I know that winter is over but if you are looking for ways to prevent colds and other sicknesses, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. Who wants to be sick during the spring and summer, right? Feeding your body certain foods may help to keep your immune system running strong. Not by any means will just eating one of these foods completely fight off the flu, but they could help a great deal. Keep in mind that variety is key to proper nutrition. Pay attention to serving sizes and recommended daily intakes so that you don’t get too much of a single vitamin and too little of others.
Most people turn to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold, but did you know it tops the chart of foods that keep your immune system running at 100 percent? Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections.
Popular citrus fruits include:
Your body doesn’t produce or store Vitamin C, so daily intake of vitamin C is essential for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to add a squeeze of C to any meal.
Spinach is rich in Vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting capability of our immune system. Spinach is best cooked as little as possible so that its nutrients are retained. Light cooking enhances its Vitamin A and reduces oxalic acid.
Garlic is found in almost every cuisine around the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, garlic may also help in lowering blood pressure and slowing down hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
Like vitamin C, ginger may also help prevent a cold from taking hold in the first place. While it’s used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. Capsaicin gives chili peppers their distinctive heat.
Broccoli is supercharged with an arsenal of vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as numerous antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible…… or better yet, not at all!
When selecting yogurt, look for ones that have “live and active cultures” printed on the label. Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D.
Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Green tea is steamed and not fermented. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.
When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to the more commonly mentioned vitamin C. Vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, especially almonds, are packed with it. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount.
What do you eat to help boost your immune system? Have you tried any of these food methods? Please share with us below!