Learn how healthy meals can help boost your body’s natural immunity
After more than a year with quarantine procedures in effect, it looks like life is starting to get back to normal for many people—which means our natural immune systems need to get back into gear. Public spaces are opening up, people are going places, and fewer people are wearing masks. So, regardless of what happens with Covid, all of this translates into more people catching colds and flu viruses … and possibly spreading these germs around.
The good news is that whether you are immunosuppressed or just want to stay as healthy as possible, there are foods you can eat to assist your natural immune defenses.
These immune-system boosting foods can be included in our chef-prepared meals or dishes you make at home. Either way, be sure to work your way through and enjoy this list of healthy ingredients to enhance your body’s natural defenses.
Fruits And Vegetables That Boost Your Immune System
- Citrus fruits – high in vitamin C, which boosts your immune system by promoting production of white blood cells.
- Red bell peppers – a good source of both vitamin C and vitamin A, which helps regulate the immune system.
- Broccoli – great for vitamin C and sulforaphane glucosinolate, a toxin neutralizer.
- Spinach – another trove of vitamin C, as well as infection-fighting beta carotene.
- Papaya – a tasty way to get both vitamins C and A.
- Kiwi – good for vitamin C.
- Watermelon – high in vitamins A and C, and a good source for vitamin B6, another immune system friend.
- Pomegranate – fantastic for vitamins C and E (another immune-boosting nutrient). What’s more, scientists are studying pomegranates for their antibacterial and antiviral effects on common infections and viruses.
- Sweet potato – a delicious repository of both vitamin A and beta carotene.
- White button mushrooms – technically a fungus, these mushrooms may promote immune function by increasing production of antiviral and other proteins released by cells while seeking to protect and repair tissue.
Many of these fruits and vegetables are also high in antioxidants and dietary fiber, both of which support a healthy immune system.
Other Foods That Boost Your Immune System
Strengthening your body’s immunity isn’t solely the work of fruits and vegetables. These other foods build up your defenses as well.
- Yogurt – the probiotics in yogurt help stimulate the immune system.
- Almonds – these nuts are high in vitamin E, which protects your body’s cells from damage.
- Sunflower seeds – a good source of both zinc, which helps maintain and develop immune cells, and Selenium, which fights infection.
- Garlic – this plant may help the body resist or destroy viruses and other microorganisms.
- Ginger – this flavoring can enhance your body’s immune response.
- Turmeric – this spice is a potent immunomodulatory agent, meaning it can activate the immune system.
- Miso – another good source for probiotics.
- Wheat germ – high in vitamin E, zinc, and dietary fiber.
- Tea – white, green, and black tea all have disease-fighting antioxidants.
- Shellfish – great for zinc and antioxidants.
- Poultry – a delicious source of vitamins A, B6, and C. And that means yes, our mothers were indeed right about having a bowl of chicken soup.
Other Healthy Habits To Boost Your Immune System
Keep in mind that a healthy diet isn’t the only component of an immune system that operates optimally. The experts at Harvard Medical School remind us that a healthy lifestyle is your first line of defense. They recommend the following steps to keep your immune system—and your entire body for that matter—functioning properly:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Try to minimize stress.
- Keep current with all recommended vaccines. Vaccines prime your immune system to fight off infections before they take hold in your body.
Want to eat better but need help? In the Miami area, look to The Pickled Beet for delicious, healthy meals custom-prepared with the freshest ingredients. We work with individuals, couples, and families to find meals that are tasty, nutritious, and best fuel the body no matter what dietary requirements might be part of the equation. We offer no-contact deliveries to your home. Contact us for a free consultation.