If you're looking for ways to keep your immune system strong, you should make sure to include these foods in your diet:
1. Ginger: If you've been feeling under the weather, you may turn to Ginger to help speed up the recovery process. Ginger is known to decrease inflammation and nausea. While it's used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin.
2. Spinach: Popeye may have been on to something eating all that spinach. It's packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene and many other antioxidants. It can help boost your immune system and improve how your body is able to fight against infection. It's best to eat spinach raw, as overcooking it can deplete most of its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.
3. Yogurt: When purchasing yogurt, look for those that have live and active cultures, such as Greek yogurt. The cultures in yogurt are probiotics that help support your gut health and immune health. Try to avoid those that are pre-flavored or have lots of sugar. If you want to sweeten the yogurt, get plain Greek yogurt and add some fruit!
4. Almonds: Vitamin C gets all the attention as an immune supporter, but vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant as well, and found in abundance in nuts like almonds. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it needs to be eaten or taken with fat to be absorbed properly. 46 whole, shelled almonds will give you 100% of the vitamin E you need every day2.
5. Green Tea: Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant found in both black and green tea. Green tea contains high levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which is a very powerful antioxidant. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. You will also find high levels of L-theanine in green tea, which helps to boost certain compounds in the T cells that can fight germs.
6. Citrus fruits: Oranges and lemons are rich in vitamin C, a well-known immune booster. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections. Popular citrus fruits include:
Because your body doesn't produce or store vitamin C, you need to eat it or take it regularly. A whole-food vitamin C supplement can help you maintain healthy levels year round.