A healthy, balanced diet can help keep sickness at bay. Here are some additional foods that can increase your immune system’s efficiency even more.
Full of zinc, fiber, and protein, chickpeas/garbanzo beans are a powerful tool in your germ-fighting arsenal. Zinc is critical to the production of white blood cells that help recognize and destroy invading bacteria.
Another zinc powerhouse is beef. Even a mild deficiency in zinc can increase your risk for infection and just 3 ounces of beef can provide you with 30% of your daily value of zinc.
Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin, which helps to fight infection and bacteria. It also contains sulfur that aids in your body’s absorption of all that aforementioned zinc.
Cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, or tuna contain Omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation in the body and increase the flow of oxygen in your airways.
Mushrooms are one of the few food sources of vitamin-D, which is crucial to the immune system. Toss mushrooms into salads or soups or you can add them to your eggs in the morning.
Probiotics (Yogurt, Kombucha)
Keep your GI tract balanced and full of good bacteria to keep out the bad bacteria. Include foods such as yogurt (look for ones labeled “Live and Active Cultures”), kefir, and kombucha to get the benefits of probiotics. You can also supplement probiotics in pill form.
Green and black teas are packed with an antioxidant known as flavonoids. The advantage green tea has over black tea is that it’s processed less and more of its antioxidants make it into the final packaged product.
Citrus & Bell Peppers
Your body can’t store vitamin-C so it’s important you get some into your diet daily as it helps support a healthy immune system. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines are good sources of this vitamin. If citrus isn’t your thing, the red bell pepper contains three times the amount of vitamin C! Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach are also good sources.
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