The immune system is important in fighting off viruses and keeping us healthy. Taking vitamins and supplements can help boost your immune system, but there are also natural ways that can help. Eating foods high in vitamins and nutrients not only helps your overall health, but can help the immune system to reach tip top shape and lower your chances of developing a severe flu or cold. Below are a few foods to add to your diet to help keep your immune system strong:
Garlic has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes because of its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic can easily be added to dishes for lunch or dinner. If you are someone who dislikes the taste of garlic, there are supplements you can take to make it easier to take advantage of the amazing properties it contains.
If you are taking an antibiotic when you’re sick, it destroys ALL bacteria- including the good bacteria found in the gut. These good bacteria are important in the food breakdown and nutrients distributed throughout the body. Probiotics like yogurt contain live cultures which can raise the white blood cell count, an essential part of the immune system. White blood cells are responsible for searching for and defeating the bad bacteria and viruses. To get the benefits of probiotics, you can eat a daily serving of yogurt. Try to avoid yogurts with a high sugar content to get the most of its benefits. There are also plenty of probiotic supplements to choose from if you are lactose intolerant.
Protein contains an important property called zinc. Zinc is important for the production of white blood cells that help the immune system. You can find zinc supplements in pharmacies everywhere. Even a mild zinc deficiency can reduce immune system efficiency. To get zinc properties through protein, you can simply increase your meat intake, add protein powders to your smoothies, and it can even be found in certain veggies and beans. Try to add a serving of protein to your meals each day for optimal results.
Broccoli contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals. With vitamin A, C, and E, fiber, and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the best vegetables you can choose to reach your health goals. Research has shown that steaming broccoli is the preferred way to keep most of its nutrients intact. Try adding a serving of broccoli to your dinner once or twice a week.
Vitamin C is one of the first things people turn to when they catch a cold or flu. Vitamin C helps increase the production of white blood cells, which is important to fighting infections and viruses. Most citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C, so for your next snack, try eating an orange, grapefruit, or tangerine to get a dose of Vitamin C.