By: Della Lin
Not only is the coronavirus still a major part of our daily lives, but the cold and flu season is approaching fast as well. Therefore, it’s so crucial for our bodies and immune systems to remain strong and healthy. Along with getting the yearly flu vaccine, you can incorporate certain foods into your diet that can help strengthen your immune system and decrease your risk of contracting a disease. So, here are the top 12 foods to eat that will help boost your immunity.
Normally, the number one food that comes to everyone’s mind is citrus fruits. They contain a high amount of vitamin C and help to build your immune system. They also increase the production of white blood cells, which helps fight off diseases. Citrus fruits include grapefruits, oranges, clementines, tangerines, lemons, and limes. The second food that contains a high amount of vitamin C is red bell peppers. In fact, they actually have three times as much vitamin C as oranges. Two of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate are broccoli and spinach. They are supercharged with minerals and antioxidants and are packed with vitamins A, C, and E. If you don’t like eating spinach, a smart way to incorporate it into your diet is to add them to smoothies since you will not be able to taste them at all. Another food that is really good for your immune system is yogurt. The ones that have “live and active cultures” printed on the label, like Greek yogurt, can help to stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Yogurt is also a great source of vitamin D, which helps to regulate your immune system and is thought to boost the body’s natural defenses against diseases. Instead of having coffee in the morning, consider switching to green tea. Green tea is packed with EGCG, which is a very powerful antioxidant. It has been shown to enhance immune function and aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds. Along with citrus fruits, papaya and kiwi also are loaded with vitamin C. For papayas, you can actually find double the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single medium-sized fruit. Another food that is very beneficial to your immune system is nuts, like almonds and sunflower seeds. They both contain vitamin E, which is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. The final food that is great for keeping you healthy is poultry. Often, when you are sick, you will reach for chicken soup. This is because it helps lower inflammation, which could improve symptoms of a cold. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in our body, and it is vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.
Just by simply adding these foods to your daily diet, you could help improve and strengthen your immunity. With a strong immune system, you will more likely be able to stay healthy and well during the upcoming cold and flu season. Stay safe everybody!
Photo courtesy of prevention.com