Plan Your Meals with These 10 Immune Boosting Foods

FOOD

1. Turmeric



Turmeric is a natural way to help bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. Turmeric an ingredient used mainly in Indian cuisine has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


2. Citrus




Oranges and Lemons are the go to citrus fruit after you've caught a cold as it builds up your immune system. Citrus fruit loaded with Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.


Because your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. The recommended daily amount for most adults is:


75 mg for women

90 mg for men

If you opt for supplements, avoid taking more than 2,000 milligrams (mg) a day.


3. Ginger




Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help with nausea as well.


4. Yoghurt



Look for yogurts that have the phrase “live and active cultures” printed on the label. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kind that are flavored and loaded with sugar.


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.

5. Green Tea



Green tea is full of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Green tea has high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another powerful antioxidant. Unlike Black Tea , Green tea is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved.


Green tea is 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.


6. Papaya



Papaya is loaded with vitamin C and a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have good amounts of potassium, magnesium, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.


7. Chicken



When you’re sick chicken soup may help lower inflammation, which could improve symptoms of a cold. Chicken is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of chicken meat contains nearly one-third of your daily recommended amount of B-6. Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital for the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. See South Indian Chicken Soup recipe.


8. Fish



Some types of shellfish are packed with zinc. Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.


Keep in mind that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet:

  • 11 mg for adult men

  • 8 mg for most adult women

Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.



9. Spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamin C, has numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients.



10. Brocolli

Broccoli is packed with nutrients to support your immune system. One cup of broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange. High in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron, together, these vitamins and minerals help boost the immune system.

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