Giving your immune system a boost this winter doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as incorporating a few new healthy additions into your diet. Arm yourself up against the bugs and viruses that are so prevalent over winter with some or ALL of these mighty immune super-chargers!
Mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses, boasting riboflavin and niacin (B vitamins), which help to maintain a thriving immune system. They contain mineral selenium, which is linked to increased risk of developing severe flus. Studies have revealed that mushrooms increase the production and strength of white blood cells, which are necessary when it comes to fighting infections. Look for shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms, the most powerful for immunity of the bunch!
This “super food” is bursting with immune boosting nutrients such as iron, vitamin C, fiber and folate, which encourages your body to produce new cells and repair DNA.
Sweet potatoes do double duty for immunity boosting. They possess beta-carotene, an antioxidant which helps to remove damaging free radicals from the body. Sweet potatoes are also one of the best foods sources to get more vitamin A in your system, which is linked to slowing aging.
Shellfish such as oysters, crabs, lobsters, and clams boast selenium, which aids white blood cells in producing proteins that help the body to eliminate flu viruses.
Besides being a natural hydrator, fresh watermelon is packed with glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. Glutathione helps to boost the immune system so it can take on infections.
Not only loaded with vitamin C, grapefruits are full of natural chemical compounds, known as flavonoids that are linked to immune system activation.
A ¼ cup of almonds contain almost 50% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin E, which helps to boost the immune system. Riboflavin and niacin (vitamin B) are also found in almonds and these vitamins aid in healthy stress tolerance.
Avocados support healthy adrenal function and the effects of stress on the immune system. They also help with balancing hormone production through their amino acids, antioxidants, and beneficial fats.
Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and lettuce boost the liver’s ability to flush out toxins, thereby increasing liver and immune function.
Dr. Oz’s 14 Immunity Boosters. Retrieved from: http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/boost-your-immunity-naturally
MacMillan, A and Schryver, T. 9 Power Foods that Boost Immunity. Retrieved from: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/power-foods-boost-immunity
Zelman, K. (2014, April 16) 15 Immune Boosting Foods. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods