During cold months, our body needs some immune support. To prevent colds and flu as well as to help us feel at our best during this season, we need to feed our body with certain foods that can keep our immune system strong.
Scroll down to learn more about the foods that we may incorporate into our diet to strengthen our immune response.
Vitamin C is beneficial for a healthy immune system function. It works by accumulating in certain immune cells that help in making up our body’s defensive team.
Increase the body’s level of vitamin C by loading up on foods like broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, tomatoes, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and orange juice.
Garlic is usually used to help treat colds and other illnesses.
It is a common home remedy for the prevention of colds and other illnesses. In one review, researchers have found that the group of participants taking a placebo had more than double the number of colds between them than those taking the garlic supplements. This effect was mainly attributed to the garlic’s allicin content.
This yellow spice is commonly used in cooking and as alternative medicines. Its active component known as curcumin can help improve a person’s immune response. Results of a 2017 review showed that curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Spinach is a superfood that is packed with numerous nutrients. It boasts fiber and antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and flavonoids. Its folate content can help our body make new cells and repair DNA. Simply add raw spinach or lightly cooked to reap most of its benefits.
Research indicates that flavonoids may help to prevent the common cold in otherwise healthy people.
These plum-hued berries have been referred by Hippocrates as a “medicine chest.” For many years, they have been used to support optimal immune system health due to their high levels of antioxidants.
Erin Stokes, ND, registered naturopathic doctor and MegaFood medical director, says:
“The dark purple berries contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that is also found in other deeply pigmented fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, and bilberries.”
Some lab tests have revealed that extract from these berries can help block flu viruses.
Red Bell Pepper
Red bell peppers are loved for their sweet, juicy flavor and bright red color. Red peppers are deliciously stuffed, grilled, or in salads. They are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C for people who are trying to avoid the sugar in fruit. Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. Besides boosting our immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin.
Watermelon is not only refreshing. When it’s ripe, it’s also got plenty of an antioxidant called glutathione which strengthens the immune system so it can fight infection.
Get most of its immune system strengthening ability by eating the red pulpy flesh near the rind.
Green tea has powerful antioxidants known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG which can help enhance immune function. Aside from this, it is also a powerhouse of L-theanine, an amino acid that may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in our T-cells.
We commonly add ginger in a variety of dishes, desserts, and tea. According to experts, this healthy food possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that can help fight off various illnesses.