Fruits & Veg: The Natural Immune Booster

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Your immune system needs to be strong enough to fight off germs and viruses lurking everywhere. Eating nutrient rich foods is a great way to keep your family healthy . But, with tight schedules, many of us eat on the run and sacrifice good nutrition which can undermine the health boost that a normally nutritious diet offers.

Ensure that you’re eating plenty of foods rich in immunity boosting nutrients - vitamin A, C and E, vitamin B6, zinc, iron and magnesium. Vitamins are found primarily in plant-based foods and are necessary to maintain the immune system in tip-top shape as well as for growth, healthy and physical wellbeing. Our bodies are unable to make vitamins so they must be supplied in our diet. The best sources of these are fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.

The phytonutrients, antioxidants, fibers, oils and acids in fruits and vegetables are responsible for their many immune-modulating properties. These bioactive compounds are used by the body to directly combat inflammation and infections as well as support detoxification and immune cell function. Strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli and sweet potato are all great for boosting your immune system but just five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily can significantly increase antibody response.

You should also try to avoid low-carb diets as low glycogen stores are associated with bigger increases in cortisol levels and bigger suppression of your immune cells.


Orange + Yellows

Citrus Fruits (oranges, lemons, etc) for their Vitamin C and flavonoid content which also shows ability to target immune malfunctions such as excessive inflammation and cancer development

Reds

Cranberries, Goji berries (increase immune cells), Tomatos (lycopene content plus additional compounds that can protect proper immune function), watermelon + red peppers (lycopene content - potent antioxidant)

Blues + Purples

Blueberries (antioxidants), purple grapes

Greens + Whites

Broccoli, Cabbage + Cauliflower (powerful anticarcinogenic agents), leafy green vegetables including spinach and kale (vitamin A, C plus immunostimulatory and immunoprotective effects), garlic, mushrooms (encourage the production of infection-fighting cells and also improve the action of white blood cells), kiwi fruit