8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Maybe you have something as simple as a cold, or perhaps you’re just looking for a little boost in immunity. With the right vitamins and minerals, smart dietary choices can pack a healthy punch. Although diet gets little attention in conventional media when it comes to supporting the immune system, it is one of the most powerful methods for keeping colds and other illnesses at bay. While nutrition isn’t the only means of immune system support, it is one of the oldest and most reliable natural adjuncts.

Eight Foods for Immune System Support

The majority of your immune cells reside in your intestines, so doesn’t it make sense to consume healthy foods for keeping your immune system top notch? Here are 8 foods you can eat right now to boost your immune system.

1. Bell Peppers

I know, right? I bet you thought citrus was going to be my first choice. Well, reach for all the bell peppers you want because they can actually have twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. In addition, bell peppers are a great source of beta-carotene, which not only helps maintain healthy skin and eyes but studies suggest they could also provide an immune system boost. [1] [2]

2. Citrus

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3. Ginger

Ginger is thought to work much like Vitamin C in that it can even stop a cold before it starts. That said, it’s also a great food to reach for after you’re sick. Ginger can have a little heat due to the gingerol, a cousin of sorts to capsaicin—the stuff that makes chili peppers hot. It’s the “kick” of the gingerol that can even act as a strong soothing agent. [3] Swanson Turmeric Antio... Buy New $9.99 (as of 10:25 EST - Details)

4. Turmeric

You can find this spice in many curries; it’s bright yellow in color, and a little bitter in taste, but it can definitely be pretty amazing for your health. While it’s already been used for its soothing capabilities for arthritis (among other things), a recent study suggests high concentrations of curcumin—what gives turmeric its color—could also reduce fever. [4] [5]

5. Spinach

With vitamin C, beta-carotene, and plenty of antioxidants, spinach is a perfect vegetable for your immune system. If you want to get the most out of it though, cook it as little as possible, or even keep it raw. But don’t stop at spinach; a study suggests that other leafy green vegetables are good choices as well. [6]

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