A strong immune system can help keep you free of colds, flu and other illness. However, a weak immunity may be caused by stress, poor diet or lack of exercise.
If you want to boost your immunity, it is essential to eliminate or limit toxins such as alcohol and sugar and increase intake of foods that provide essential nutrients like vitamins C and D, B-vitamins, zinc, selenium and antioxidants.
Dark leafy greens, berries and nuts are some of the most beneficial immune-boosting foods. They contain high amounts of vitamins C, K and B6, as well as potassium and folate – all essential for a strong immunity system.
Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which plays a vital role in the body’s natural defenses against viruses and bacteria. Furthermore, they boast high amounts of antioxidants and fiber – both of which nourish the beneficial bacteria found in your gut.
Broccoli is packed with antioxidants, such as the phytochemical sulforaphane. Additionally, it supplies plenty of B-vitamins and calcium which support a healthy immune system and also reduce risk of cancer.
Carrots, kale, spinach and collard greens are excellent sources of vitamin C to strengthen your immunity against infections. Furthermore, these vegetables contain high amounts of magnesium – an anti-inflammatory nutrient that has a powerful effect on the body.
Apples are an excellent superfood to support your immune system. They contain quercetin, an anti-inflammatory compound which shields immune cells from damage and strengthens defenses against infection. Furthermore, apples contain fiber which encourages a healthy gut microbiome and keeps stomach acid stable.
Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, which are crucial for maintaining your immune system’s health. Plus, this creamy, tangy food is packed with calcium and vitamin K.
Nuts are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and protein that you can incorporate into your daily diet for added nutritional benefit. Furthermore, they’re packed with magnesium which helps your body keep a balanced level of acids while preventing muscle cramps and fatigue.
Other immune-boosting foods include pumpkin, sweet potatoes and pomegranates. They’re packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene – two antioxidants that aid in fighting off disease.
Turmeric, the vibrant yellow powder used in many Asian curries, can be an effective immune booster. It contains high amounts of antioxidants like ursolic acid and hesperidin, plus it contains sulforaphane which may reduce inflammation within your body.
Mushrooms such as shiitake and reishi mushrooms have immune-enhancing properties. They increase your body’s production of natural killer (NK) and Cytotoxic T cells – helpful in fighting viruses and cancer – while also helping regulate blood pressure levels.
To improve immunity, eat more plant-based foods, avoid ultra-processed or refined items and ensure you get enough vitamin C, D, A and zinc from whole unprocessed fresh foods. These vital nutrients can be found in abundance when eating fresh produce at their purest form.