Your immune system is a complex network that helps your body fight off infections by deciphering between normal, healthy cells and unhealthy ones. Keeping your immune system healthy primarily involves leading a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, adequate sleep and minimal stress. A healthy lifestyle also includes eating an immune-boosting diet.
15 Foods to Boost Your Immune System
By simply incorporating specific foods into your diet, you’re helping to boost your immune system and keep your body healthy and able to fight off infections. Not sure where to start? Here are 15 immune system booster foods to try:
- Almonds. Almonds contain vitamin E, which can help to boost your immune system. A daily recommended intake of vitamin E is 15 mg, and a half-cup serving of almonds offers around 100 percent of the recommended daily amount.
- Broccoli. Broccoli is filled with vitamins and minerals and is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. In order to maintain the highest level of nutrients, it’s recommended to prepare this dish by steaming.
- Button Mushrooms. Button mushrooms are the most common variety of mushrooms and can be found in any grocery store. These contain riboflavin and niacin, both vitamins that play a role in a healthy immune system.
- Chicken. There’s a reason chicken noodle soup is the ultimate comfort meal while you’re feeling ill. And, it turns out, each of the soup’s ingredients plays a powerful role in immune health. Chicken, for example, is high in vitamin B-6, which is vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.
- Citrus Fruits. Citrus fruits are not a surprising addition to this list, since we typically turn toward vitamin C when we have a cold. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes.
- Dark Chocolate. Use this as an excuse to indulge in your favorite treat! While dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation due to high calories and saturated fat, it also contains an antioxidant called theobromine that may help to protect the body’s cells from free radicals.
- Garlic. Garlic is a common home remedy when it comes to fighting colds and illnesses – and, it turns out, it does help! Garlic contains compounds called allicin that help encourage the immune system to fight germs.
- Ginger. Whether added to a beverage or as flavor to a meal, ginger may help decrease inflammation and is an antioxidant.
- Green Tea. This warm beverage contains flavonoids, an antioxidant which may reduce your risk of getting a cold. Green tea is also low in caffeine, making it a perfect afternoon pick-me-up without overwhelming yourself.
- Low-Fat Yogurt. The key to finding yogurt that offers immune boosting properties is to choose those with a label stating, “live and active cultures,” like Greek yogurt. The cultures present in the yogurt may help your immune system to fight diseases.
- Red Bell Peppers. Red bell peppers offer vitamin C without added sugars like those found in most fruits. In order to preserve the greatest amount of nutrients possible, it’s recommended to prepare these peppers by either stir-frying or roasting.
- Shellfish. Shellfish may not be the first kind of food that you think of when it comes to immune health. However, some types of shellfish are packed with zinc, which helps our immune cells function as they should. Shellfish that are high in zinc include crab, lobster, oysters and mussels.
- Spinach. This leafy green is packed with many essential nutrients and vitamins, including vitamins C and E, which help to boost your immune system.
- Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant that is a source of vitamin A.
- Watermelon. Watermelon is rich in water, which helps your body stay properly hydrated. Proper hydration is important to a healthy immune system since water helps produce lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune cells throughout your body.
Discover Delicious, Nutritious Dining at Ventana by Buckner
Members at Ventana by Buckner are able to enjoy healthy, delicious meals right within the community. Every aspect of Ventana by Buckner elevates what our members expect from luxury senior living, and the diverse range of culinary and dining expectations of our members are no exception. Five dining and drink concept establishments developed by celebrated restaurateur Stephan Pyles are offered onsite, each with unique breakfast, lunch, dinner and specialty drink menus. This selection caters to the health needs of senior adults, while also providing the acclaimed dining experience Pyles’ legacy is built around. We’d love to invite you to visit Ventana by Buckner for a meal! You can click on this link to schedule your personal tour of our community. If you’d like to schedule an information session, apply for residence or simply ask our team some questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’re always available to assist in researching and evaluating your options.