What you should be eating to ward off illnesses
It’s important to keep track of what goes into your body. We’re not saying you can’t treat yourself every now and again, but keeping a healthy diet going ensures the best protection against getting ill.
If you’re looking at finding the best foods to chow down on to boost your immunity, you’re in the right place. From zesty berries to smooth yoghurt, we’re going to cover the best 15 foods you can eat to boost your immune system.
Yoghurts such as greek yoghurt host live cultures. While that might sound a bit scary to begin with, it most certainly shouldn’t be.
The live cultures contained in healthy yoghurts is great for the gut, and will help strengthen your immune system. Yoghurt also happens to contain vitamin D, which helps bolster your body against disease.
Shellfish such as oysters or crab are full of zinc – something that our bodies desperately need and often don’t get enough of.
Zinc helps our body create white blood cells, which helps our body fight infections and diseases. By eating shellfish, you’re boosting your body’s immune system.
It’s worth noting, however, that having too much zinc can have adverse effects, so it’s best not to live off shellfish.
Staying fishy, oily fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers believe that these acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, a condition where your immune system attacks a healthy part of the body by mistake.
By including fish such as salmon or tuna in your diet, you’re reducing the risk of becoming victim to rheumatoid arthritis, while staying generally healthy.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Food Tech Digest, you’ll know that green teas are a great way to boost your immune system.
Full of polyphenols and flavonoids, green tea gives a massive boost to your immune function. These antioxidants combat cell damage and destroy cell-damaging free radicals.
Many types of tea are known to have this type of antioxidant, but only gree tea has a fermentation process that doesn’t destroy most of them.
Blueberries, elderberries and acai berries
Also full of antioxidants known as flavonoids, these berries are an excellent way to keep healthy and fight off things such as upcoming colds and flu viruses. The best part is, you can enjoy these as part of a healthy smoothie or juice, just like as shown on our top 10 beverages that fight off illness.
If you’re looking for something refreshing and healthy on a summer day, watermelon is the thing for you.
Full of an antioxidant known as glutathione, watermelon can help fight off illness while preventing free radical damage to important cells.
To get the most out of your watermelon, make sure to enjoy the pulpy flesh right near the rind.
If you’re looking to get your essential nutrients, look no further than the delicious kiwifruit.
Kiwis are full of nutrients such as folate, potassium, vitamin K, and finally vitamin C. This helps keep your body functioning properly, while vitamin C boosts your white blood cells helping your body fight against infections.
Another immune system super booster, spinach is full to the brim with vitamin C, as well as antioxidants and beta carotene which both help the immune system fight off infections.
The best way to have spinach is to cook it as lightly as possible. Cooking it too much can reduce the number of nutrients contained while cooking it too little makes it harder to absorb the vitamin A and also allows nutrients to be released. Light cooking ensures just the right amount of both.
Poultry such as chicken is high in vitamin B-6 – a vitamin important for making new healthy red blood cells. Not only is eating chicken a good source of protein, but it ensures your body is staying healthy and active.
Stock and broth using chicken bones is also a great way to add to your gut healing routine.
Another free-radical fighter, sunflower seeds are a great addition to your meals that are full of vitamin E. Include sunflower seeds in your meals to boost immune function and save your cells.
If you’re not into sunflower seeds, almonds are a fantastic substitute to get hold of your vitamin E. These tasty treats are a great snack and can even be included in desserts such as cakes or chocolate mousse.
Beyond their vitamin E content, almonds also come with healthy fats, making them ideal for snack time.
Not only is garlic one of the most beloved vegetables in the world, but it’s astonishingly good at staving off colds and staying healthy.
Garlic is full of allicin, a compound produced when the clove is chopped or crushed. Allicin is thought to help lower cholesterol and also regulate blood pressure. A study into the effects of allicin also found that people who had consumed more were less likely to contract a cold.
Red bell peppers
If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, red bell peppers is one of the best foods to go to when looking for vitamin C. Beyond that, red bell peppers are also a source of vitamin A, which helps keep your vision healthy and also provides good defence against infections and illnesses.
Full of selenium, button mushrooms are another food that helps stave off the flu virus. That isn’t all, though. Button mushrooms are also a great way to get vitamin B, helping your immune system combat other viruses, infections and illnesses.
Worried about ageing? Sweet potato is the perfect way to slow it down ever so slightly and stay looking younger for longer. Full of beta-carotene, your body will mop up free radicals, bolster the immune system and keep you looking radiant and ready for the outside world.
Bonus: Dark chocolate
We’re finishing off the list with something a bit more exciting.
If you’re looking for a good excuse to eat some chocolate, here it is. Dark chocolate contains theobromine, an antioxidant that once again protects the body from free radicals, protecting the body’s cells and warding off disease.
Dark chocolate should still be a treat, as it’s still quite fatty and unhealthy, so be sure to eat in moderation!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 15 foods you can eat to help boost your immune system and keep healthy. It should be noted that these foods should only be treated as an additional measure to stay healthy, and are not a viable substitute to medicine. That being said, consuming a healthy amount of these foods as a part of your regular diet will do nothing but help keep your body healthy for longer.
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