Americans are facing a triple whammy this winter flu season with rampant exposure to influenza, COVID, and RSV, not to mention the common cold!
Now more than ever, it’s important to keep your immune system healthy and strong.
Here are seven immune-boosting foods you should add to your diet right now!
- Citrus Fruits – Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and tangerines are loaded with vitamin C, Vitamin C a super powerful antioxidant that can decrease inflammation, boost immunity, protect memory and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Nuts, Seeds, and Leafy Greens – Seeds, nuts, and leafy greens like spinach and kale are an excellent source of vitamin E. This essential nutrient can help grow the white blood cells that help your body fight off infection. An added benefit is that vitamin E can help you avoid dry skin in the colder months.
- Yogurt and Kefir – Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchee provide for balanced gut health and give a probiotic boost to your immune system. Eating these foods helps you maintain good gut bacteria and lessen bad bacteria that can make you sick. Regularly taking probiotics also can reduce the severity and length of illness if you do catch a cold or the flu.
- Green Tea – Green tea has long been known for its antiaging properties. It contains powerful antioxidants and a compound known as Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve metabolism as well as boost the body’s immune response.
- Garlic – This pungent spice contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. In one study, British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; the garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.
- Chicken Soup – Everything you have heard about chicken soup helping to fight colds and flu is 100% true! One study found that consuming chicken soup reduces inflammation, particularly in the lungs. The amino acid cysteine, released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine, which may explain these results. The soup’s salty broth also keeps mucus thin, the same way that cough medicines do. Added spices, such as garlic and onions, can increase the soup’s immune-boosting power.
- Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are filled with vitamin A and beta carotenes, which are major immune boosters. Vitamin A also promotes healthy skin, your body’s first line of defense against invading bacteria and other pathogens.