Whether you’re inspired to boost your immune system because of the Coronavirus or you’re simply trying to develop healthier eating habits, we’ve done the research and found the top 10 foods guaranteed to boost your immune system.
Here they are!
1: Citrus Fruits Like Oranges
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which not only strengthens your immune system but also promotes skin elasticity and smoothness.
- According to a study by MM Shamloo, it’s the hesperidin and flavonoids found in citrus fruits that boost your immune system and help prevent infections.
- A study by Sanggon Lee also proved that boosting your body’s cytokines also enhances “immune-mediated anti-tumor properties.”
So grab an orange a day or drink orange juice with breakfast to enjoy the immune boosting benefits!
2: Red Bell Peppers
Did you know that 1 cup of chopped red bell peppers offers nearly 3 times more vitamin C than a large orange?
What’s more, this study by H. Clay Gorton and Kelly Jarvis found that mega doses of vitamin C reduced reported flu and cold systems by 85%!
The only problem is a mega dose is around 8,000mg per day which is about 42 red bell peppers.
However, according to the Harvard Health Letter:
“among extremely active people… taking at least 200mg of vitamin C every day [appears] to cut the risk of getting a cold in half.”
For those of us who aren’t marathon runners, the same amount of vitamin C a day will:
“reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults.”
1 cup of raw, chopped red bell peppers contains about 190mg of vitamin C, making it a fantastic immune-boosting superfood!
When you were a kid your parents would always tell you to eat your broccoli and maybe they were onto something as it’s an immune boosting superfood.
A study by Andre Nel found the sulforaphane in broccoli promotes antitoxin genes and enzymes in certain immune cells.
As a result, your immune system can fight more effectively against free radicals which damage your cells and make it easier to get sick!
So, eat your broccoli!
Garlic isn’t just good for warding off vampires, it’s also one of the top foods for boosting your immune system!
For example, this study by Gulsen Goncagul and Erol Ayaz discovered that:
“garlic mobilizes [the] immune system and empowers the ability of the body against infectious organisms,”
A little bit of garlic goes a long way, especially when it comes to your immune system.
Ginger has a long, rich history of being used to boost the immune system because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
If you want to reap the benefits of ginger, try adding fresh, grated ginger to your diet!
6: Low-Fat and Greek Yogurt
Low-fat yogurts (such as Greek yogurt) are especially beneficial to immunocompromised individuals.
According to this study yogurts are “known for their health-promoting effects such as non-specific enhancement of the immune system” making them super-healthy as well as super-tasty!
7: Fish Oil
D. Ergas published a study in 2002 showing that:
“long chain omega-3 fatty acids may help to boost the immune system by enhancing the functioning of immune cells.”
One of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids is fish oil.
While not everyone’s cup of tea, fish oil has multiple other health benefits, like reducing the risk of heart disease (JN Din et. al.).
The best way to enjoy these benefits is by having two to three servings of oily fish a week such as:
- and pilchards) a week
A nice side of fish isn’t just tastier than taking fish oil supplements, but more effective too!
Elderberry is another food that has long been celebrated for its immune boosting benefits.
- This study by J. Hawkins says that black elderberry as a good way to boost the immune system against cold and flu symptoms.
A recently published study by G. Torabian reveals that this is achieved “through stimulation of cytokines,” something elderberries share in common with citrus fruit.
Mushrooms are a tasty ingredient that can be added to almost any meal.
While the nutritional profile and composition varies from one kind of mushroom to the next, the ones safe to eat all share the same extensive health benefits.
According to a study by J. Rajewska, edible mushrooms contain several “biologically active compounds” that boost the immune system by inhibiting the viruses ability to replicate.
In other words, these delicious fungi help fight the cold and flu from within your digestive system!
10: Green Tea
Finally we have green tea, which has long been known to have relaxing properties and many health benefits.
But there’s more to this flavorful drink than meets the eye!
Green tea contains compounds like catechins and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which are powerful antioxidants.
According to Shutsung Liao, it’s these compounds that help boost your immune system.
It’s the EGCG in green tea that helps defend your immune system against free radicals so make sure you drink green tea and not black tea for the immune boosting benefits!
Eat More Of These Healthy Immune Boosting Foods!
While there are other foods that can help boost the immune system, research has shown these to be the top 10 most effective.
So why not relax with a warm cup of your favorite green tea and a dollop of honey while enjoying the delicious, healthy foods above and your immune system will reward you by keeping you strong and healthy!