10 foods to boost your immune system

The following are 10 different foods that are known immune boosters. Try any or all of them and start reaping the benefits these nutritional powerhouses offer your body.

  1. Berries. With a wide variety to choose from, you can’t go wrong adding these little nutrient packed sweet treats to your regular diet. From local blueberries and blackberries to imported goji or açai, these tiny little morsels are packed with vitamins and nutrients to give you a boost you need. Enjoy them in your yogurt or smoothie, or as a less sugary but still sweet option for dessert.
  2. Fish oil. Fish that have high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna or mackerel are known to increase activity among white blood cells, which fight infection. These healthy fats help your immune system and are also good for your heart and brain too.
  3. Leafy greens. Dark vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens are known to have high levels of vitamin C along with antioxidants and beta carotene, all of which help fight infection. They are also good for your heart, brain, and gut.
  4. Nuts and seeds. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts as well as seeds such as sunflower contain several vitamins and minerals (B-6, magnesium, phosphorous or selenium) that help regulate and maintain your immune system. Add them to your salads or enjoy a handful for an energy-boosting healthy snacks.
  5. Spices. In addition to giving your foods some zing, garlic, ginger and turmeric are ancient spices that have long been considered to have immune-boosting properties to fight infection. So don’t be shy when it comes to spicing up your dishes. 
  6. Citrus fruits. Most citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, and limes contain high levels of vitamin C, which is thought to help fight infection by increasing your white blood cells. Whether you eat them whole, or squeeze the juice onto your food, don’t forget to add these tangy fruits to your regular diet.
  7. Poultry. Chicken soup is good for more than the soul. Poultry is high in vitamin B-6, which can reduce inflammation and is needed in the creation of new red blood cells, and zinc, which increases production of white blood cells. So don’t wait until you have a cold to enjoy a warm bowl of comforting goodness. 
  8. Brightly colored vegetables. While we often think of citrus fruits as our source of vitamin C, brightly colored vegetables such as red peppers have even higher levels! The beta carotene in carrots is also good for your immune system, along with your eyes and skin too.
  9. Yogurt. This fermented food with its “live and active cultures” and vitamin D may stimulate your immune system to help fight disease. Look for brands without added sugar and sweeten them naturally with honey or fruit (like berries, for an additional boost). 
  10. Olive oil. A staple in the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is a healthy fat that is good for your heart and brain. It also gives your immune system a boost through its ability to reduce inflammation inyour body.
10 foods to boost your immune system