Which Foods Help Boost the Immune System?

There’s so much to look forward to when winter comes.

The cold weather and the holiday vibe are just too good not to notice but along with the change of weather comes illnesses like coughs and colds which are sometimes too difficult to avoid especially when you have a weak immune system.

While there are over the counter meds and magical foods like chicken soup that can help relieve its symptoms, the best way to protect ourselves is to have a strong immune system right from the get-go. 

The good news is there are foods we can eat that can help boost our immune system and below are some of them.

Broccoli

Including broccoli in your diet is a good way of strengthening your immune system because this veggie is packed with vitamins and minerals the body needs.

It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, and a host of antioxidants making it one of the healthiest vegetables one can consume.

To take advantage of these nutrients, make sure to cook them as little as possible.  Try to steam them instead so you can keep the nutrients intact.

Citrus Fruits 

When dealing with colds, most of us turn to vitamin C because it is known to boost the immune system.

Vitamin C is believed to increase white blood cell production which is your main weapon for fighting infections.

The good news is that almost all citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, making it easy to add to any meal you can think of.

Some of the best sources of vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, tangerines, and limes.

Garlic

Garlic is not only a staple of people’s respective kitchens but it’s also known for its immune-boosting properties.

This ability to boost the immune system can be attributed to the sulfur-containing compound called allicin which garlic contains a lot of.

It’s also worth noting that even during the early civilizations, garlic has already been recognized for its ability to fight off infections.

Seafood 

Food that comes from the sea is also good at fighting infections.  

This is because foods like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and oysters are good sources of protein which is essential in building immune system cells.

These food sources also come with high levels of zinc which can help support immune system functioning as well as faster wound healing.

Perhaps more importantly, these kinds of seafood are rich in vitamins A and D which helps support the proper functioning of the immune system.

Yogurt

Yogurt is another kind of food that can help boost the immune system.

This is because yogurt is a good source of vitamin D which helps regulate the immune system and boost the body’s natural defenses against common diseases.

Just make sure to look for plain yogurts instead of the flavored and sweetened ones.  

Greek yogurt, as well as anything that has “live and active cultures” in their labels, are great at stimulating the immune system and fighting diseases.

Ginger

Ginger is another popular ingredient that has a lot of healing properties to offer.

It helps you deal with nausea, reduces inflammation, and helps fight sore throat and other inflammatory problems.

Other benefits include chronic pain relief as well as the ability to lower cholesterol.  Ginger is one of those foods people turn to when and after getting sick.

Green tea

Rich in the antioxidant flavonoids, green teas are known to contain high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant that studies have shown to enhance immune function.

Green tea is also an excellent source of L-theanine, an amino acid that plays an important role in the creation of germ-fighting compounds in the T cells.

Final Thoughts

A strong and healthy immune system is crucial in fighting diseases and while different forms of medication are available at our disposal, eating right and proper nutrition will always be the best way to start.