Immune-Boosting Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Even before COVID-19 took center stage, I always wanted to keep my immune system in peak shape, especially during cold and flu seasons.

During these times, I increase my intake of vitamins in order to keep my immune system going strong, and right now, I think it is especially important to take care of our health.

I would like to note that even if you do eat immune-boosting foods, it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t become sick. But it doesn’t hurt to give your body a little extra TLC.

If you want to give your immune system a boost, reach for these ingredients next time you’re at the grocery store.

1. Turmeric 

Turmeric is probably one of the most well-known anti-inflammatory ingredients. In a Healthline article, Kris Gunnars notes that curcumin is the main active ingredient in the yellow spice, which gives turmeric its strong antioxidant properties.

From lowering the risk of heart disease to improving the effects of arthritis, this is an important spice with many medicinal properties. You can intake turmeric through food or through a supplement, the choice is up to you.

Gunnars notes that if you want to experience the full anti-inflammatory benefits of the spice, “You need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.”

2. Citrus Fruits 

During flu season, you will most likely see me putting a packet of Emergen-C into a glass of water every day, and that’s because it includes Vitamin C, a vitamin that is known to help increase the production of white blood cells that help fight infection.

Emergen-C is my on-the-go fix for vitamin C, but if you have the ingredients, I recommend getting Vitamin C through citrus fruits. 

Eat a grapefruit for breakfast, have an orange as a snack, or put slices of lemon in your water. These are all great ways to up your vitamin C levels to the daily recommended amount, which, according to this Healthline article, is between 75 to 90 milligrams for adults. 

3. Green Vegetables 

Do you remember when your parents used to tell you to eat your vegetables? Well, they were on to something. Vegetables, specifically green vegetables, are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

From kale to broccoli to spinach, you have many options to choose from. Eat vegetables every day and your body will thank you in the long run, especially when the cold season hits.

4. Garlic 

This ingredient shouldn’t be too difficult to incorporate into your diet as it seems that we use garlic in almost every dish. Garlic is not only a delicious addition to any meal, but it is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

It is known to help reduce the severity and length of a cold and give your immune system a little boost. So, next time you feel a cold coming on, be more intentional and add garlic to your meals. 

5. Ginger 

I consider ginger a Super-food, because it’s known for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is particularly good for treating any form of nausea or sickness, such as morning sickness.

In addition, it contains a bioactive ingredient that helps fight bacteria and infection, which is why ginger shots have become so popular in the juice community. 

You can do what pressed juice companies do and take a ginger juice shot every day to ward off the flu. Or you can always just add it to a cooked meal for a little extra zing.

6. Almonds

In a Healthline article, Joe Leech notes that almonds are full of antioxidants and the most powerful of those antioxidants are concentrated in the skin of an almond. They are also one of the best sources of Vitamin E. So if you’re going to eat almonds, make sure you eat them whole if you can.

If you are looking for a healthy snack to swap for your daily chips, I think almonds may be exactly what you are looking for this season.

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As we head into the colder seasons, it’s important that we keep our bodies healthy so they’re in good shape to fight off any sickness that may come our way. Stock up on these foods and experiment with fun ways to incorporate them in your diet. Your body will thank you.

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