Foods & fruits you need to be eating to boost your immune system ahead of the colder seasons

March 5, 2024
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As the season changes and we head into cold and flu season, building a robust immune system is essential. While there are various strategies to combat these common ailments, your diet plays a pivotal role in bolstering your body’s defenses. Incorporating certain foods into your daily meals can significantly contribute to building a strong immune system.

Here are foods and fruits that you should consider adding to your diet to stay healthy ahead of the colder seasons:

Peppers and Citrus

When it comes to supporting your immune system, vitamin C is a key player. While citrus fruits like oranges, mangos, and grapefruits are popular choices, bell peppers surprisingly contain more vitamin C than oranges.  According to Health  Span, a single cup of chopped red pepper provides a whopping 190mg of vitamin C – almost three times more than an orange. Including peppers, along with citrus fruits, in your diet helps fortify your immune system, providing a natural defense against colds and the flu.

Blueberries

Blueberries, often overlooked but powerful, are rich in flavonoids—a type of antioxidant known to reduce cell damage and enhance the immune system. Packed with vitamins C and A, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese, blueberries make an excellent addition to your diet. Enjoy them on their own or blend them into a nutritious smoothie to kickstart your day.

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Green Tea

Green tea, a time-tested natural remedy, is renowned for its immune-boosting properties. Catechin, a substance found in green tea, supports the immune system and acts as a potent antioxidant. Consider sipping on hot green tea with honey or incorporating it into fruit and vegetable smoothies for a refreshing and healthy beverage.


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Mushrooms

Despite not being everyone’s favourite, mushrooms have proven immune-boosting benefits. Rich in vital vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, mushrooms, particularly varieties like shiitake, maitake, and reishi, contribute to a robust immune system. The inclusion of mushrooms in your diet can provide essential nutrients, including vitamin D, crucial for overall immune health.

Almonds

Almonds, a versatile nut, offer a myriad of nutrients, including protein and vitamin E. While not as spotlighted as vitamin C, vitamin E is essential for a healthy immune system. A mere half-cup of almonds provides your daily recommended amount of vitamin E, making them a convenient and nutritious snack to support your immune system.

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Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts are nutritional powerhouses. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as antioxidants and fiber, these vegetables contribute to a resilient immune system. To maximise their benefits, enjoy these vegetables raw or lightly cooked.

Ginger

Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, is a fantastic addition to your immune-boosting arsenal. Additionally, citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruits not only provide a burst of vitamin C but also contribute anti-inflammatory benefits. Incorporate ginger into teas, soups, or smoothies, and squeeze citrus fruits over salads or enjoy them as a refreshing snack.

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Feature image: Unsplash

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