5 Fresh Foods To Boost Immunity

by in Healthy Tips, February 17, 2009


This winter, protect yourself from those cold or flu bugs going around. Eat more of these fresh foods to build up your immunity.

1) Nuts
Snack on almonds, cashews or walnuts, which are packed with vitamin E. This antioxidant helps kick those pesky free-radicals out of your body. Vitamin E also helps create antibodies that fight bacteria that make you sick. Other healthy vitamin E-rich foods are seeds and whole grains.

2) Citrus Fruits
The famous vitamin C helps fight infection and a good antioxidant to have — along with vitamin E. But there is more to citrus than just orangesgrapefruits, clementines, lemons, limes and tangerines are all part of this family, and they’re in season in winter so you can enjoy them at their juiciest. Citrus not your thing? Try bell peppers — they have more vitamin C than an orange! Potatoes, tomatoes and kiwi are also great sources.

3) Shrimp
So you’ve heard shrimp has cholesterol, but it’s also extremely low in fat and contains the antioxidant selenium. Many foods have a combination of nutrients, and you need to weigh the “bad” with the “good.” Selenium is a mineral needed in small amounts and works to support a healthy immune system. Seafood and meat are great sources for it.

4) Yogurt
The probiotics — or “good bacteria” found in yogurt and other foods — keep your digestive system up and running. According to research from the Journal of the American Dietetics Association, consuming foods with probiotics regularly may also help boost your immune system. Sauerkraut, miso and tempeh are other food sources to try.

5) Green Tea
The polyphenols in green tea act as potent antioxidants. Research suggests that catechins, a specific type of polyphenol, may stimulate the immune system cells and hinder disease-promoting compounds. Although you may detect a bitter taste, you can disguise it with a bit of honey. Adding milk is a no-no as it will bind to the polyphenols and stop their immunity benefits. (See some of Dana’s ideas on enjoying tea.)

Immunity Downers
Eating tons of high-fat foods and forgoing your daily fruits and veggies can also weaken the immune system. Smokers have an added disadvantage as smoking increases free-radicals, which definitely takes a toll on the immune system (another good reason to quit).

Be wary of restaurants promoting specialty drinks or products with add-ins that claim to increase immunity. The makers of Airborne settled a $23.3 million dollar false advertising suit last year because they claimed the vitamin and mineral mixture miraculously fights the common cold. Your best bet is sticking with whole, natural foods.

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Comments (104)

  1. Sharon Atkinson says:

    Food network is rapidly becoming boring just like the other networks because of all the challenges and bad programming. I work 70 to 80 hours a week and don't want to watch shows that waste what little time I have to watch. More Ina and Giada, please. I am a vegetarian and would love to watch a cooking show devoted to vegetarian cooking. If you can't find anyone, I'll be glad to do the show! I am a cancer survivor for 10 years and have stayed cancer free due in most part, to my vegetarian diet.

  2. That’s Too nice, when it comes in india hope it can make a Rocking place for youngster.. hope that come true.

  3. joyce says:

    I agree, take the challenges off. Hardly anyone likes them. Give us some simple cooking that does not require that you buy everything in the store to make it. Giada's show, in my opinion, is one of the best. Her presentation is very good

  4. ewwww says:

    THANK YOU!!!!! I LOVE THEM TOO!!!!!!!!!!!

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