Fueling your body with healthy, fresh foods is vital for adequate energy, muscle repair, and also to support your immune system. A strong immune system is able to effectively protect you from virus, infections, bacteria, and also to prevent cold, flu and disease. While no one certain food can completely prevent a disease or illness from developing, the following foods (and vitamins and minerals within them) are considered potent immune system boosters:
Garlic has a rep as a powerful superfood for good reason. This potent bulb gives spaghetti sauces, soups, and roasted meats and vegetables a tangy flavor, but it’s also your number one ally in infection fighting. Garlic’s immuno-magic comes from allicin, a sulphur containing compound, which not only wards off disease, but also lowers hypertension and protects heart health.
These little green trees are so chocked full of minerals, fiber, and vitamins E, C, and A that broccoli deserves far more credit than it’s reputed for. Plus, broccoli contains antioxidants, which help to support cells and prevent chronic diseases, like cancer. The key is to steam broccoli lightly, as keeping this veggie intact is the best way to consume all of its nutrients.
3. Red bell peppers
Many folks reach for vitamin C rich citrus fruits when battling a cold. However, did you know that a mere one ounce of chopped red bell peppers harbors triple the vitamin C compared to a medium sized orange? Also loaded with beta carotene, which helps the body produce vitamin A for healthy skin and vision, red bell peppers are easily incorporated into soups, sauces, and stir fries.
4. Citrus fruits
When you think of battling a cold, vitamin C is one of the first vitamins that comes to mind. Vitamin C is a powerful immune booster in that it heightens the production of whistle blood cells, the very cells that protect the body from infection. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines, and clementines are rich in vitamin C. However, keep in mind that you need to consume foods and supplements rich in vitamin C regularly as the body does not store this vitamin. Top up your daily vitamin C levels by incorporating a squeeze of lemon or lime into your morning water. Recommended vitamin C levels are 90 milligrams per day for males, and 75 milligrams per day for females, according to health professionals.