The best way to keep your body in top shape is to look after your immune system. We’ve put together a list of ten healthy foods that can help you give your immune system the boost it needs.
A staple in many curries, turmeric also has some hidden health benefits. This yellow spice has been used for years as an anti-inflammatory for chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, and research shows that it can also help to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage. Great if you want to work on those gains!
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes are packed full of vitamin C. But why is that a good thing? Vitamin C helps your body to build up the white blood cells you have in your immune system, which are key to fighting infections. Your body isn’t able to produce or store this key vitamin, so it’s important to get a daily dose of it to stay healthy.
Red bell peppers
Oranges and grapefruits aren’t the only foods to be packed full of vitamin C. Red peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as any citrus fruit, as well as being a great source of beta carotene. Did you know that vitamin C is also great for maintaining healthy skin?
Another staple in many curries and desserts, ginger is a fantastic food to help decrease inflammation, and to help with nausea. As well as being an antioxidant, ginger has antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Chicken isn’t only an excellent source of protein – by eating this meat, you’ll be stocking up on vitamin B-6. This important vitamin helps to slow the movement of white blood cells in the body, which fight inflammation during colds by producing mucus. Vitamin B-6 will help to prevent a build-up of mucus, and it’s vital for creating new and healthy red blood cells.
Certain shellfish – crab, lobster, mussels, clams – are packed full of zinc, which is an essential mineral for maintaining a healthy immune system. The recommended daily amount of zinc is 11mg for men, and 8mg for women – anything more than that a day could actually inhibit your immune system.
This fantastic fungus is a great way to get your dosage of B vitamins and selenium; essential vitamins and minerals for keeping your immune system in top shape.
Not a fan of oranges? Watermelon is another fantastic fruit to help you get your vitamin C. They’ll also be a great way to get your dose of vitamin A and potassium, and will have a minimal amount of calories to boot.
Another great food for boosting your immune system is yoghurt. Opt for plain yoghurts, such as Greek yoghurt, that have live and active cultures. These will help your body to fight diseases, and give your immune system the boost it needs.
This super green vegetable is packed full of vitamin C as well as numerous antioxidants. Spinach will be more beneficial if it’s cooked as little as possible, as this will help to retain those wonderful nutrients.
Are there any of your favourite immune-boosting foods that you think we’ve missed off our list? Let us know about them over on our Facebook page.
Lead image source: Voloshin311 via Getty Images.