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Foods to Boost Your Immune System

Caregiver handing woman a healthy salad which is food to boost your immune system

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 foods to boost your immune system.

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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-boosting foods to try:

1. Almonds

Almonds are a great source of nutrients and healthy fats, making them an excellent addition to any diet. They contain protein, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, and powerful antioxidants that help protect against disease and inflammation. Additionally, almonds can help control blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss by promoting a feeling of fullness after eating..

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is high in many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K and folate. It also contains carotenoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, and phytochemicals that may help prevent cancer. Eating broccoli regularly can help boost your overall health and prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. To maintain the highest level of nutrients, it’s recommended to prepare this dish by steaming.

3. Button Mushrooms

Button mushrooms are the most common variety and can be found in any grocery store. These contain riboflavin and niacin, both vitamins that play a role in a healthy immune system.

4. 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 forming new and healthy red blood cells.

5. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are not a surprising addition to this list, since we typically turn toward vitamin C when we have colds. Almost all citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes, are high in vitamin C.

6. Dark Chocolate

Use this as an excuse to indulge in your favorite treat. While dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation due to its high calories and saturated fat, it also contains an antioxidant called theobromine that may help to protect the body’s cells from free radicals.

7. Garlic

Garlic is a common home remedy for fighting colds and illnesses – and, it turns out, it does help. Garlic contains allicin compounds that help encourage the immune system to fight germs.

8. Ginger

Whether added to a beverage or as a flavoring to a meal, ginger may help decrease inflammation and is an antioxidant.

9. Green Tea

This warm beverage contains flavonoids, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of getting a cold. Green tea is also caffeine-free, making it a perfect afternoon pick-me-up without overwhelming yourself.

10. 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 in the yogurt may help your immune system fight diseases.

11. Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers offer vitamin C without added sugars like most fruits. In order to preserve the greatest amount of nutrients possible, preparing these peppers by either stir-frying or roasting is recommended.

12. 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 high in zinc include crab, lobster, oysters, and mussels.

13. Spinach

This leafy green is packed with many essential nutrients and vitamins, including vitamins C and E, which help to boost your immune system.

14. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an incredibly nutritious food with many health benefits. They are a great source of fiber, which helps to keep your digestive system healthy. They also contain high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which help keep your eyes and skin healthy. Additionally, sweet potatoes contain antioxidants that can help protect against diseases like cancer and heart disease.

15. 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 can enjoy healthy, delicious meals within the community. Every aspect of Ventana by Buckner elevates what our members expect from luxury senior living, and our members’ diverse culinary and dining expectations are no exception.

Fine 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 seniors, 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. Contact us if you’d like to schedule an information session, apply for residence, or ask our team some questions. We’re always available to assist in researching and evaluating your options.