Top 8 List Of Immune Boosting Foods You’ll Need This Winter

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

It’s that time of year again! We’re deep into cold season, and before you know it, you could be struck down by a cold or flu. While there are flu shots and fancy multivitamins, the best defense against disease is a strong immune system, and the best way to build one is by eating nutritious whole foods. That’s why we have composed a list of delicious edible allies to keep you healthy and disease-free this winter. Read up, eat up, and stay healthy.

 

1. Citrus fruits

You knew this was coming! Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, cumquats, clementines, and tangerines should be your first stop for stocking up on immune-boosting foods. This is because citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, a key antioxidant and one of the essential ingredients for strengthening your immune system. Extra credit assignment: Try a pumelo. It’s a like a larger version of a grapefruit with a more irregular shape and a delicate taste. It will definitely raise a few eyebrows if you serve one at the breakfast table.

 

2. Mushrooms—specifically, button mushrooms

This common and inexpensive fungus is commonly served in salads and packs a surprising amount of immune-boosting goodness. Button mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins like niacin and riboflavin. B vitamins help give you energy and strengthen the immune system as well.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

3. Broccoli 

Broccoli is one of the healthiest things you can eat. This lean, mean superfood is filled with vitamins A, C, E and more, and it is filled with antioxidants. There is evidence suggesting that eating fresh broccoli regularly can even reduce your risks of developing cancer. Broccoli is also a very versatile food that makes a great addition to many dishes, so if you don’t care for the taste, there are a lot of ways to get around that and still enjoy the health benefits of this amazing vegetable.

 

4. Leafy green vegetables

You probably heard as a kid that eating spinach would make you super strong like Popeye. While veggies certainly won’t produce steroid-like muscle growth, there is no doubt that consuming cruciferous (leafy green) veggies on a regular basis is one of the best diet choices you can make. Vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale, collard greens, cabbage, and arugula are rich in vitamins A and C, and also offer a decent amount of calcium.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

5. Sunflower seeds

These are commonly sold as snacks in gas stations and convenience stores. But unlike most snack foods, sunflower seeds offer quite a lot of nutritional value, including vitamin B-6 for energy, and also vitamin E, which helps strengthen and maintain the immune system. Sunflower seeds also contain minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus.

 

6. Yogurt

Yogurt contains beneficial probiotics which help digest food properly, so you can reap the maximum amount of benefits from their nutritional content. It also offers a fair amount of protein and calcium, which never hurts. One other benefit of eating yogurt is that it often has vitamin D. This is usually added in during the manufacturing process rather than naturally occurring, but it is still beneficial, because vitamin D helps strengthen the immune system. Many people are deficient in vitamin D due to poor diet or lack of sun exposure, but do not realize it. This is especially important because during the winter months, the skies are often cloudy and there is less sunlight than other times of the year (sun exposure triggers natural vitamin D synthesis in the body).

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

7. Garlic

Garlic is one of the few so-called “superfoods” that is truly worthy of the term. Numerous studies have proved that garlic is one the healthiest foods you can eat and has numerous benefits which make your immune system stronger. It also helps lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health, and some research even shows it can effectively fight against heavy metal toxicity.

 

8. Berries

Berries are another essential fruit for maintaining a strong immune system. Blueberries, blackberries, black currants, raspberries, and more all contain plenty of immune boosting vitamins, as well as antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which help protect the body from oxidative stress.

 

READ ALSO: Does Music Boost Your Immune System?

 

The bottom line is that the fuel you put into your body determines how well your body runs. It’s no different than choosing to put a higher-grade fuel into your car’s engine. Incorporate the foods listed here into your diet to make sure your immune system stays in top working order this winter, and you stand a much high chance of staying cold- and flu-free.

References:

www.niaid.nih.gov

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov