A strong immune system is supported by eating nutritious foods. To give your body extra protection, eat foods that provide protein, probiotics, and vitamins for a well-balanced diet! Keep reading for examples of nutritious foods to include in your meals to boost your immune system.
Vitamin A, an antioxidant vitamin, protects against infections by keeping the tissues within the mouth, stomach, and respiratory systems strong. Foods that provide vitamin A include:
• Sweet potatoes
• Milk fortified with vitamins A & D
• Red bell peppers
Your body does not naturally produce vitamin C, so it is important to eat foods that provide it. This vitamin is an antioxidant, which helps your body fight against diseases. It is also essential for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body. Vitamin C can be found in a variety foods, mainly fruits and vegetables. These foods can be eaten raw or cooked, but they lose vitamin C when heated or stored for a long period of time.
• Citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines, and clementines
• Bell peppers
• Brussels sprouts
Vitamin E is another antioxidant that supports overall immune function. To improve your vitamin E intake, try adding these foods into your diet!
• Sunflower seeds
• Peanuts and peanut butter
• Vegetable oils
Zinc is a mineral that also plays a role in immune function and healing. Animal sources provide the most zinc, but there are vegetarian options as well.
• Meats, such as beef, pork, and chicken
• Seafood, including oysters, crab, and lobster
• Pumpkin seeds
• Low fat yogurt
• Beans and chickpeas
• Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds
• Fortified breakfast cereal
Protein can be found in both plant and animal sources. Eating foods like low fat dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, beef, pork, fish, and chicken will strengthen your body and help heal and recover from sickness.
Your body needs “good” bacteria which is found within cultured dairy products like yogurt or kefir. If possible, choose plain yogurt instead of the kinds that are flavored and contain a lot of added sugar. You can sweeten them on your own with fresh fruit and a small amount of honey.
Variety is the Spice of Life
It’s also very important to have variety when eating to boost your immune system. Keep in mind that the foods in this list are only examples, and other healthy foods should be included for a well-balanced diet to provide the most benefit.