Author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and Board of Medical Experts member Amy Goodson MS RD CSSD LD recommends consuming a balanced diet to maintain your immune system.
“If you want to keep your immune system strong against colds, germs, and other illnesses, eat whole foods like colored produce, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains,” says Amy Goodson.
Here foods and drinks can boost your immune system:
1. Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a specific antioxidant known to help maintain the immune system and fight disease. In addition to oranges, this can be obtained from tomatoes and tomato juice, red peppers, strawberries and green vegetables such as spinach and green beans.
2. Foods Rich in Zinc
“Beef is considered an excellent source of zinc, providing nearly half of what is needed in a day,” says Goodson.
Therefore, choosing lean red meat at meals can help supply this important nutrient. If you don’t like red meat, you can also get zinc through nuts, seeds, dairy and even dark chocolate.
3. Drink more smoothies
“smoothies packed with antioxidants and immune-boosting ingredients is a great way to prepare the body against impending tridemia, and it’s a great way to get these nutrients for your kids to protect against RSV too,” said Trista Best MPH RD LD at Balance One Supplements .
Some ingredients to consider include blueberries, spinach, papaya, flaxseed, kale, mango and ginger. Consider a base of vitamin C-rich natural orange juice or kefir for probiotics.
4. Snack with Nuts and Seeds
Immunity boosting snacks are the best way to integrate nutrition into the body and protect against disease. So replace chips or popcorn with nuts and seeds.
Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, or seeds, such as sunflower and pumpkin, contain many vitamins and minerals that help regulate and support the immune system.
These nutrients include B6, phosphorus, selenium, and magnesium, along with healthy fats that help lower inflammation that can impair immune function.
5. Fermented Foods
Equally important, eat healthy doses of fermented foods to provide probiotics, beneficial bacteria.
Best says that probiotics can help immunity by secreting substances that trigger the immune system to react more strongly, thus preventing pathogens from taking root and causing disease.
If you are looking for delicious food rich in probiotics, Best suggests yogurt with live active culturescheeses like gouda, mozzarella and cheddar, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, apple cider vinegar, miso and kimchi.***