Regularly eating a variety of nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as citrus fruits and spinach, can help boost your immune health.
Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong.
If you’re looking for ways to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. Plan your meals to include these 15 powerful immune system boosters.
No supplement will cure or prevent disease, and no supplement or diet can protect you from COVID-19. Currently, no research supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically.
Food Fix: Immune System Boost
Most people turn straight to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system.
Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.
Most citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.
Popular citrus fruits include:
- 75 mg for women
- 90 mg for men
If you opt for supplements, avoid taking more than 2,000 milligrams (mg) a day.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.
The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
Garlic adds flavor to food and has long been used for medicinal purposes.
Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also slow down hardening of the arteries, and
Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
Spinach made our list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C — it’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta-carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when
Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kind that are flavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead.
Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with this vitamin. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.
When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, this powerful antioxidant is key to a healthy immune system.
Sunflower seeds are also high in selenium. Just 1 ounce contains
You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. This bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin C boosts the white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.
Vitamin B6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.
Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:
Keep in mind that you don’t want to have more than the
- 11 mg for adult men
- 8 mg for most adult women
Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.
How can I boost my immune system quickly?
There is no instant way to boost your immune system, but the sooner you get started with the
- eating a healthy, varied diet with plenty of fresh foods and whole grains
- manage your weight
- get enough sleep
- avoid or quit smoking
- limit alcohol consumption
What foods help fight infections?
Some foods will boost your immune system while others have antimicrobial properties, which means they may help fight bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Examples
What vegetables are good for the immune system?
Red peppers, spinach, broccoli are good choices, as well as those that add flavor, such as ginger, turmeric, and garlic.
Can bananas boost your immune system?
Fresh foods can provide our bodies with nutrients our immune system needs to work correctly. You need a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, herbs, and spices in your diet to enable your body to stay as healthy as possible.
Good choices of foods to boost the immune system include citrus fruits, spinach, almonds, papaya, and green tea.