They say you are what you eat. And while eating too many slices of pizza won’t transform you into one, it certainly isn’t a good idea if you want to build a healthy body. Our health condition largely depends on what we consume on a day to day basis—specifically, the nutrients within them.
If you want to stay healthy, you have to keep eating foods that are good for you. For example, if you want to keep away from sickness and disease, you have to fortify your defenses by strengthening the immune system.
Today we’re going to talk about the 12 foods that help boost your immune system. Incorporating these food items into your diet would allow you to stay healthy, avoid illnesses, and even prevent hair loss!
1. Yogurt: Your Source of Good Bacteria
Ever heard of the term “probiotics”? Yogurts that contain live and active cultures of good bacteria can help stimulate your immune system and allow it to fight diseases. Yogurt is also a great source of Vitamin D. With it, you can boost your body’s natural defenses.
When shopping for yogurt, aim for plain yogurt instead of the ones with lots of sugar. To make it tastier, sweeten it with some healthy fruits instead!
2. Garlic: Add Zing to Your Cuisine
It’s a good thing you’re not a vampire: garlic is used so often that it’s found in almost every dish! It doesn’t just add flavor to your food, it is also a must-have for your health!
Since the early times, garlic has been valued for its ability to fight infections. It can also help lower your blood pressure. On top of that, garlic can also boost your immune system, thanks to its high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds.
3. Shellfish: A Taste of the Sea
, clams, lobsters, mussels: these shellfish aren’t just delicious, they are also packed with zinc! This mineral helps the immune cells function properly. They are also rich in selenium.
You don’t have to be in a fine dining setting to enjoy these immune-boosting seafood. You can prepare them yourself at home.
4. Poultry: Chicken Soup for the Soul — and the Immune System
Chicken soup isn’t the only meal you should be taking when you’re feeling down. Poultry in general, such as chicken and turkey, could help provide the body with the nutrients it needs to prevent sickness.
They provide Vitamin B6, which is an essential nutrient that plays a role in many different chemical reactions in the body, such as forming healthy red blood cells.
5. Citrus Fruits: Fruity Sources of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is said to increase the production of white blood cells—which serve as a line of defense against infections. If you need some Vitamin C in your system, shop for citrus fruits! You can eat lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, or limes.
The body doesn’t store or produce Vitamin C, so it is recommended that you take it daily for a stronger immune system. The best part? It’s very easy to squeeze these fruits into your diet plan.
6. Papaya: Another Fruity Source of Vitamin C
Since we’re on the topic of fruits, here’s one that’s not a citrus fruit, but is also loaded with Vitamin C: papaya. A single papaya contains 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C!
Papayas also contain amounts of B vitamins and potassium. It even has a digestive enzyme called “papain” which has anti-inflammatory benefits. Your body will thank you for eating a papaya every now and then.
7. Red Bell Peppers: For Healthy Eyes, Skin, and Body
Citrus fruits are great: they’re delicious and nutritious. But if you really want to get more Vitamin C, you can prepare a recipe with red bell peppers in it. These peppers contain twice as much Vitamin C as citrus. They also have beta carotene which boosts your immune system.
Red bell peppers can give you a natural-looking glow because it promotes healthy skin and healthy eyes, while keeping your body safe from within.
8. Broccoli: More Reason to Eat Vegetables
Your kids may hate them, but at least adults understand the importance of these greens. Broccoli is packed with vitamins and minerals. In fact, it is one of the healthiest vegetables you can serve your family! It’s best to cook them as little as possible so the nutrients can stay intact.
9. Spinach: Strength from Within
It’s known in popular culture as Popeye’s secret weapon. But while it won’t make you super strong literally, it will make your immune system super resilient. It’s rich in Vitamin C, as well as various antioxidants and beta carotene.
10. Ginger: Fight Inflammation
Ginger can help reduce sore throat and other inflammatory diseases. But it can also decrease nausea and chronic pain. It can even help you lower your cholesterol!
If you are feeling sick, ginger might be one of the best natural solutions you can turn to.
11. Almonds: Driving Sickness Away
Nuts such as almonds are packed with Vitamin E—another important nutrient that protects the immune system.
You can eat almonds to prevent and fight off colds. They make good snacks too! For more Vitamin E, incorporate more nuts into your diet.
12. Green Tea: A Calm Way to Fight Disease
Green tea is both calming and delicious. But they are also known for being very healthy. Green and black tea is packed with an antioxidant known as flavonoids.
Additionally, green tea is a good source of the amino acid L-theanine which helps fight germs.
With a great balance of diet and exercise, you can keep your body strong and healthy. Protect your immune system, and it will certainly protect you!
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Which of these immune-boosting foods are your favorite?