15 Powerful Foods That Boost the Immune System

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Eating right goes way beyond just good eating habits. You need healthy immune system foods, but which ones are they? In this age of fast takeaway foods giving us all the foods that we should not be eating if we wish to maintain good health. What you must do is have natural nutrition that will boost your immune system.

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Here are 15 powerful foods that boost the immune system.

1. Mushrooms

They are chock-full of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure and incidence of stroke. In fact, one medium sized portabella mushroom contains more potassium than a regular sized banana. They are also full of Vitamin B (great for the nervous and digestive systems), iron (good for Anemia and red blood cells), copper (helps makes red blood cells), and selenium, (good for prostate gland function and helps reduce prostate cancer). Mushrooms are low in sodium, fat, and calories, are extremely nutrient dense, and are an excellent addition for people who are weight conscious. In addition, they contain no gluten, fat, nor cholesterol.

For recipes : Try mushrooms in soups, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, omelettes, stews etc.

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2. Tomatoes

Tomatoes exert their immunity powers through the lycopene and beta carotene that it contains.  Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that protects our white blood cells. Beta Carotene is powerful as well and acts as an antioxidant that boosts the immune system.  Beta carotene fights free-radicals that can do damage to cells and cell membranes thereby protecting the body.

For recipes : Try tomatoes in tomato soups, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, omelettes, stews etc.

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3. Garlic

This spicy bulb is an immune powerhouse. Garlic has many health benefits to aide in your immune system. Garlic helps with anti inflammatory problems, anti viral, and anti bacterial problems. It is quite easy to add garlic to your food and are quite delicious. To get the decomposed allicin in your system, make sure you chop up your garlic and then wait for 10 minutes before cooking with it or mixing it with acids. This way you can be sure to get garlic’s full fortifying effects.

For recipes : Any recipe especially stir fly.

4. Spinach

Spinach is a superfood for immunity due to its very high vitamin C and vitamin E content, along with many phytochemicals such as quercetin that boost your immunity.  Polyphenolic phytochemicals such quercetin that is present in spinach, can significantly reduce infection, thereby boosting immune function.

For recipes : Try in salads, garnish with your roast dinner, spinach and halloumi salad, wilted baby spinach with garlic etc.

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5. Green Tea

Green Tea is high in plant antioxidants – catechins and polyphenols – that are powerful in protecting your health including  EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) that can create a robust immune system.  EGCG can help prevent the replication of viruses including those of the common cold and influenza.

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6. Ginger

Ginger is another great healthy food to add to your diet. Ginger has Vitamin C and helps to increase circulation. There are many salads that are wonderful with ginger on them and you are sure to enjoy those as you build your immune system.

7. Broccoli

There is a chemical present in broccoli called Sulphorafan that stimulates a wide range of antioxidant actions, thereby increasing immune function.  One serving of broccoli also provides 10% of our daily vitamin C and vitamin A.  Broccoli is also very high in vitamin C and vitamin E both of which boost immunity.

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8. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage and helps reduce cold symptoms by 23 percent. These foods are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. A diet rich in citrus fruits reduces the risk of several diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, severe birth defects, anemia, cataracts, kidney stone disease, and osteoporosis.

Citrus includes : Oranges, blood orange, clementine, tangerine, calamondin, satsuma, mandalin, grapefruits, limes and lemons etc.

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9. Fatty Fish / Oily Fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and cod are known to reduce inflammation in the body.  Healthy fats are vital as they free-up your immune system through lowering inflammation to fight against those nasty bugs.  Fatty fish also contains all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain a healthy immune system.

Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids.

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10. Yogurt

Yogurt is loaded with probiotics (beneficial bacteria).  The probiotics in yogurt actually increase immune activity by  actually ‘eating’ harmful bacteria.  Probiotics also produce their own natural antibiotic effect to protect against invaders in the gastrointestinal tract.

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11. Red Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are dense in nutrients and high in phytochemicals as well as beta carotene and vitamin C – all which protect and enhance the immune system.  Red bell peppers are also one of the few vegetable sources that provide vitamin E.  They are also one of a few vegetables that have this powerful combination of vitamin C and vitamin E – critical immune boosting nutrients.

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12. Papaya

Papayas are an abundant source of Vitamin C. As a matter of fact they consists of 144% of the daily recommended allowance for vitamin C. Therefore, they provide a benefit in fighting colds and infections in the body. Papaya is also a source of Vitamin A which does have immune system boosting benefits.

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13. Turmeric

Turmeric is member of ginger family. It is most popular Indian cooking spice. Turmeric is known as one of the most powerful natural healers. Scientists have discovered that lipopolysacharide which is a unique substance in turmeric shown the ability to heighten the activity and effectiveness of the immune system.

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14. Pumpkin/squash 

Pumpkins are not only great for Halloween, but for the whole year round. It has Zinc. Zinc actually prevents us from experiencing colds for a long period of time. Its stops the cold from getting worst.

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15. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper – the tasty little seeds are also a rich source of protein and the essential fatty acid omega-3.

You should also add more Vitamin E to your daily nourishment. This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps in boosting up your immune system. It produces the natural cells which kill other cells and germs that will harm the body. You will also reduce your chances of getting a heart attack with a daily dose of the vitamin by fifty percent. The right amount ranges from one hundred to four hundred milligrams daily.

By mindfully choosing these Super Immunity Foods, you will not only protect your health, you will be creating optimum health in your life as well.

Photo : veggies @dosejuice | mushrooms  @jadew  | citrus @brookelark | Pumpkin soups @calya1 | tomatoes @margzu | spinach @miracletwentyone | turmeric @foodfaithfit | green tea @moniqa | salmon @stri_khedonia

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