With all of the stress in our lives and the lack of time for good rest, our immune system takes a beating. With a poor immune system, we tend to have a lack of energy, get sick all the time, put on weight easier, and have poor digestion.
To strengthen our immune system, we can take vitamins, get more sun, take some time to destress, and get more sleep. Another great way to boost our immune system is by eating immunity boosting foods. Below are foods to eat to help strengthen your immune system.
1. Red Bell Peppers
Most people consider citrus fruits to be the best source of vitamin C but ounce for ounce, red bell peppers provide more vitamin C than any other food. They also contain an antioxidant that is great for your eyes and skin called beta carotene which gives it the red color.
Broccoli is one of the most vitamin stuffed vegetables to eat. It has high contents of vitamins A, C, and E. Its high fiber content as well as other vitamins and minerals in broccoli make it a very healthy choice any day of the week. To preserve its vitamin content, eat it raw.
Because of its highly sulfuric content of allic and other compounds, garlic is considered to be an antibacterial and antiviral food. It helps the body to fight off disease and is also great for high blood pressure.
4. Greek Yogurt
This type of yogurt has more live cultures than the other varieties making it high in probiotics. These microscopic bacteria are actually good for you, working in the digestive system to fight off bad bacteria and keeping the immune system strong and healthy. Greek yogurt also contains vitamin D, which is another great vitamin that helps the body fight against sickness.
Spinach delivers many of the same benefits as broccoli and just like broccoli, its best when eaten raw or lightly cooked. It contains vitamin A, C, and many more vitamins and minerals. Like red bell pepper, it contains beta carotene. This green leafy veggie is great as a substitute for lettuce in salads or tossed into pasta, soups, and casseroles.
6. Green Tea
This drink contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that detox the bodies of damaged cells. It also contains EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, a different antioxidant that is not only known for its immune boosting properties, but also helps to improve your metabolism. That’s a nice bonus, isn’t it? Green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that strengthens the T-cells ability to fight off infections.
Ever wonder why mom always cooked chicken soup when you had a cold? Well, chicken, all poultry as a matter of fact, contains high levels of B-6. This vitamin works to create new red blood cells and strengthen the red blood cells you already have. If you add the bones, you’ll also get extra nutrition from the gelatin and other vitamins that are great to bolster the immune system.
People tend to turn to vitamin C when they start to feel under the weather, and for good reason. vitamin C is thought to aid in the creation of white blood cells which are important to fighting off infections.
Oranges, lemons, lime, tangerines and grapefruit and more citrus fruits are all high in vitamin C so you have plenty of choices in getting your daily dose.
Not only are almonds tasty but they are one of these best sources of vitamin E–another important part of a healthy immune system. Nuts like almonds are fat soluble, which is required for the absorption of vitamin E.
Ginger is a root that contains anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Ginger also has antibacterial and antiviral properties. You can add fresh grated ginger to tea, baked goods, chicken marinades and more.
11. Sunflower Seeds
Like almonds, sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E. These little seeds are full of other nutrients as well like phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin B-6.
Sunflower seeds can be sprinkled on salads, are often found in granola or can be good as a quick snack on their own.
12. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are especially rich in vitamin A. In fact, medium sized sweet potato meets 120% of daily recommended vitamin A, 30% of the daily value of vitamin C and all for about 100 calories.
Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, fat free and cholesterol free.
You may already love mushrooms, but not only are they tasty, mushrooms are high in B vitamins like riboflavin and niacin which help your immune system function at its best.
14. Acai Berries
These dark berries come from the acai palm trees in Brazil, Trinidad and some parts of South America. The berries are very high in antioxidants which help reduce free radicals in the body. Acai bowls are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and healthy fats. Just watch out for a lot of added sugar.
15. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate extracts contain antiviral properties and also fight some forms of harmful bacteria including gingivitis. There is evidence that pomegranate also promotes healthy gut flora that boosts the immune system.
Strengthen you immune system now, before you get sick, by integrating these foods into your daily diet.