Dieting is hard to do, and nutrition can be even harder to understand!
Figuring out the best foods for you and your family can be such a challenging task.
Luckily, we’ve decided to do some research and find ten great foods that will help improve your immune system!
Salmon is a fantastic choice when you’re trying to strengthen your immune system. It’s filled with zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
Zinc has been proven to reduce common cold symptoms, and omega-3s are great for your brain!
You can cook salmon in so many different ways, but it’s especially delicious when you bake it or fry it. I love frying mine with rice and adding a side of the next food on this list!
Broccoli is more than just a great side to go with salmon! It’s a supercharged veggie that’s packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and E. It’s a great source of fiber and antioxidants, and you can eat it in so many different ways!
Research shows that steaming broccoli is the best way to keep the most nutrients in the food
You can also roast it with other veggies or eat it fresh with some great dip! Speaking of dip...
Garlic dip is delicious, but did you know that garlic is actually fantastic for your immune system? Garlic helps fight infections, may slow down the hardening of arteries, and potentially helps lower blood pressure.
It seems that the immune-boosting properties of garlic come from allicin and other sulfur-containing compounds, which are heavily concentrated in garlic. It’s delicious in dips and simply sprinkled over your food.
There’s another food garlic goes great on...
Chickpeas are so delicious sprinkled with garlic. Have you ever had pita bread with garlic hummus? Well, hummus is mostly made up of chickpeas!
Chickpeas, like lentils, kidney beans, and wholegrains (oat, quinoa, brown rice) all contain zinc, which is a really important mineral that strengthens your immune system. You should be taking in 8 mg of zinc a day.
One other great food that contains zinc is...
5. Raisin Bran
I bet you didn’t see that one coming! Raisin bran is a great source of zinc, which is an essential mineral involved in the production of certain immune cells.
The National Institutes of Health caution that even mildly low levels of zinc may impair your immune function.
Raisin bran is so easy to pick up at the store. What do you think? Would you try switching out one of your sugary cereals with raisin bran? Would your kids be okay with it? Would you?
Hopefully, the knowledge that this important mineral is helping your body would be enough to convince you to make the switch!
Oranges are a fantastic choice when you’re looking to switch to foods that strengthen your immune system. They’re packed with Vitamin C, which is so important for our bodies!
Interestingly, bell peppers have more vitamin C than oranges. Still, oranges are fantastic for your healthy and can help you maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene, also found in oranges, is converted by your body into vitamin A, which also helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Oranges are a great choice! They’re not the only fruit that’s great for your immune system, though...
Papayas are a less common fruit than oranges, but they should definitely be on your healthy- food radar. They have 157% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C in a single small fruit! They also have a digestion-friendly enzyme that has anti-inflammatory effects, so if you’re sensitive to inflammation, papayas are a fantastic choice. They contain folate, B vitamins and vitamin A in the form of carotenoids, which help your immune system function properly.
Papayas go great in salads, which brings us to...
f you’re like me, you buy tons of spinach thinking you’ll make salads, but instead you end up blending it into smoothies. That’s okay! The spinach is still getting into your system, which is what matters. It’s rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants that help the infection-fighting ability of your immune system. Using spinach in salads and smoothies is great and the preferred way to go.
One thing you definitely don’t want to do is over heat it! If you cook spinach for too long then you’ll end up cooking all the nutrients right out of it, which you definitely don’t want to do!
A handful of spinach is great for your body, and another food that’s great in a handful sized amount is...
Almonds! Almonds are fantastic for helping your body prevent and fight off colds, because they contain vitamin E. adults only need about 15 mg of Vitamin E each day, and a half-cup of almonds provides about 100% of the recommended daily amount.
So, you don’t even need to worry about getting your vitamin E from a different source if you eat your half-cup of almonds!
Okay, here’s one last food that’s great for your immune system and easy to find, like almonds...
Chicken and turkey are a great option when it comes to choosing a meat that will help strengthen your immune system. They are high in vitamin B-6, which is important in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body and is vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.
When you eat chicken soup or a slice of turkey, you’re helping your body fight off inflammation and strengthening your immune system!
There are so many options out there when it comes to finding and choosing the best foods for your family. Going to the grocery store and knowing that you’re responsible for the health of people who are precious to you is a big task. The next time you make your shopping list, add as many of these immune-strengthening foods to it as you can.
So, what do you think? Do you use any of these foods in your favorite meals now?