With the threat of the coronavirus affecting the world right now, staying healthy has never been so important. But while hand-washing, regular exercise and getting enough rest is crucial, did you know what you eat can also help keep your immune system strong? Here are ten immune-boosting foods to incorporate into your diet:
This superfood is packed with Vitamins A, C and E, not to mention antioxidants and fiber. Eat it raw or cooked -- both forms pack a powerful immune-boosting punch.
Red Bell Peppers
Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice the Vitamin C that citrus fruits have. They're also a rich source of beta carotene -- both of which help boost your immune system.
One of the most recent spices to be crowned a superfood, turmeric is a rich yellow powder often used in curry dishes. It’s high in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory that is known to relieve the body of toxins.
Next to turmeric, ginger is one of the world’s most potent disease-fighting spices. With its high levels of vitamin C, magnesium and other minerals, it’s known to stimulate circulation and helps keep the sinuses and lungs clear of mucus. In addition, it is also known to decrease inflammation, as well as nausea.
Cinnamon is one of the most potent antioxidants in the world. Adding it to a teaspoon of raw honey is known to knock out a cold within a day or two. You can also add this spice to virtually anything, such as your breakfast cereal, coffee or tea.
Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which helps decrease the strength of the cold and flu virus in the body, reduce phlegm and helps fight throat infections, thanks to their antibacterial property.
Green tea leaves contain six types of antioxidants called catechins, which have been shown to inhibit the activity of the common cold, as well as certain influenza viruses. Green tea compounds also help protect tissues from infection and boost immune response to infectious agents, making this food a no-brainer this cold season. In addition, green tea is also a good source of the amino acid, L-theanine, which may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.
The vitamin C content of citrus fruits have long made them a great choice when battling a cold. However, grapefruits stand out among the group, thanks to being relatively low in sugar – which is important since sugar deteriorates the functioning of the immune system and makes the body more prone to infections.
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties, and proponents swear by it to alleviate symptoms when hit by the cold or flu. Plus, it contains allicin, a powerful immune-boosting antibacterial that is released after garlic is crushed.
Kiwis are naturally packed with essential nutrients, such as folate, potassium, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cell counts which fight infection, while kiwi's other nutrients help keep the rest of the body functioning properly.
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