15 Foods That Boost Your Immune System from 15 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

15 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

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15 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

The chilly months have arrived, which means cold and flu season is right around the corner. Even people who never get sick can easily find themselves coming down with an illness this winter. It’s crucial to take essential steps toward boosting your immune system now, so as to avoid getting sick later.

Related: 11 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System

When the immune system is working properly, all cells, tissues, and organs should be strong enough to fight off infection. Some of the best ways to boost your immune system include exercising regularly, decreasing stress, taking your vitamins, washing your hands frequently, and, most importantly, eating nutritious foods.

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Citrus Fruits

Considering the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits, increasing your consumption has been shown to boost your immune system. They are believed to increase the production of white blood cells, while also helping your body fight off infections.

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Broccoli

Broccoli is packed with nutrients that boost your immune system — vitamin C, vitamin A, and glutathione, to name a few. Glutathione specifically helps increase the body’s ability to fight off illness and infection. By boosting your levels of glutathione, you are preparing your body to deal with infection before it has the chance to take hold and become an issue, glutathionepro.com explains.

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Ginger

Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. It contains tons of vitamins, some of which are magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Ginger helps kill cold viruses and has been said to combat chills and fever. It is also a great detox — ginger root helps relax the intestinal tract and eliminate intestinal gas.

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Almonds

According to a study, eating almonds can help fight off viruses and boost the immune system’s response to infections. Some researchers believe the antiviral activity may be due to polyphenol compounds in the skin.

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Yogurt

Yogurt has numerous health benefits: It’s a great source of probiotics and is beneficial for bone health. But it has also been shown to have immune-boosting properties. According to livestrong.com, studies have shown that the vitamin D content in yogurt may help “increase the body’s ability to express antibacterial proteins.”

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains antioxidants that have been shown to help reduce the risk of disease. As Megan Telpner explains, coconut oil strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

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Green Tea

Increase your immunity and prevent diseases by drinking a cup of green tea daily. Green tea is loaded with polyphenols and flavonoids, both of which are very powerful antioxidants. “Consuming foods and drinks that are high in antioxidants gives our bodies the defense they need from fighting illnesses—like the common cold—and serious diseases—like cancer,” Dash of Wellness explains.

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Garlic

Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which help boost immunity. It “is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. For colds and flus, it also provides decongestant and expectorant effects,” according to The Chalkboard. For health benefits, just peel off the garlic’s “paper,” crush it, and eat it raw.

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Chicken Soup

Fight off your cold with a hearty bowl of chicken soup. Studies have shown that the inflammatory properties of many of chicken soup ingredients reduce congestion, which helps ease the symptoms of the common cold.

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Blueberries

Blueberries have tons of superpowers, they are great for your gut health, and help improve your vision and fight stress. But most importantly, they are high in bioflavonoids — super-antioxidants — that give a powerful boost to the immune system. They help protect against oxidative and free radical damage.

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat various health conditions. They have strong effects on our immune system. They can help boost a weak immune system that is compromised in its ability to fight off infections, or they may also help suppress a strong but misdirected immune system that is causing auto-immune disorders such as arthritis, allergies, and asthma, foodreference.com explains.

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Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has been shown time and time again to be beneficial for health. But what makes it good for the immune system? Dark chocolate is a good source of zinc, which is well-known for its immune-boosting properties. According to Medical News Today, the human body needs zinc because it activates T lymphocytes (T cells). T cells help the body by controlling and regulating immune responses and attacking infected or cancerous cells.

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Cayenne

Cayenne pepper contains the chemical capsicum; it can be used as a stimulant to help build up resistance during the beginning stages of a cold. It is also known to help heal ulcers, treat headaches, aid in digestion, prevent heart disease, and combat chills.

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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene — a carotenoid that converts into vitamin A — which helps boost the immune system and lower the risk for various diseases. This antioxidant helps protect the body from free radicals and may lower your risk for heart disease and cancer.

*Also See: 15 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

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Turmeric

Healthy people always have this food in their kitchen: turmeric. It is full of curcuminoids, a powerful antioxidant that has been known to treat conditions of oxidative stress. It is one of the best supplements for boosting the immune system and treating arthritis pain.

15 Foods That Boost Your Immune System