7 Foods That Can Boost Your Immune System

“Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food”.
Hippocrates

Our immune system is comprised of many biological structures and processes that protect us against diseases.

A lack of minerals and vitamins or poor nutrition, in general, can weaken the immune system while certain foods can support proper immune function.

Here’s a selection of foods that can help you to stay healthy:

Red Bell Peppers

A cup of Red Bell Pepper contains approximately 190 mg Vitamin C — that’s almost three times more than an orange (70mg of Vitamin C).

Vitamin C can support the production of white blood cells and thus decrease the body’s susceptibility to infections.

Red Bell Peppers are also rich in Vitamin A, which helps to strengthen the immune system against infections.

Garlic

Garlic has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. It contains phytochemicals (antioxidants) that can help to prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress makes your body prone to infections.

Garlic also contains germanium, which is an element beneficial to the immune system.

Important note: Cooking garlic decreases the potencies of its immune-boosting compounds (e.g. of sulfur), so it’s best to consume it raw or as a supplement.*

Berries

Like Garlic, berries contain various antioxidants including, anthocyanins, carotenoids, lycopene, lutein, polysaccharides, and phenolics, which can help to boost immunity and thus to prevent infections.

Research suggests that the anthocyanins found in berries can decrease inflammation and help to prevent cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, and cancer.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, which acts as a powerful antioxidant. Similar to the compounds found berries, it helps to decrease inflammation and protects against infections.

Apart from that, research suggests that a deficiency of this mineral can have a negative impact on immune function.

Brazil nuts are also rich in Vitamin E, which is another powerful antioxidant that helps your body to fight off infections.

Salmon

According to the USDA, a salmon fillet contains around 815 IU (international units) Vitamin D, which covers the recommended daily intake (RDI) of 600–800 IU for adults.

Vitamin D is linked to improved immune function. It helps to activate the enzymes on the surfaces of the White Blood Cells. White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, help to fight infections.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in Zinc, which is a mineral that promotes wound healing and boosts the immune system.

100 grams of pumpkin seeds contain around 8 mg, which almost covers the DRI of 8–11 mg.

Pumpkin seeds also contain the amino acid tryptophan. The body converts tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin can help to improve sleep, which is crucial for a strong immune system.

Eggs

Our body uses protein to synthesize immune system chemicals. Eggs are not only a great sources of protein, they also contain an amino acid called L-glutamine.

L-Glutamine is linked to improved immune function. According to research, the supplementation with L-Glutamine can help to limit infections and shorten hospital stays after surgery.

Another study with mice has shown that dietary L-glutamine supplementation enhances immune function and thus might help to protect against viral infections.

Apart from that, the protein contained in eggs can help to boost your metabolism.

*Please check in with your physician if it’s okay for you to take supplements, or to make changes to your diet, especially if you’re suffering from a chronic condition or are on medication.

Download my handout with more nutritional weight loss strategies.

In good health,
Rike

Rike Aprea

My name is Friederike Aprea. Most people call me Rike. I'm German-born and have lived and worked in Japan and Korea before I moved to the US. I coach individuals and companies using the principles of Kaizen. Whether you want to live a more purpose-driven life, improve your health, or change the business model of your company: Kaizen can get you there. Step by step. Day by day.

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