The Best Foods To Boost Your Immune System

As we enter cold and flu season, most of us start to think more about or immune health and function. It seems like every winter there's someone in your office, in your classroom, or at the gym who is sniffling or coughing up a storm. There are plenty of options as far as food goes to make sure our immune health is in tip-top shape. 

 

1. Citrus

Citrus fruits contain ample amounts of ascorbic acid, otherwise known as vitamin C. Vitamin C helps our body produce white blood cells, which help us fight infection and illness in our body. Vitamin C is a nutrient that cannot be stored in our body, so to get the best protection from Vitamin C, it is important to consume it every day. Whether it comes from lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges or even kiwis, it doesn't matter, as long as you’re getting it daily! Daily vitamin C needs for men are 90mg daily for men and 75mg for women. When supplementing with Vitamin C, be careful looking out for negative side effects such as an upset stomach, or frequent urination. Because vitamin C needs are so low, there likely isn’t a reason to be taking the mega-dosed 5000-10,000mg vitamin C supplements.

2. Garlic

Garlic has been used for thousands of years in a medicinal setting for treating sickness and infections. This is because garlic contains a compound called allicin, a natural antibiotic and antioxidant that helps support proper immune function. Allicin has been shown to increase the number of natural killer cells in our bodies. There are countless studies showing the immune-enhancing effects of garlic and allicin consumption in adults.  

3. Ginger

Similarly to garlic, ginger has been used for thousands of years ways to remedy illness and infections. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols, which are responsible for all the immune health benefits of ginger. Gingerols help scavenge free radicals, which are byproducts of metabolic processes, and the over-accumulation of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can worsen our immune function and has been linked to all sorts of illnesses, infections, and diseases. 

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