Foods That Boost Immune System

1. Citrus Fruits

Most people turn to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections.

Popular citrus fruits include:

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Clementines

Because your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.

2. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that the body produces when it breaks down food or comes into contact with pollutants. Free radicals can damage the body’s cells and may contribute to disease.

Despite its potential benefits, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so it is important to eat it in moderation.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.

4. Green Tea

Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine, so people can enjoy it as an alternative to black tea or coffee. Drinking it may also strengthen the immune system.

As with blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of a cold.

5. Red Bell Pepper

For people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C.

Stir-frying and roasting both preserve the nutrient content of red bell peppers better than steaming or boiling.

6. Spinach

Spinach made our list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

 

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