Coming in contact with people carrying the common cold or flu is inevitable, whether it be from someone at work, at the store, at school or even our own family members. Trying to avoid sick people is virtually impossible, so the only alternative is to boost our immune systems to fight off these sicknesses.
Foods High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well known immune system booster, and it is believed that is capable of doing so through the production of red blood cells. When most people think of Vitamin C, they are immediately drawn to citrus fruits, especially oranges. Citrus fruits including lemons, limes, grapefruit, and of course oranges are high in Vitamin C but there is a better option out there.
Red bell peppers believe it or not are a preferable choice to oranges and other citrus fruits because they have about three times more Vitamin C citrus fruits, and more Vitamin C than any other food source that we know of. In addition to Vitamin C, red bell peppers are loaded with antioxidants which also promote better immune function and beta carotene which helps maintain skin elasticity and maintains eye function as well. Considering that they have all of these benefits, it makes red bell peppers the preferred choice when seeking Vitamin C.
Vitamin D Regulation
Vitamin D is another micronutrient which is linked to improved immune health as well. Vitamin D is believed to be involved in processes which produce antimicrobial peptides, which fight off a variety of disease types. This makes Vitamin D one of, if not the most important micronutrients we must gain from our diets. Luckily there are plenty of food sources high in Vitamin D especially animal based foods. Fish with a high fat content are great sources of Vitamin D, especially tuna and salmon. Cheese and egg yolks are good alternatives to fish when seeking out the best sources of Vitamin D.
Foods Packed with Minerals
When striving for a healthy body and immune system, varying our diets are important. This is because there are a variety of macro and micronutrients that are found in various foods, many of these foods having only a few if any of these nutrients we need. This is important to consider when making food choices especially when you are sick or fighting off an illness. Choosing foods that have multiple vitamins and minerals that fight disease is important, one example of this being broccoli. Broccoli is loaded with important vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Another example of an extremely beneficial food packed with vitamins and minerals which can help to fight disease is spinach. Spinach like broccoli contains vitamin C, and vitamin A but also has numerous antioxidants like beta carotene which are believed to positively affect immune function.
Probiotics are also important to consider when trying to improve immune health. Probiotics are also known as bacteria, in this case they are the beneficial type. We eat foods like yogurt, kimchi, and other fermented foods which have these bacteria because they play an important role in digestion. Without these probiotics, we simply are not able to digest some foods, and thus cannot get all the nutrients we need to maintain our health. Some of the bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods are believed to be beneficial to our immune health in that they fight off disease as well.