5 Foods That Boost the Immune System

Immune system boosters

Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong.Plan your meals to include these 5 powerful immune system boosters.

1. Citrus Fruits

Most people turn to vitamin C after they've caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections.Popular citrus fruits include:

  •  Grapefruit
  •  Oranges
  •  Tangerines
  •  Lemons
  •  Limes
  •  Clementines

Because your body doesn't produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it's easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.

2. Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible or better yet, not at all.

4. Garlic

Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it's a must have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s immune boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur containing compounds, such as "allicin".

5. Ginger

Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea. While it's used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol lowering properties, according to recent animal research.

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