Nowadays, we are all looking for ways to boost our immunity. One of the best ways to stay healthy and enhance your immune system is to maintain a nutritious diet.
Our immune system is your body’s version of an army ready to defend your health. In general, the immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins that work together to fight anything that invades the body, and as a result, they create antibodies to fight infections, disease, or any recovery from injury.
Healthy immune systems rely on regular nourishment. However, not one food or supplement can boost an immune system on its own, so it’s a matter of eating a balanced diet and getting a combination and variety of foods to support those organs, cells, tissue, etc so that it can do its job.
So when it comes to incorporating foods to help support the functions of your immune system, you want to incorporate a combination from several food groups such as protein sources, fruit, and vegetable sources that provide large amounts of nutrients such as vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E.
Now it may seem overwhelming knowing which foods to eat, however, many foods are readily available in many grocery stores. Keep it simple by building a healthy plate with a variety of colors and ingredients.
Simple Immune-Boosting Foods to Add to Everyday Meals
Foods With Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known to be the biggest immune system booster. It helps with the growth and repair of cells.
- Fruit: oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries-adds tangy, acidic, and citrus flavors
- Vegetables: bell peppers, spinach, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts-adds crunch (raw version can add crunchy textures we all love in our meals, and roasted veggies bring savory flavors)
Foods With Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is known to support biochemical reactions such as increasing antibody production.
- Protein: chicken, coldwater fish, such as salmon and tuna, eggs (note fatty fish also have omega 3 which helps enhance immune cells, and also the activity of white blood cells)
- Vegetables: green vegetables, chickpeas
Foods With Vitamin E
- Nuts: almonds, peanuts, hazelnut,
- Seeds: sunflower seeds, pinenuts
- Vegetables: spinach, red sweet pepper, beet greens
- Fruit: avocado, mango, kiwi, blackberries, pomegranates
Hydration also helps boost the immune system
Staying hydrated helps eliminate toxins and waste that can cause infection. Water helps distribute nutrients throughout the body and helps flush out toxins. Not staying hydrated can also diminish energy levels which can lead to a weakened immune system. Try hydrating foods such as cucumbers, celery, and watermelon.
Spices and herbs also have health benefits
Spices and herbs add flavor to your meals, but they also help contribute to overall immunity.
- Garlic-it can act as antiseptic and antifungal to fight infections
- Ginger, turmeric, and paprika can act as antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties
Our immune system is highly dependent on the nutrients in our bodies. Incorporating a variety of foods is the key to proper nutrition. Keep in mind that you can’t just eat one strawberry and expect a quick burst of Vitamin C to prevent a cold. Eating just one of these ingredients won’t be enough to help fight off infections. There are also many other vitamins and minerals that can contribute to a healthy system, however, these are simple ingredients that you can start incorporating today.
Building a healthy immune system depends on a balanced healthy diet over time. However, many of these food items can not only enhance the flavor of your meals, but when used in combination and variety, and consumed consistently, it could definitely help boost the immune system over time.
Here are some ways you can incorporate these foods into your meals: