Five Foods to Improve Your Immune System
Your body’s immune system is responsible for fighting off illnesses, something many are concerned about during the current global pandemic. Getting enough sleep at night, keeping up-to-date on health exams and vaccinations, exercising, taking vitamins and supplements, and eating a well-balanced diet are all ways you can improve your immune system. If you’re interested in giving your immune system a boost through better nutrition, here are five foods you should include in your daily diet:
Citrus fruits are chock-full of Vitamin C, which can help increase your body’s production of white blood cells. White blood cells are crucial to building immunity and fighting off infections. Women need at least 75mg of Vitamin C per day and men should be getting at least 90mg to stay healthy. Some citrus fruits you should brighten up your daily diet with include oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, and grapefruit. Other fruits rich in Vitamin C include pineapples, papayas, melons, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwis.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers also contain healthy amounts of Vitamin C. They’re also a great source of the essential antioxidant known as beta carotene, which your body converts to Vitamin A. Beta carotene promotes healthier skin and eyes. Antioxidants have also been known to protect against certain cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
There are plenty of reasons why you should follow your mother’s advice about eating your leafy greens, including spinach and broccoli. Broccoli contains Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as antioxidants and fiber. Spinach is a Vitamin C-rich food that also contains antioxidants, including beta carotene. The best part of eating leafy greens is they offer you so much versatility. You can eat them raw or cook them with other foods. Some people even use them in smoothies.
Yogurt is an excellent source of Vitamin D, which helps boost your body’s immune system. You should try to stick to plain or Greek yogurts and not the ones that come pre-loaded with sugars (although we understand how appealing they are in their brightly colored packages). Some scientists are studying the effects of Vitamin D on lowering your risk of developing COVID-19, as it’s been known to help protect people against certain respiratory conditions.
Poultry & Shellfish
You don’t have to stick to a vegetarian diet to boost your immune system. Lean meats, such as poultry and shellfish, are also beneficial. Chicken and turkey contain Vitamin B-6, which aids in the production of red blood cells. Eating oysters, crab, lobster, mussels, or other shellfish boosts your immune system with added zinc. Zinc is helpful with wound healing to ward off infections. You can also find zinc in beans, seeds, nuts, breakfast cereals, snack bars, and even fortified baking flour.
Other honorable mentions include almonds, sunflower seeds, garlic, ginger, acai berries, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and green tea. While diet and lifestyle changes alone may not prevent you from getting the flu or COVID-19, they are beneficial for your body. It’s also essential to continue following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for social distancing and hand washing to keep you healthy throughout the remainder of 2020 and beyond!
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As a New York-based law firm focused on personal injury and medical malpractice cases for nearly 50 years, Pegalis Law Group, LLC wants you to be proactive about your health. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional tips on being a proactive patient and ensuring safer medical practices are being implemented on your behalf.