Best Fruits For Your Immune System

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Best Fruits For Your Immune System is essential to your health. It protects your body from disease and makes you feel good. And what do these fruits have in common? They all stimulate the activity of white blood cells which improve your immune system. Fruit provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to support the health of your immune system. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite immune boosting fruits

5 Fruits That Boost Your Immune System

There are a few general tips to help prevent and shorten colds: wash your hands often; make sure you get enough rest, drink tea, exercise, and keep an eye on your stress level… and eat fruit!

Fruit is an overlooked but powerful tool to boost your immune system and keep it strong all year long. So instead of stressing about the prospect of getting sick, add these five fruits to your regular lineup. You can rest a little bit easier knowing that you’re giving your body the tools it needs to stay healthy. Here are five fruits that will help boost your immune system:

1. Oranges

Oranges are exceptionally good for you at any time of the year. They’re well known for being packed full of immune system-boosting vitamin C—every variety of orange contains more than 100% of your recommended daily amount. But that’s not all: According to WebMD, vitamin C can also prevent cell damage, encourage the production of collagen, and even lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as your blood pressure. When it comes to fruits helping prevent or reduce the likelihood of a cold, frequency is key. Make oranges a regular part of your diet this time of year.

2. Grapefruit

Just like oranges, grapefruits are a great source of vitamin C. They’ve also got a significant amount of fiber and vitamin A, which supports your immune system as well as your eyesight. Grapefruits are low in calories (half a grapefruit has just 52 calories on average), and they’re 88 percent water, which helps keep you hydrated and feeling full. Plus, you don’t want to wear yourself out on oranges—mix up your citrus! However, be aware that grapefruit contains a compound that can interfere with the absorption of some medications, especially statin-based medications. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are on any medication.

3. Blueberries

Low in calories and delicious to eat by the handful—blueberries have natural antihistamines, which can help reduce inflammation and minimize symptoms, including the runny or stuffy nose that can plague you during the cold season. They’re loaded with antioxidants that keep you healthy—including flavonoids—that boost your general health and can keep you feeling spry during these chilly winter months.

4. Apples

Apples are great sources of fiber and natural sugars—but you knew that already. What you might not know is that apple skins contain quercetin, a type of plant pigment flavonoid that helps boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. An apple a day really can keep the doctor away! Make sure to keep eat it with the peel and all its phytonutrients.

5. Pears

Did you know that pears contain vitamin C? Besides plenty of fiber and potassium, they also contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids in their peels—so make sure you eat the skin for the super nutrient boost.

WINTER FRUITS THAT BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Winter weather increases the risk of developing illnesses such as the common cold, pneumonia, or influenza, especially for older adults. While these conditions can affect anyone, there are certain things we can do to prevent them from occurring. Exercising, resting, reducing stress, and focusing on a healthy diet are all ways to boost our immune system and help our bodies maintain a healthy balance.  

As the winter weather changes, so should our diet. Implementing specific foods into our diet during the wintertime — including fruits that boost the immune system and work to protect us from illnesses. Good nutrition strengthens our immunity, allowing us to fight off viruses and diseases while also helping us recover from illness faster. Certain nutrients are especially helpful in building immunity, especially those found in citrus and other winter fruits. 

Benefits of Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, which include oranges, grapefruit, limes, and lemons, are rich in vitamin C; this helps the body produce white blood cells responsible for attacking viruses and bacteria that enter the body. While researchers don’t believe vitamin C can completely stop a cold from developing, it can reduce the length and severity of the illness. Many older adults are at risk of developing health complications from untreated colds or the flu. Without monitoring, a cold or flu can develop into pneumonia or bronchitis. In addition to having plenty of vitamin C, citrus fruits are some of the best fruits for the immune system because they: 

  • Are vitamin-dense. Citrus fruits contain several vitamins and minerals needed to help the body function properly. In addition to B vitamins, they also contain potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and copper. These fruits contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant prosperities that boost the immune system.
  • Are high in fiber. Fiber helps our bodies digest food, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and also aids in weight loss. Both men and women struggle to meet the recommended amount of daily fiber intake. However, citrus fruits are loaded with fiber. One cup of orange contains four grams of fiber.
  • Reduce the risk of kidney stones. Kidney stones, which are often very painful, develop when urine is concentrated or contains high levels of stone-forming minerals. Citrus fruits can raise the levels of citrate in your urine, which may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Decrease the risk of certain cancers. Some research has linked citrus fruits to a reduced risk of certain cancers, including lung, stomach, breast and pancreatic cancers. Citrus fruits contain flavonoids and other antioxidant properties that fight off carcinogens and block certain genes that have been linked to cancer.
  • Support heart health. According to the American Heart Association, eating citrus fruits can help protect against the risk of stroke. Citrus fruits, which contain flavonoids, help promote healthy blood vessel function. 

Best Winter Fruits for Better Immunity 

Vitamin C-rich fruits that boost the immune system are especially beneficial to our health in the winter months, but they’re not the only type of nutritious food you should consider. There are many different types of winter fruits that have various health benefits, all of which support different bodily functions. According to Everyday Health, here are some of the most nutritious winter fruits:  

Pears

Pears are rich in fiber, which not only supports a healthy digestive system but also increases our body’s immune cells. Fiber can also be beneficial for those trying to lose or maintain their weight, as it promotes satiety and reduces the risk of overeating.

Pineapple

Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that support the nervous and digestive systems. In addition, pineapples contain digestive enzymes that help the small intestine absorb protein molecules.  

Cranberries

While you may see cranberries at your holiday table, you might not know they’re packed with important nutrients. Cranberries can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease

Persimmon

This fruit is rich in vitamin A, which can boost immune function and protect against infectious diseases. Vitamin A also supports good vision, heart health and proper kidney function. 

Oranges

Whole oranges contain large amounts of vitamin C and fiber. But you won’t receive these same health benefits from drinking orange juice. As orange juice is processed, it’s stripped of its fiber and usually contains large quantities of sugar. 

Pomegranates

This fruit is full of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting, strong bones, and regulating blood calcium levels.   

Kiwi

You may think twice before removing the skin of a kiwi before eating. With it, the kiwi fruit contains large quantities of fiber in addition to vitamin C and vitamin K.

Implementing Citrus and Winter Fruits into Your Everyday Diet 

If citrus and other winter fruits aren’t a part of your normal diet, there are a few simple ways to consume more. The next time you make a smoothie, you might consider adding a whole orange or frozen pineapple. Adding lemon and lime slices to your drinking water is a delicious way to stay hydrated and consume vitamin C. Consider adding the zest of citrus fruits to your salad dressings and chopped citrus fruits on top of salads and fish. This simple citrus salad by New York Times Cooking is a great place to start:

Five Foods to Boost Your Immune System

A strong immune system can help you stay healthy but there are plenty of factors that can undermine its proper functioning.

A healthy immune system doesn’t guarantee perfect health but it can protect you from many diseases.

Consider the building blocks you place in your body every time you take a bite. Eating more whole foods and fortified foods can give you the vitamins and minerals necessary to support your immune system and your body’s diverse biochemical reactions. Invest in eating healthy foods to keep yourself and your family healthy.

Can you improve your immune system with food? You bet. Learn more about how the contents of your grocery cart can support your immune system today. Consider these 5 top foods the next time you shop:

Citrus Fruits

Getting your vitamin C from food makes sense. Oranges and lemons naturally come to mind when you think of produce high in vitamin C, but know that you can get the vitamin C your immune system needs from eating kale, spinach, bell pepper, papaya and strawberries.

Consuming foods high in vitamin C along with certain beans and vegetables rich in iron – such as lentils and kale – allows the body to absorb the iron more effectively. This is important for vegetarians and others who eat little to no meat.

Bananas

Bananas are not only a prebiotic food – supporting gut health – they are high in vitamin B6. This vitamin is needed to keep the immune system functioning properly. Bananas are an excellent base for your next smoothie! Other foods high in vitamin B6 include cold-water fish, lean chicken breast, chickpeas and potatoes. Do not get prebiotics mixed up with probiotics. Prebiotics serve as food for probiotics. Good sources of prebiotics include: garlic, leeks, and onions.

Almonds

Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and sunflower seeds provide needed vitamin E – an important antioxidant – to the body. If you need a healthy snack, consider raw or roasted almonds as an option. Also, cashews are rich in zinc, which powers your immune system by activating T-lymphocytes.

Carrots

Carrots and other fruits and vegetables high in carotenoids help support immune system function. Carotenoids turn into vitamin A in the body and provide an antioxidant effect. Other foods with carotenoids include sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash and cantaloupe. Stock the fridge and indulge in immune system boosting soups and more!

Fatty fish

Fish like salmon, tuna and sardines are natural sources of vitamin D. Even though vitamin D is produced in the body, it may be necessary to supplement. A surprising number of people are vitamin D deficient. A number of fortified foods on the market – such as orange juice, milk and cereals – can help you get an adequate amount of vitamin D.

Certain habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol, may undermine your immune system health. Speak with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach to support your specific nutritional needs.

10 IMMUNE-BOOSTING FOODS TO ADD TO YOUR GROCERY LIST

10 immune-boosting foods to add to your grocery list

Powerful immune system boosters

If you’re looking for ways to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. When it comes to boosting your immune system, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, incorporating certain foods into your diet is a great way to start. Here are 15 immune-boosting foods to add to your grocery list:

  1. Citrus fruits
  2. Red bell peppers
  3. Broccoli
  4. Garlic
  5. Ginger
  6. Spinach
  7. Yogurt
  8. Almonds
  9. Sunflower seeds
  10. Turmeric

9 Foods That Can Boost Immunity

Washing hands and social distancing are key to stopping the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, but a healthy diet plays a role, too. Here are nine foods that provide key nutrients to support your immune system, as well as three to avoid.

The immune system is your body’s great defender. It helps stop incoming attacks from viruses and bacteria. It helps your cells bounce back after illness. It can even help reduce the severity of an illness. That’s why, especially when viruses and bugs are making the rounds in your community or even just in your home, you should pay a little extra attention to your immune system.

One of the best ways to care for your immune system and help make it stronger is with food — but not just any food. Certain nutrients in foods are vital for healthy immune functioning. While focusing on these foods is important when you’re sick, it’s just as important (maybe even more so) when you’re healthy, because this enables your immune system to be at its strongest should it come into contact with harmful viruses or bacteria.

Check out these nine foods that provide those key immune-boosting nutrients, as well as three to avoid, to support your immune system.

Balanced diet nutrition keto concept. Assortment of healthy ketogenic low carb food ingredients for cooking on a kitchen table. Green vegetables, meat, salmon, cheese, eggs. Top view backgroun

Foods That Can Help Boost the Immune System

1. Broccoli

A good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, broccoli also contains sulfur compounds that research suggests may boost production of glutathione, an antioxidant compound. In terms of immune support, glutathione works by attacking free radicals to minimize their potential damage. This allows the immune system to focus on staying healthy, not repairing itself from damage. Other sulfur sources are most cruciferous vegetables that give off slight odor during cooking like cauliflower, bok choy, and kale.

2. Fortified Orange Juice

I’m not usually a proponent of drinking your fruit instead of eating it, but it’s hard to beat the immune punch in fortified OJ. One cup naturally provides 100 percent of your Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin that plays a primary role in keeping the immune system healthy, as well as 25 percent DV for vitamin D. This is important since most people have vitamin D levels below ideal, something that research suggests makes one more susceptible to illness. A 2017 study even suggests that supplemented vitamin D helps to prevent respiratory infections.

3. Eggs

Adequate protein intake is important to support immune response, and eggs are a great way to do this since they also contain nutrients like vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E that the body needs for proper immune functioning. If you can, opt for eggs from chickens that were fed a vegetarian diet. You’ll get ones with slightly higher levels of omega-3s and vitamins D and E. No need for organic or cage-free varieties though, as this doesn’t appear to affect nutrient content.

4. Bell Peppers

Citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C, but if you really want to load up, go for a red or yellow bell pepper. A medium red bell pepper has more than twice as much vitamin C as a medium orange. Plus, bell peppers are packed with the antioxidant beta-carotene and have a small amount of vitamin E, also an antioxidant. Toss slices in a salad, stir-fry with other veggies, or use to dip hummus in place of pita bread.

5. Lean Beef

Surprised to find beef on this list? Here’s why I consider it a top food to support immune health: a 4-ounce serving of flank steak provides more than half of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for zinc, selenium, and vitamin B6. Getting adequate intake of these three nutrients can be challenging, and a slight deficiency of any may impair your immune system from working at 100 percent efficiency. This can increase your susceptibility to illness and lower your immune defense capacity. Look for ways to incorporate lean cuts of beef like sirloin, round steak, and flank steak up to three times per week.

6. Spinach

Vitamin A is considered essential to normal immune functioning, and leafy greens like spinach are packed with beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that is also an antioxidant. On top of that, leafy greens are a good source of folate, and some research suggests that a deficiency may impair immune response. Not a fan of spinach? Most dark-green and orange vegetables are good sources of beta-carotene while folate is also in fruit, beans, nuts, and whole and fortified grains.

7. Salmon

Immunity-boosting isn’t a health perk often associated with salmon, but adequate and regular intake of omega-3s (particularly DHA and EPA, which are two forms found in cold-water fish) are key for tamping down inflammation. This, in turn, allows the immune system to focus more of its attention on defending the body against pathogens and fighting illness. Need a shelf-stable option? Stock the pantry with cans of salmon or light tuna in water. Both fish are also good sources of vitamin D and the antioxidant mineral selenium, two nutrients that also support immune health.

8. Yogurt

Consuming yogurt with minimal added sugar and “active, live cultures” is an easy way to support immune health. Yogurt’s benefits come from the probiotics, or good bacteria, because research suggests the immune system and microbiome work with one another to target pathogens and to fine-tune immune responses. This means having an imbalance of good bacteria could potentially impact immune response effectiveness. Incorporate yogurt and other probiotic-rich foods to strengthen your microbiome, decrease gut permeability, and support immune function.

9. Chicken Soup

It seems far-fetched that chicken soup could really do much for your health, but our grandmothers may have been on to something. Research suggests that eating chicken soup has a mild anti-inflammatory effect that impacts white blood cells. This could lead to a decreased risk of developing a respiratory infection, something that may be due to a compound in chicken that inhibits viral infections according to another study. While immune protection from chicken soup is definitely speculative, incorporating a bowl of chicken soup doesn’t hurt and may offer more benefit over other hot liquids thanks to the protein, garlic, and onions. Another perk: making a large batch of soup saves time in the kitchen and is great to have around, particularly when working from home.

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