With just a month or so left of winter, you’re so close to escaping the flu and cold season. In today’s post, we’re sharing 5 superfoods to eat to boost your immune system. These foods will help you stay healthy and feeling good through the end of winter. Give them a try and check out the list below!
5. Citrus Fruits
Caught a cold? Most people turn to Vitamin C to combat colds and fight off sickness. By eating more foods with naturally occurring Vitamin C, you can give your immunity system a boost to fight off any lingering flu or cold strains through the end of winter.
- What kinds of foods to eat: Grapefruit, oranges, clementines, tangerines, limes, lemons
- Nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Folate, Magnesium, Manganese Health
- Benefits: Immunity boost, reduced risk of kidney stones, improved heart health, skin health, and brain functions, may prevent cancer.
- How to eat these daily: As women, we need 75 mg of Vitamin C daily. Men need 90 mg daily on average. Try adding a citrus fruit to smoothies or eating one as a snack throughout the day. If that’s too hard to do consistently, add a vitamin supplement.
4. Dark Leafy Greens
Ok, we all know how important it is to eat our veggies, but it’s important to know not all vegetables are created equal. Dark leafy greens are jam-packed with nutrients and minerals and should be your go-to when it comes to greens. According to Parsley Health, “Dark, leafy greens are excellent sources of fiber, folate, iron, calcium, and vitamins C and K and they have also recently been shown to play a critical role in regulating the immune system by providing important chemical symbols that encourage immune cells in the gut to function properly.” How cool is that?
- What kinds of foods to eat: Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens
- Nutrients: Folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber.
- Health Benefits: reduced risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes
- How to eat these daily: If eating dark green leafy greens is a chore and sounds less than appetizing, start by adding a handful of these into smoothies. Or try adding some into salads, mixed right along with your romaine.
Berries are the immune-boosting superfoods! They’re jam packed with nutrients and have less sugar than other types of fruit. They’re proven to help with digestion due to their high fiber content and they can improve your memory and brain functioning. Additionally, certain berries, like blueberries contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, that can help reduce damage to cells and boost your immune system.
- What kinds of foods to eat: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries
- Nutrients: packed with antioxidants, high in fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, folate, etc.
- Health Benefits: reduced risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and inflammatory conditions, aids in digestive and immune-related disorders
- How to eat these daily: Add berries to yogurt or cereal in the morning. Eat a cup of berries for a mid-morning or afternoon snack. Eat these as a dessert at night if you want something sweet or add these to a smoothie (along with your dark leafy greens).
2. Lean Protein
Lean proteins are an excellent way to get your daily protein. Foods like white meat, fish, lentils, beans, nuts and nut spreads, eggs, etc. are all great ways to get your daily intake without eating fatty red meats. Lean proteins also boost your immune system—protein repairs tissues and helps fight off viral or bacterial infections.
- What kinds of foods to eat: white meat chicken or fish, beans, lentils, plain greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, tofu, peanut butter, egg whites, avocado, chickpeas, etc.
- Nutrients: lean protein, B vitamins
- Health Benefits: builds and supports rebuilding of body structures like cells, bones, cartilage, skin, enzymes, etc. Supports weight loss, a healthy metabolism, and muscle growth.
- How to eat these daily: Replace the protein you eat daily with a low protein choice. For example swap out beef with white meat found in fish or swap out traditional eggs for egg whites. Add a lean protein option with each of your meals.
1. Superfood Drinks
Last but not least, the liquid we ingest is also directly related to our health. Most importantly we need to drink a lot of water but there are also other drinks that are jam-packed with nutrients and minerals to support optimal health. Check out the details below!
- What kinds of drinks: green tea, kombucha, filtered dark coffee, red wine
- Nutrients: natural antioxidants, fiber, potassium, fiber, lactic acid, etc.
- Health Benefits: reduce inflammation, contains cancer fighting properties, reduces effects of aging, boosts immune system, supports increased bone density, protects and helps rebuild cells, etc.
- How to eat these daily: Challenge yourself to start your day drinking an 8-ounce glass of water. Then try switching sugar-heavy drinks like soda, energy drinks or calories-dense coffee drinks like frappuccinos, for healthier options throughout the day.
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