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9 Foods That Naturally Give Your Immune System A Boost

Do you want to prevent colds, some infections, and the flu? Your first step needs to be an analysis of your diet. This is because what you eat can help your body’s immune system.

The next time you plan your meals for the week, make sure to include the foods presented below.

However, remember that there is no food or supplement that will prevent or curse disease. The world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic and boosting your immune system will not protect you from it. What it would do though is make our body stronger, more capable of fighting viruses, infections, and even the common cold.

Citrus Fruits

When you get a cold, it is common to use a vitamin C supplement. You do this because vitamin C helps the body’s immune system. It increases white blood cell production, which is vital for the purpose of fighting infections.

The great thing about citrus fruits is that they are packed with vitamin C. And it is very easy to add them to your diet because of the wide variety available. The most popular citrus fruits are:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Tangerines
  • Clementines
  • Limes
  • Lemons

You will also gain several other health benefits so why not?

Red Bell Peppers

This might come as a surprise for you but red bell peppers actually include close to three times more vitamin C than Florida oranges. They also include high quantities of beta carotene, which is important for the body since it turns into vitamin A.  

We should also mention the fact that vitamin C will help you to maintain healthier skin. And vitamin A helps your skin and eyes stay healthy.

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Garlic

We see garlic in most cuisines because of that extra zing it adds to dishes. And most people love it. What most people do not give it credit to though is the health benefits offered.

Even the early civilizations figured out that garlic is very useful to fight infections. It might also slow down artery hardening and does help a little with blood pressure.

Speaking about the immune-boosting properties of garlic, everything is associated with the high concentration of compounds that contain sulfur, like allicin.

Spinach

Spinach is another food rich in vitamin C content but it also includes beta carotene and numerous antioxidants. Both of these are capable of helping our immune systems fight infections.

To get the main benefits associated with spinach, it is best to cook it as little as you can. This helps because it retains nutrients. At the same time, light cooking helps since it makes it much easier to absorb vitamin A, while other nutrients are easier released from the oxalic acid present.

Green Tea

Black teas and green teas are filled with flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Green tea is usually preferred as it excels in the presence of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is a very strong antioxidant.

Studies showed us that EGCG enhances immune function. In black tea, much of the EGCG is lost as it is fermented. Green tea is not fermented. It is steamed.

To make it even better, green tea includes L-theanine, which is an amino acid that can help the T cells in your body to fight germs.

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Papaya

As you already figured out, there are several fruits that are loaded with vitamin C. This includes papaya. In fact, it includes 2 times the daily recommended quantity of vitamin C you need, all in just a medium-sized fruit. In addition, papaya includes papain, which is an enzyme that has strong anti-inflammatory effects. All this adds to the presence of folate, magnesium, and potassium, which are all great for human health.

Ginger

People in various cultures turn to ginger when they are sick. This is because it helps to decrease inflammation. This helps reduce inflammatory illnesses and sore throats. Ginger will also help when you feel nauseous.

Oftentimes, ginger is used in tasty desserts. But this does pack some heat because of the presence of gingerol, which is connected to capsaicin. Ginger will help to decrease chronic pain and there is some evidence hinting at a capability of lowering blood cholesterol levels.

Poultry

Traditionally, people have been eating chicken soup whenever they get sick. Most think that this helps just because of placebo but in truth, this soup does help lower the inflammation you get when you have a cold.

Poultry includes high quantities of vitamin B6. In just 3 ounces of light chicken, you get almost one third of all the B6 your body needs in a day.

The reason why we talk about vitamin B6 is that it is used in several body chemical reactions. It also helps a lot when it comes to forming healthy, new red blood cells.

You can even consider just broth or stock by boiling bones from chicken. This includes chondroitin, gelatin, and several other nutrients. All of these are very helpful for immunity and gut healing.

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Shellfish

When you want to boost your immune system, there is a pretty good possibility you do not think about shellfish. But, you might want to think differently since some shellfish is simply packed with zinc.

Most people do not think about zinc but it is very important for the body’s immune cells. When you have a zinc deficiency, your body will not be able to fight off cold and infection in a proper way.

Some shellfish that include high quantities of zinc are:

  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Lobster
  • Crab

Just remember that you do not want to get over the recommended daily allowance of zinc. For men, this is 11 mg. and for women it is 8 mg. The problem when you consume too much zinc is that your immune system will be negatively affected.

Final Thoughts

Proper nutrition is not possible without variety. When you consume only one of the foods above, your body will rarely be strong enough to fight infections. You have to be careful with recommended daily intake and serving sizes.

Also, keep in mind that eating right should only be seen as the start. Several other things can be done to strengthen your body to fight the cold, the flu, and several other illnesses.

Featured Image from https://formulatehealth.com/

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