Who doesn’t want a healthy, powerful immune system that helps protect you from illness and serious conditions? Nobody, that’s who. One way to give your immunity a boost is to consume more fruits and veggies. Clients who come to VIP Fitness in Fort Lee, NJ get nutritional counseling. It includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Some help lower blood pressure, others help lose weight and still others can help boost your immunity. So which vegetables are the best if you want a strong immune system to prevent colds, flu, and other illnesses?
You don’t have to eat citrus to get the benefits of vitamin C.
Vitamin C plays a role in many of your bodily functions, including immune function. It boosts the immune system. When most people think of vitamin C, they think of oranges and lemons, but many other fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C besides citrus fruits. For instance, red or yellow sweet bell peppers are high in vitamin C, just as green chili peppers are. One green chili pepper provides 121% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. Kale and broccoli also provide high amounts of vitamin C.
It takes more than just vitamin C to keep your immune system healthy.
Your body needs zinc, iron, and vitamins A, D and E to maintain a healthy immune system. You also need phytonutrients. Legumes, nuts, and seeds are good vegetarian iron sources. Focus on orange and yellow vegetables like sweet potatoes or squash for vitamin A. Spinach is another good source. The sun and animal products like egg yolk and oily fish provide most vitamin D, but certain mushrooms also contain it. Scientists classify mushrooms as fungus but for nutritional purposes, they’re a vegetable. Vitamin E is in many plants. Green leafy ones, like spinach, are a good source. So are asparagus, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.
Phytonutrients play a significant role in immune health.
Phytonutrients are part of the plant’s defense system. They’re natural chemicals in plants that protect them from fungi, bugs, germs, and other threats. Some phytonutrients give plants their color. Anthocyanins, for instance, make purple, blue, and deep red veggies that color. Other phytonutrients include polyphenols, flavonoids, resveratrol, carotenoids, and limonoids. A good example of how well they boost your immune system was the study that found elderberries as effective as Tamiflu for preventing the flu.
- Any food that improves the gut microbiome can boost your immune system. Sauerkraut and Kimchi, both fermented vegetables, are excellent choices. Vegetables with soluble fiber, like broccoli, are other good choices.
- Herbs and spices, such as garlic, cayenne pepper, saffron, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric won’t make a meal, but they come from plants and boost your immune system. It’s the curcumin in turmeric and allicin in garlic that helps.
- Folate is another nutrient to improve immune health. It’s made of leafy greens, lentils, and beans.
- While eating food that boosts your immune system is beneficial, it’s just as important to avoid food that interferes with it, like sugar. To be your healthiest, remove food with added sugar from your diet.
For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center