Eating certain foods just might help keep your immune system strong naturally without the use of supplements. It should be noted, however, that no supplement will cure or prevent disease. The following foods contain vitamins and minerals that help your immune system function as it should, and that’s a good thing.
Citrus fruits: Grapefruit, oranges, lemon and lime contain vitamin C, which is thought to increase white blood cells, which fight infections. Our bodies don’t create or store it, so daily vitamin C is needed for optimum health.
Red bell peppers: These peppers contain almost three times the amount of vitamin C (127 mg) than a Florida orange (45 mg). They also contain beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A that keeps skin and eyes healthy.
Broccoli: Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, in addition to fiber and antioxidants. To get the full nutritional value, eat broccoli raw or steamed.
Ginger: Thought to reduce inflammation, which can help with a sore throat or other inflammatory illnesses. It might even reduce chronic pain and lower cholesterol.
Yogurt: Greek yogurt is especially good for you. Look for the phrase “live and active cultures” on the label. Be sure to get plain yogurt with no added sweeteners. You can enhance the flavor with some fruits and a drizzle of honey. The cultures help with gut health, which is thought to stimulate your immune system. Also, look for yogurt fortified with vitamin D, which is thought to boost your body’s natural defenses.
Poultry: There’s a reason people go for chicken noodle soup when they are sick. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6, which is vital to the production of red blood cells and may lower inflammation. Chicken stock or chicken broth, made by boiling chicken bones, contains many nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.
In general, a diet filled with a variety of whole, healthy foods is the key to a healthy immune system. Be sure you eat plenty of vegetables and lean meats to get the proper nutrients that help your body fight off illnesses. Meal prepping can keep you on track when it comes to a healthy diet. If you prepare your workplace or school lunches in advance, you know exactly what you will get and you have full control over the options.