both common and immune-boosting. Therefore, it’s likely you are already eating some, or can easily add them to your diet.
Yogurt contains probiotics. These improve your body’s overall function. Many processes today remove probiotics. So look for yogurt with a label that says “live and active cultures.”
Garlic contains allicin, which is known to combat viruses and bacteria. However, you can only reap these benefits with the real thing, not just garlic powder.
Our bodies don’t naturally produce Vitamin C. It is found in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. However, you do need to watch your grapefruit intake with certain medications.
Be sure to get a daily dose of Vitamin C to produce white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infection.
Vitamin E, which is found in nuts, especially almonds, is another cold-fighting vitamin that doesn’t get the attention it should. If you eat a half cup of them, about 46 almonds total, you will have 100% of your daily recommendation of vitamin E.
Those with nut allergies can find vitamin E in dark greens such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and mustard greens.
Sweet Potatoes have beta-carotene in them which is used to create vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for both skin and immunity. The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, as well as carrots, can strengthen your immunity and perhaps even make your skin look and feel younger.
It contains three of our previously mentioned cold-fighting vitamins, A, C, and E, as well as a wealth of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The trick to cooking your broccoli is to not cook it all the way – maybe barely or not at all. Eat it raw to keep the good stuff intact.
Zinc is often found in different types of shellfish, and it’s one of the key ingredients in maintaining healthy immunity. Zinc helps produce white blood cells that are vital to the body’s defense mechanism. It’s recommended to get two servings a week, however, too much can lead to problems within the immune system.
If you are allergic to shellfish, consider adding chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, cashews or yogurt, which are all rich in zinc.
The spice ginger has long been recognized for its medicinal benefits. Closely related to turmeric, cardamom, and galangal, ginger is loaded with gingerol, a bioactive compound that functions as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
Both functions support immune health by keeping our response systems active and free of complications. Ginger is also used to ease nausea and minor digestive problems. Consider adding it to things like soup, fish, and stir-fry. Or enjoy a cup of ginger tea.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Eating chicken noodle soup for a cold or flu to make you feel better is no wive’s tale. Chicken (and other poultry) is high in vitamin B-6, which is key in creating healthy red blood cells.
Also, when chicken is cooked or boiled, it releases cysteine, an amino acid, as well as gelatine and other helpful nutrients into its broth. It will also thin mucus and make the nose run, which is a way for your body to flush everything out.
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Life Enriching Communities, Inc. (LEC), is an integrated family of lifestyle communities and senior living services in greater Cincinnati and Westlake, OH. Best known for our Twin Towers and Twin Lakes senior living communities, and our recent affiliation with Concord Reserve in Westlake, we have made aging well a top priority for nearly 120 years.