We’re right in the middle of the winter season, and that means that there’s an increased risk of illness that you should be prepared for. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat a well-rounded diet with all the essential nutrients that your body needs. There are certain foods that are particularly helpful for keeping your immune system working properly because of their nutrient composition. Here are five of the best foods to have in your diet to give your immune system a boost this season.
Red Bell Peppers
We all know that vitamin C is one of the most beneficial ingredients for your immune system. However, what you might not know is that red bell peppers have extremely high quantities of vitamin C, almost twice as much as many citrus fruits. It also contains high levels of beta carotene, which will keep your eyes and skin feeling fresh and healthy.
This is a spice that is often found in curry, and it has incredible immune-boosting properties. This is because it is a very strong anti-inflammatory compound, so it will decrease the swelling and aching that you develop during an illness. You don’t have to eat curry to consume turmeric – you can buy the spice on its own and add it to many different recipes or take it in supplement form.
In addition to giving food and drinks a delicious kick, ginger is also gives your immune system an extra boost because it is anti-inflammatory. If you get a sore throat this season, consuming ginger can help soothe that area of the body and make you feel better. If you get a stomach bug, taking ginger can also help ease nausea. Try taking a few pieces of sliced ginger and steeping them in hot water to make a tea or juice ginger root to kick it up a notch!
Kiwis have a very high concentration of nutrients that will help you feel better when you get a cold. It is very high in vitamin C, which boosts your body’s white blood cell production to fight off sickness. It also contains high quantities of vitamin K and potassium, which are excellent for maintaining your body’s natural functions so you can better fight off any illnesses that come your way.
You probably wouldn’t think that shellfish would be helpful for your immune system, but it actually can be very beneficial because it is high in zinc. Most people don’t get their daily recommended amounts of zinc, which prevents your immune system from functioning as well as it could. You don’t need to overdo it with shellfish – a little goes a long way, and too much zinc can actually be harmful. There are some other forms of shellfish that can also be beneficial, such as crab, lobster, or mussels.
Eating a well-rounded diet is one of the best ways to fight off any illnesses you might be exposed to this winter. Your body needs a wide range of nutrients to stay healthy, and the best way to get them is by eating a variety of colorful fruit and vegetables, herbs, and spices.