From almonds to yogurt: Foods that boost immune system
Vitamin C, famous for its role in supporting and boosting the immune system, is quite rich in many citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, lime, pomelo, and grapefruit. According to Sass, while vitamin C can’t prevent illness, studies found that people with respiratory infections have improved blood levels after consuming the right amount. Consuming about 200mg of vitamin C per day has been found to be effective in infection prevention. One medium orange provides 70mg while a grapefruit has almost 90mg. Red bell peppers
Speaking of vitamin C, this nutrient is not only present in sour fruits. In fact, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus, according to experts. Sass said a medium raw bell pepper has 150mg. Katherine Marengo, a registered dietitian, seconded, adding that red bell peppers are also a rich source of beta carotene that helps keep eyes and skin healthy. Almonds
Aside from vitamin C, another nutrient vital in boosting immune system is vitamin E. “This fat soluble vitamin boosts the activity of immune cells to support the body’s ability to fend off invading bacteria and viruses,” Sass wrote. Almonds and sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E. About 28 grams of almonds provide 45 percent of the daily recommended goal for vitamin E. Other foods rich in vitamin E are avocados and dark leafy vegetables. Sweet potatoes
Touted for its anti-inflammatory properties, found in curcumin—the natural compound responsible for its bright color—experts say turmeric has also been found to boost immune cell activity and enhance antibody responses. Garlic
New studies reveal garlic “may enhance immune cell function,” as those who received a garlic supplement in a particular research experienced reduced cold and flu severity and had fewer symptoms than those who didn’t receive it. Meanwhile, others credit garlic’s immune-boosting properties to its heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin which are said to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body. Yogurt
Studies point to yogurt’s live active bacteria in helping enhance immunity, particularly in “immunocompromised populations such as the elderly,” researchers Simin Nikbin Meydani and Woel Kyu-Ha said in their research entitled Immunologic effects of yogurt. Some probiotics strains may enhance resistance to and recovery from infection, according to another research. Green leafy vegetables
Vegetables such as kale and spinach are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and other nutrients such as vitamins A and C and folate which are known to boost immune system.