Strengthening your immune system is important year-round, and maintaining a nutritious diet lays the foundation for optimal body functioning.
We’ve made a list of top foods you can easily incorporate as part of your daily meals to help improve your health and bolster your immune system.
These fruits are loaded with vitamin C. Our bodies are unable to produce this vitamin naturally, so it’s necessary to include citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, or lemons as part of a healthy diet. Vitamin C helps to build your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells in your body. These cells are essential in protecting your body by fighting infections and illnesses.
Green vegetables such as broccoli or spinach are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C, and E, potassium and healthy fiber. These vitamins aid in white blood cell creation as well as maintaining organ health. Both may increase the body’s ability to fight infection by protecting cells against free radicals.
There are also a variety of nuts that help aid our immune system. Almonds supply the body with heart-healthy fat, protein and vitamin E. Similarly, walnuts can provide the body with valuable vitamin B6, copper, and folate. These vitamins can protect your cells from damage, enabling your white blood cells to function efficiently.
Spices are a great way to add some flare—and health benefits—to your meals. Turmeric is packed with curcumin, a compound that can boost immune cell activity and enhance antibody responses. Ginger has similar components to turmeric; however, it may also help decrease pain due to its concentration of capsaicin.
This fruit is rich with antioxidants and reinforces the immune system through antimicrobial activity. Pomegranate juice can assist the body in removing free radicals and protecting the cells from damage. The antioxidants found within pomegranate juice may also help protect the body against infection.
Green tea is full of flavonoids—a type of antioxidant—that helps aid the function of the immune system. These antioxidants help recharge a suppressed immune system. Green tea also helps de-stress the body and mind through its soothing aroma and flavor.
Almost all berries contain antioxidants and vitamins that can also boost energy levels and protect your heart. For example, acai berries contain high levels of fatty acids such as omega-3, omega-6, and monosaturated oleic acid—all of which help maintain a healthy heart.