In winter months, it’s easy to fall victim to cold and flu season. We’re less active, and we spend more time indoors, crowded together with other people. How can you protect yourself and strengthen your immune system? Social distancing and proper hygiene go a long way. It’s also important to get regular exercise and plenty of rest, and find ways to manage your stress. One of the best things you can do to keep your immune system strong enough to fight off infections and viruses, though, is eating a nutritious diet. Incorporating the following superfoods can give your immune system a helpful boost.
- Citrus Fruits: High in vitamin C, which increases white blood cell production.
- Red Bell Pepper: These peppers have more vitamin C than citrus, and also contain beta carotene.
- Broccoli: Packed with nutrition, broccoli has vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and antioxidants. To maintain its nutritional power, cook broccoli as little as possible.
- Garlic: A heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin give broccoli its immune-boosting properties.
- Ginger: A must-have when you’re sick, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can ease sore throat, nausea, and possibly even chronic pain.
- Spinach: Rich in vitamin C, spinach is also full of antioxidants and beta carotene. It’s best when cooked very lightly, to release vitamin A while retaining its other nutrients.
- Yogurt: A great source of vitamin D, yogurts with live and active cultures can stimulate your immune system and help fight off illnesses. Skip the flavored yogurt, though, opting for plain and sweetening it with healthy fruit and a drizzle of honey.
- Almonds: Nuts like almonds are a great source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that’s vital for a healthy immune system.
- Sunflower Seeds: Another good source of vitamin E, sunflower seeds also contain vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium, which is believed to be effective at fighting viral infections.
- Turmeric: A key ingredient in curry, turmeric contains curcumin, which is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.
- Green Tea: Green tea is packed with antioxidants and is a good source of the amino acid L-theanine.
- Papaya: Another vitamin C-rich fruit, papaya also contains papain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory effects, along with potassium, magnesium, and folate.
- Kiwi: These little fruits are packed with essential nutrients like folate, potassium, and vitamins K and C.
- Poultry: Chicken and turkey are rich in vitamin B6, which helps in the formation of red blood cells.
- Shellfish: Shellfish like oysters, crab, lobster, and mussels are all great sources of zinc, which can boost immune function.
When you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, a supportive environment can enhance the experience. At the Wellbridge Family of Athletic Clubs, we offer world-class training that keeps up-to-date with the latest in health and wellness. At our clubs, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. Join today or contact us to learn more.