When it comes to eating well, it’s no secret that your diet can affect the way you feel on the inside and the outside. Your immune system is no different, so to help avoid colds, flu, and other illnesses linked to low immune function, making better food choices can certainly help.
The great news is that it can be fairly simple to shop smarter and with your health in mind, so why not visit your local grocery store today? Here are 10 immune-boosting foods you’ll want to add to your shopping list:
- Citrus fruits
This may seem like a no-brainer as vitamin C is widely known to boost the immune system, but it’s one of the top things you can add to your diet. As almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, you can get more of your favorite ones into your diet with little fuss. It may be worth it to know that your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, so you will need to ingest it daily for optimum results.
Zinc is a great immune-boosting mineral, but it doesn’t often get the attention it deserves on healthy-eating lists. As shellfish is a fantastic source of zinc, adding crab, oysters, lobster, and mussels to your list can be worthwhile. You can exceed the daily dose, so be mindful of how much you consume.
One of the easiest ingredients to add to your healthy diet is garlic. High in allicin, garlic provides some serious benefits. As so many dishes from around the world contain garlic, it won’t be too difficult to find one you like and reap the rewards.
- Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers are some of the most vitamin C-rich fruits out there. Ounce for ounce, they contain nearly three times the amount of vitamin C as one orange.
Broccoli is a fantastic source of an array of vitamins and minerals, so you’d be crazy not to add it to your diet, even if immune function isn’t your main focus. It has the most benefits when eaten raw, but steaming it will lock in most of the nutritional benefits.
Spinach is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene, but the benefits are higher when it is lightly cooked (allowing for the better absorption of vitamin A).
Yogurt that contains live and active cultures like Greek yogurt is essential for gut function and can improve your immune system immensely. Opt for plain, as you can sweeten it yourself by adding fruits and honey, increasing its health potential.
While vitamin C is a fantastic vitamin for overall health, vitamin E is the real powerhouse for immune functionality. A great way to add more to your diet is to eat almonds. Around 15mg is all you need each day so a half-cup serving should help you reach the daily recommended amount.
- Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are just as good as almonds, but they pack more of a punch when it comes to additional nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B-6.
You may think that chicken soup for colds is an old wives tale, but the truth is that poultry is high in vitamin B-6 which can help reduce inflammation and helps to form new and healthy red blood cells.
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