If there’s one thing we’ve all been focused on this year, it’s our health. Now is a great time to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape. But even if we weren’t in the midst of a global pandemic, eating healthy and keeping your immune system firing on all cylinders is always a good idea! Here are five great food choices for boosting your immune function:
Spinach is jam-packed with great nutrients like vitamins A and C, folate, magnesium, iron, and fiber. These nutrients are essential for cell division, DNA repair, and immune functionality. To get the maximum nutritional benefit from spinach, eat it raw (perhaps in a salad or as a sandwich topper) or lightly cooked. And don’t forget that you can use spinach in dips, lasagna, soups, and a variety of other dishes.
Many types of berries — especially blueberries, acai berries, and elderberries — are considered “superfoods.” This is mostly due to these berries’ high concentration of antioxidants, which boost immunity and lower inflammation in the body by fighting off free radicals, or disease-causing agents. Some studies have even demonstrated that elderberries reduce the longevity of cold and flu symptoms!
If you’re going to eat potatoes, making it a sweet potato is a healthier option. That’s because sweet potatoes have an incredibly high vitamin A content, plus vitamin C and fiber. And sweet potatoes are fat- and cholesterol-free, so you don’t have to worry about the unhealthy parts of your meal while getting some great immune boosting.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables out there. It’s full of nutrients like vitamin C, various B vitamins, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium, and it contains a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. All of this combines to make one great food for immune function! And broccoli makes for a versatile, tasty vegetable that you can include in salads, soups, casseroles, or simply as a tasty side dish.
There are other options out there besides fruits and vegetables when it comes to great foods for the immune system. Oysters, believe it or not, are fantastic immune boosters — they contain 190% of the necessary daily value of selenium, and also offer plenty of other nutrients like iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, and protein. So don’t feel guilty about that oyster appetizer, because it’s actually quite good for you!
These aren’t the only foods out there that are great for immune system health. Do your research to find out what kind of superfoods will work best for your lifestyle and family. And enjoy!