Between fighting infection, defending against disease and destroying harmful pathogens, your immune system is constantly working. However, there are some steps you can take to keep your immune system performing at its best! If your immune system needs a little boost, try eating one of these 15 immune system strengthening foods.
- Acai Berries. Acai berries are high in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help fight against aging and disease.
- Elderberries. Elderberries have been thought to help block flu viruses from infecting the body. They’re also rich in antioxidants and may fight against inflammation.
- Grapefruit. Grapefruit contains vitamin C, which contains properties that may aid in the treatment of cold and flu. It’s also packed with flavonoids which increase immune system activation.
- Watermelon. This fruit contains an antioxidant called glutathione, which helps strengthen the immune system by fighting infections, preventing cancer and recycling antioxidants.
- Cabbage. Cabbage contains glutamine which strengthens the immune system and may help protect your body against cancer.
- Spinach. Rich in folate, spinach helps to repair DNA and produce new cells. It also contains fiber, which helps with healing, antioxidants that repair damaged cells, vitamin C and more.
- Button mushrooms. Mushrooms contain the mineral selenium, which has been known to decrease the chance of flu. They also contain antioxidants and the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin. Mushrooms are considered to be antiviral, antibacterial and antitumor.
- Broccoli. Broccoli, which contains vitamin A, helps slow the aging process and reduce the risk of cancer. It also treats cold and flu with vitamin C, and glutathione helps to strengthen the immune system.
- Sweet potato. The antioxidant beta-carotene found in the sweet potato mops up damaging free radicals, while vitamin A slows down the aging process and reduces the risk of cancer.
- Garlic. Garlic contains many cell-repairing antioxidants, and also battles the bacteria H. pylori which cause ulcers and stomach cancer.
- Wheat germ. Wheat germ contains many immune-boosting components. Zinc helps with the healing process, B vitamins stimulate immune cells that destroy pathogens, and fiber helps make cells anti-inflammatory. In addition, wheat germ contains many antioxidants and is a great source of protein and good fat.
- Almonds. ¼ cup of almonds contains about 50% of the daily recommended serving of vitamin E, which helps boost the immune system. Almonds also contain the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, which reduces stress.
- Oysters. High in zinc, oysters have an antiviral effect and are important to several immune tasks like healing wounds.
- Low fat yogurt. Aside from containing vitamin D, which prevents and treats inflammation, yogurt from “live and active cultures” may stimulate the immune system.
- Tea. Both black and green teas contain disease fighting polyphenols and flavonoids that seek out and destroy cell damaging free radicals.
Eating well is important, even if you already have a healthy immune system. It’s also important to exercise regularly and get the proper amount of sleep, both of which also help to boost immunity. For more information about how to keep your immune system in tip-top shape, check out this post or talk to your doctor.