A strong immune can help you stay healthy all year round. Whether it’s performance at work or on the sports field, the effects of illnesses can take their toll for months on end. To keep things simple, here are 9 great nutritional elements you can grab in your local grocery store, to boost your body’s first line of defense.
1. Citrus fruits
Something early man used to synthesize autonomously, vitamin C is synonymous with helping to prevent or fight off a cold. Citrus fruits are usually the go-to supplement for this key vitamin. There is some evidence vitamin C can increase the production of white blood cells – the primary way your body fights infections.
But more than that, they are also packed with supportive vitamins, minerals and enzymes, that help get the nutrients where they need to go. One tip for getting an easy boost of citrus is to squeeze juices into meals.
2. Red bell peppers
Somewhat surprisingly, gram for gram, bell peppers have the most vitamin C content of any fruit or vegetable. For example, red bell peppers contain at least twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits.
They’re also rich in beta carotene, which has been found to at least make people look healthier due to positive changes in skin color and condition.
One of the classic superfoods, this dark green is loaded with vitamins and minerals, while being extremely light on calories. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the health fanatics favorite vegetables.
Eating it raw keeps the maximum nutrition, but steamed is also a good way to keep its vitamins and minerals intact.
Internationally popular, garlic is found in kitchens all around the globe. Though it’s a great flavor enhancer, the primary benefit is for your health.
Used for many civilizations for centuries to fight infections, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests garlic can also help lower blood pressure and improve the health of your arteries. In terms of immune-boosting properties, it’s significant concentrations of sulfur compounds are known to yield anti-inflammatory effects, as well as immunomodulation.
Ginger is another classic food that your grandmother might recommend when you’re sick. For good reason too. It can decrease nausea reduce inflammation (think of a sore throat), help with chronic pain, and has some cholesterol-lowering properties.
What’s more, it’s a potent supplement, so it’s easy to add to small amounts to food or drinks, or even into juices, and still reap the rewards.
As well as having vitamin C, spinach harbors a whole spectrum of antioxidants, and like peppers, it’s a good source of beta carotene.
Sturdy vegetable, light cooking actually helps bring out its vitamin A and other nutrients, so it’s a good addition to winter soups.
Not all yogurts are created the same, by any means. Many are lifeless vessels for sugar and artificial colorings. Low calorie, tart tasting versions like Greek yogurts are the one that include live cultures.
These probiotics can supplement the health of your microbiome, which affects how much nutrition you actually absorb from all of your diet. As new forms of life entering your body, they are also thought to stimulate your immune system. Healthy yogurts are also high in vitamin D, which is considered to be the most important single vitamin for all-round health.
A potent spice famed in India for its curry boosting flavors, modern science has been finding turmeric to be a powerful health supplement. Traditionally it has been used as an anti-inflammatory for treating conditions such as and rheumatoid arthritis, which are usually at their worst in the winter months.
Last but not least, the classic chicken soup is more than just a placebo effect. It’s known to improve the symptoms of colds and is high in vitamin B-6. Among many other things, this vitamin aids in the production of new red blood cells. Chicken stock is also plentiful in nutrients like gelatin and chondroitin, which help with gut health and immunity.
In Korea, chicken soup is famously combined with ginseng in order to maintain health throughout winter.
So there we have it, just a few simple and easy diet tweaks could help you keep in tip-top shape till summer arrives. Of course, there are lots of other ways to look after your health, so if you want to learn more check out this blog.
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