9 Expert-Approved Healthy Foods That Could Boost Your Immune System
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, health authorities have repeatedly urged the public to do daily precautions to help curb the disease. Mundane things like handwashing, social distancing, exercising and getting enough sleep are now of utmost priority for everyone. Following this is key in lowering the risk of getting the infection.
Maintaining a healthy diet could also help you boost your immune system. Although there is no study yet to prove which foods help combat COVID-19 specifically, research has been done to find out which can improve the health and strengthen the immune system. Here are 9 food items you should include in your list for your next grocery trip:
Red Bell Peppers
You may be surprised to know that red bell peppers have so much vitamin C that they are twice as much as oranges. A cup of chopped red bell pepper has 211% of the recommended daily value, while oranges only have 106%.
According to a study by the National Institute of Health that was published in 2017, vitamin C can help build your immunity defense by supporting a variety of cell functions, lowering the risk of respiratory infections and helping the growth and repair of tissues in the body.
This is another superfood that is rich in vitamin C. Only half a cup of broccoli already has 43% of the recommended intake. It also has antioxidants to fight off bacteria and viruses. For better results, eat broccoli raw or have it slightly cooked.
Chickpeas are good sources of protein, an important nutrient made of amino acids that aid in the growth and repair of tissues in your body. It also synthesizes and maintains enzymes in order to keep our functioning. Its Zinc content aids in controlling the immune system.
Not only are cloves of garlic packed with flavor, but it’s also good for the health. Consuming it can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of getting the disease. It’s also a fairly easy vegetable to work with.
Just half a cup of strawberries can give you 50% of the daily vitamin C needs of your body. Vitamin C also helps protect the cells from the damage caused by free radicals exposed to the environment.
You usually get your vitamin D from the sunlight, but the nutrient is also present in mushrooms. It helps enhance the ability to absorb calcium, a nutrient that strengthens your bones, and it may also protect you from certain cancers and respiratory diseases.
Another vitamin C-rich food is spinach. It is packed with antioxidants and can help shield your immune cells from environmental damage. Its beta carotene is a main dietary source of vitamin A and is an important element for proper immune function.
Probiotics are good bacteria that can help promote a healthy immune system and gut. It’s also believed to be effective against the common cold and the influenza-like respiratory ailments. Instead of going for the flavored or sweetened yogurt, opt for the plain one and just top it with honey or fruits.
With its high content of vitamin E, sunflower seeds are good sources of antioxidants that help boost your immune system. With just an ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds, you can get 49% of the daily recommended value of vitamin E.
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