Healthy Foods to Boost Your Immune System
The cold and flu season may have you sneezing, coughing, and longing for relief from annoying symptoms that attack your body. Keeping a healthy immune system, means including certain foods that can help boost your body’s own defenses against germs that threaten to invade the body.
Here are some of the best foods that can help strengthen your immune system to provide protection against common cold and flu viruses.
This amazing immune booster helps stimulate the activity of white blood cells, increasing the body’s antibodies to help fight off infection. Garlic may also help the entire immune system by multiplying the T-cells, which are white blood cells, important for all immune activity.
• Citrus Fruit
Oranges, Limes, and Lemons are all rich in vitamin C which can help boost your body’s immune system to help fight off viruses. Studies have shown that an increase in vitamin C can help stimulate the white blood cells that fight against diseases, which may attempt to invade the body.
• Shiitake Mushrooms
These mushrooms contain an immune boosting compound known as lentinan, which can strengthen the immune system, enabling the body to increase the fight against virus and infection.
This bulbous vegetable has a crunchy, licorice-like flavor, and is used mainly in salads, and slaws. Fennel is rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that is needed for a healthy immune system.
This shellfish, included in a group of mollusks is one of the highest food sources naturally rich in zinc. Zinc is important for enhancing the immune system by also increasing activity of the important white blood cells, known as T-cells. Wheat germ, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts are also great sources of zinc.
• Sunflower Seeds
These seeds are a great source of selenium, which is one of the top nutrients for a healthy immune system. As well, as being vital for a strong immune system, selenium also works as an antioxidant along with other vitamins to prevent cell damage from free radicals in the body. Other good food sources rich in selenium include, fish, such as halibut, tuna, and sardines, Brazil nuts, onions, and eggs.
Another vegetable loaded with beta carotene, sweet potatoes, can boost the body’s T-cells, which are important for a strong immune system.
This vegetable naturally contains phytochemicals that can strengthen the immune system, as well as, provide healthy protection for bones. It’s best to use the fresh, raw form of this vegetable to provide the strongest concentration of nutrients.
Studies that have shown the reason kiwi may boost your immune system is due in part from the carotene contained in this fruit that can help fight infection. Kiwi is a great addition added to a blend of other healthy fruits for a nutritious smoothie, or in a salad.
A nutritious diet including some of these food choices may help you attain the added boost you need to remain free of illness all year-long.