Keeping your immune system strong is the best way to fight off potential nasties like the flu and colds. We all know that eating a healthy, balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy immune system. However, some foods are naturally higher in immune system-building vitamins. It is good to implement at least some of these into your diet, as they might just give you the boost you need when your body is a bit run down. Let’s take a closer look at some of these superfoods below.
Used as a key ingredient in many curries, turmeric is a bright yellow, bitter spice. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric contains high concentrations of curcumin, which is what gives it that very distinctive yellow color. Curcumin is also known for decreasing muscular damage after intense periods of exercise. Research indicates that it can serve as a strong immune booster and perhaps even the basics of an antiviral.
Not only are kiwis a natural antacid, but they are also packed full of a ton of essential nutrients such as potassium, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Vitamin C is known to boost white blood cells in the system in order to fight infections. The other nutrients known to be found in kiwis help keep our bodies functioning properly.
This one probably isn’t what comes to many people’s minds when thinking about foods that can boost their immune systems, but shellfish are packed full of zinc. Zinc is what our bodies need in order for our immune system cells to function as they were intended to. Shellfish with the highest zinc concentrations include oysters, lobsters, mussels, and crab. However, it is important that you don’t overdo it and have too much zinc in your system, as this can inhibit the function of your immune system. The recommended daily amount of zinc for women is 8mg per day and 11mg for men.
While it is common knowledge that vitamin C is an excellent tool for fighting off and preventing colds, vitamin E is lesser-known but is key to a healthy, strong immune system. It is filled with antioxidants and is fat-soluble. Vitamin E can be found in almonds and other nuts. The recommended daily intake of vitamin E for grownups is 15mg per day. Roughly half a cup of shelled almonds will provide 100% of the recommended daily amount and they are easy to snack on while we play the smartphone games we love.
Not only is spinach rich in vitamin C, but it is also packed full of antioxidants and beta carotene, which helps improve our bodies’ infection-fighting abilities. Similar to many other vegetables including broccoli, it is best to cook spinach as little as possible so as to help it retain its nutrients. However, by cooking spinach very lightly, it makes it easier for the body to absorb vitamin A. Vitamin A is also known as retinol and has several important functions, including boosting the body’s natural defense against infections and helping our eyes better see in dim lighting.