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6 foods to boost your immune system

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits one of the best foods to boost your immune system. They are often high in vitamin C, a nutrient that helps give your immune system a boost. Vitamin C boosts immunity by encouraging the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection. 

Vitamin C also helps protect the white blood cells from damage by harmful molecules such as free radicals. The vitamin C in citrus fruits is actively transported to the skin. This then acts as an antioxidant and helps strengthen the skin’s barriers.

Ginger

Ginger features a wide range of antioxidants. It’s packed with gingerols, paradols, sesquiterpenes, shogaols, and zingerone, all of which have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These antioxidants protect your body from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals.

The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger extract have been through numerous studies that show a reduction in inflammation with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory gut disease, asthma, and certain cancers.

Papaya

The papaya fruit contains high levels of vitamin A, C, and E. Vitamin A influences cell development. It also increases the activity of immune-system cells, which in turn could make it valuable in the fight against cancer. As above, Vitamin C helps boost immunity by helping the production of white blood cells, protecting the body against infection. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that widens blood vessels helping to keep blood clots from forming.

Additionally, papaya’s high fiber content may reduce the risk of heart disease. The soluble fibre in the fruit does this by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. The antioxidants within papaya also help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol oxidizes, it’s more likely to create blockages that lead to heart disease. 

Garlic

Garlic has been used for years as both a food and a medicine. Garlic cloves contain a compound called alliin, and when crushed or chewed, this compound turns to allicin. As allicin is unstable, it quickly converts to other compounds which give garlic its medicinal properties.

These compounds created from allicin have been shown to boost the disease fighting response in white blood cells. When these white blood cells encounter viruses such as the common cold or flu, they can have a stronger chance of fighting it off. 

Yoghurt

Yoghurt is typically made from fermented milk, which when fermented creates probiotics which help boost the immune system. Luckily there are now loads of vegan yoghurts on the market full of probiotics. They even have similar strains of bacteria that you typically find in dairy-based yogurts.

Probiotics help give your immune system a boost and put a halt on the growth of harmful gut bacteria. They have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body giving you that boost your immune system needs. 

Broccoli

Broccoli is surprisingly high in vitamins and minerals, making it one of the best foods to boost your immune system. One cup of broccoli contains as much vitamin C as an orange! This amazing little green vegetable is also high in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.

Broccoli supplies an assortment of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, and B6). Together, these vitamins and minerals help the immune system to run in top form. They do this through helping produce healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Healthy red blood cells mean the immune system gets the oxygen it needs to perform at it’s best. 

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