Immune Boosting Foods

Boost Your Immune System

I am not a winter person at all, being cold makes me down right miserable. I love to spend my days in flip flops and bare feet, my warm summer days just can’t come fast enough! 

Is it just me, or does it seem like winter lasts longer than any other season? I think that we are getting closer, we’ve had a few warmer days recently, but just when you think that spring is on the way, we wake up to another frosty morning! My sister just sent me a funny meme that seems pretty appropriate for the way I’m feeling about winter right now – it made me laugh. Here it is- it gives the 11 seasons of winter:

11 Seasons of Winter

  1. Winter
  2. Fool’s Spring
  3. Second Winter
  4. Spring of Deception
  5. Third Winter
  6. Mud Season
  7. Actual Spring
  8. Summer
  9. False Fall
  10. Second Summer (1 Week)
  11. Actual Fall

With all the up and down winter weather that happens, it’s no wonder it’s a challenge to keep everyone in our families healthy.  I feel like every time I turn around someone or some of our friends are in quarantine.  All this sickness has sent me searching for ways to boost my family’s immune system. In addition to using my essential oils, a great way to boost it – is to feed it!

Immune boosting foods increase the number of white cells in the immune system, train them to fight better, and help them form an overall better defense. The right nutrients also help our bodies get rid of the substances that wear us down.

5 Nutrients that are Vital to a Healthy Immune System

Immune boosting foods

Vitamin C: Increases the amount of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies. Approximately 200 milligrams a day works well and can be obtained by eating at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The fruits containing the highest amounts of Vitamin C are:

  • Guava
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit

Vitamin E: Enhances the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Foods that provide Vitamin E are:

  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Avocado

Carotenoids: Beta carotene is the most familiar carotenoid and increases the number of infection-fighting cells.  They are a powerful antioxidant. Foods high in carotenoids are:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Tomatoes

Zinc: This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection. Since too much zinc in the form of supplements (more than 75 milligrams a day) can inhibit immune function, it is safest to stick to getting zinc from your diet. Foods rich in zinc are:

  • Oysters
  • Crab
  • Beef
  • Turkey (dark meat)  
  • Beans

Omega-3 fatty acids: Increase the activity of the cells that eat up bacteria. Essential fatty acids also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. Found primarily in flax oil and fatty fish such as

  • Salmon
  • Tuna and
  • Mackerel

Try your best to incorporate as many of these nutrient dense foods into your family’s diet, not just in the winter, but all year long.  Feed your family a variety of healthy, colorful foods and give them germ fighting super powers!

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