The immune system acts as the “defense team” of your body. It works 24/7 to shield your body against unwanted foreign invaders, including viruses and bacteria.
Just like the other important parts of your body, your immune system needs energy and nutrition to function properly. If you’re looking to fight off flu and other diseases, head off to your nearest grocery chain and plan your meals to include one or more of these immune system boosters:
Whether you’re eating whole fresh mango, using mango puree for baked goods, or drinking its juice, you’ll fall in love with this healthy fruit. Mangoes contain vitamin A, a nutrient that helps combat infections in the body.
This tasty fruit is also rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that improves the skin’s defense system and aids in the generation of disease-fighting white blood cells.
The root of this flowering plant comes with potent immune-boosting properties. Ginger is rich in antioxidants that fight off free radicals, which are harmful byproducts of oxygen metabolism. Additionally, this plant is great at minimizing body inflammation.
One study found that ginger extract could provide therapeutic relief for individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
You can do so much with ginger root. As an ingredient, you can:
- Add it to your favorite hot chocolate beverage to give your drink a bit of a kick
- Make honey ginger and mix with chicken to make scrumptious chicken wings
- Grate the root and add it to muffins or carrot cakes
Looking to introduce some veggies in your diet? Make broccoli your top choice. This powerhouse vegetable comes loaded with vitamin C to amp up your immune function. Broccoli also contains an array of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, zinc, beta-carotene, and potassium.
You can prepare this nutritious vegetable in various ways. Use it as a main ingredient to create a mouthwatering cheese and broccoli soup. Alternatively, you can mix it with other veggies to whip up a healthy salad.
This seafood superfood is rich in selenium, a mineral that helps preserve thyroid and metabolism function. Additionally, a study published in the international review journal Advances in Nutrition revealed that selenium may fortify the immune system of individuals suffering from viral infections, such as influenza and hepatitis C.
Although you have the option to eat oyster raw, there are plenty of ways to make this food more appetizing. You can coat the seafood and fry them to enjoy maximum crunch. You can also roast oysters in garlic butter to turn this ingredient into a tender morsel.
This flavorful and beneficial fungus is high in B vitamins and selenium, which keep your immune system in fighting form. It’s also rich in polysaccharides — carbohydrates that can activate white blood cells to bolster immune function.
The savory flavor of mushrooms helps elevate the taste of dishes. You can add this ingredient in egg mixtures to make delicious omelets. Alternatively, you can slice the mushrooms up and add them to salads, soups, and pasta.
Meals that contain one or more of these ingredients can help protect your body from flu and other infections. When whipping up dishes using these food products, keep in mind the recommended daily intake and serving sizes, so you don’t end up getting too little or too much of a single nutrient.