Top 10 Immunity-Boosting Foods to add to your Diet

Are you ready to experience the benefits that come along with adding immunity-boosting foods to your everyday diet? As you’ve already seen, there are many different ways to increase your immunity simply by changing what you eat each day. So, whether you’re ready to add more prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, or polysaccharides into your eating regime, here are ten (10) of the top foods you should consider eating more of. This will improve your resistance to illnesses and diseases.

#1 Citrus Fruits

You’ve almost certainly been told at some point that vitamin C should be your first port of call if you’ve caught a cold, and there’s a good reason for this. Vitamin C is known to help boost your immune system. It does this by increasing the number of white blood cells that your body produces, and this holds the key to combating infections. Virtually all citrus fruits have a high vitamin C content, and since there are so many different ones to pick from, you can easily add this vitamin to any meal. Some popular citrus fruits are:

  • Grapefruits
  • Clementines
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines
  • Limes
  • Lemons

Since the human body can’t store or produce vitamin C you have to eat it every day to continue in good health. Adults are recommended to eat 75mg each day if they are female or 90 mg each day if they are male.

#2 Red Bell Peppers

Citrus fruits contain plenty of vitamin C, but amazingly red bell peppers contain around three times more vitamin C than a Florida orange together with plenty of beta carotene. Vitamin C doesn’t just boost your immunity, it also improves the condition of your skin, while beta carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A to promote healthy skin and eyes.

#3 Broccoli

Supercharged with minerals and vitamins, broccoli contains lots of vitamins E, C, and A together with antioxidants and fiber. This makes it an especially healthy vegetable. To keep it as potent as possible it should be eaten raw or only lightly cooked. Steaming is one of the best ways to preserve its beneficial nutrients.

#4 Garlic

Found in virtually every world cuisine, garlic adds zing to your food and also improves your health and well-being. Its value in combating infections has been recognized for generations, and it may also slow down the hardening of the arteries as well as lowering blood pressure. The immune-boosting properties of garlic are due to its high concentration of allicin and other sulfur-containing compounds.

#5 Ginger

You may have heard about people using ginger if they are sick, and this is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce inflammatory illnesses and sore throats while also helping to combat nausea. When it’s incorporated into sweet desserts, it packs heat in the shape of gingerol, which is related to capsaicin. Ginger has also been shown to decrease chronic pain while also possessing cholesterol-lowering properties.

Top 10 Immunity-Boosting Foods to add to your Diet

#6 Spinach

Not only does spinach have a high vitamin C content, but it’s also packed with beta carotene and other antioxidants. Both of these can boost your immune system’s infection-fighting capabilities. Like broccoli, spinach should be minimally cooked to preserve its nutrients, but if it’s cooked lightly, its vitamin A content can be more easily absorbed, and other nutrients can be more easily released from an antinutrient known as oxalic acid.

#7 Yogurt

You should look out for yogurt that is marked with a phrase saying that it contains active and live cultures. Greek yogurt is one such type. These cultures are believed to stimulate the immune system to fight disease. Whenever possible, choose plain yogurts instead of flavored ones that are packed with sugar.

It’s possible to sweeten plain yogurt yourself using a little honey and some healthy fruit like berries. Yogurt is also a good vitamin D source, so try choosing brands that have been fortified with that vitamin. Vitamin D regulates your immune system, boosting your natural defense against disease.

#8 Almonds

When you want to prevent or fight off a cold, you probably choose vitamin C over vitamin E, yet vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that can hold the key to a well-functioning and healthy immune system. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, so it requires fat to be present in order to be properly absorbed.

Nuts like almonds are filled with this vitamin and they also contain healthy fats. An adult only requires around 15 mg of vitamin E daily. Forty-six shelled whole almonds (or a half-cup serving) will provide all of your recommended daily intakes.

#9 Sunflower Seeds

These seeds are packed with nutrients like magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins E and B6. Vitamin E has a key role to play in maintaining and regulating the function of your immune system. Some other foods that contain a lot of vitamin E include dark leafy greens and avocados. Not only are sunflower seeds high in these nutrients, but they also have a high selenium content. Only 1 oz contains 50 percent of the selenium the average adult requires each day.

#10 Turmeric

Turmeric is often used in curry and this bitter, bright yellow spice has historically been used as an anti-inflammatory to treat both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A high concentration of curcumin (that gives turmeric its yellow coloring) helps to reduce the damage to the muscles caused by exercise. It also helps to boost the immune system to protect you from illnesses and diseases.

Images courtesy of:
Engin Akyurt , Steve Buissinne , Pixabay

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Top 10 Immunity-Boosting Foods to add to your Diet

Part 10 of Immune Food Solution Series
Pam Byc
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