Support a Healthy Immune System with Food!
By Sara Butler
Your immune system works hard each day to keep you healthy. You may be surprised to learn that one of your immune system's first lines of defense is in the gut. Because of that, what you eat can have a huge impact on how well your immune system functions. Here are a few foods you may want to include in your diet to provide your body with what it needs to work optimally and help you stay as healthy as you can.
When people think of immune-boosting foods, their minds often wander to orange foods. When it comes to bell pepper, yellow is where it's at!
Yellow peppers have a lot of Vitamin C, more than one orange. One medium orange provides you with 78 percent of the Vitamin C your body needs in a day, but a yellow pepper provides 152 percent. Green is OK, too -- they provide about half the amount of Vitamin C as a yellow pepper.
Other foods rich in Vitamin C that you may want to add to your diet include cherries, green chili peppers, blackcurrants, and guava.
Speaking of guava, it deserves an entire section of its own. This fruit contains about 140 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs and also contains the antioxidant lycopene, which helps to support a healthy immune system even more.
Some other foods with lycopene you may want to give a try include watermelon, pink or red grapefruit, and tomatoes -- even cooked ones from a can will work!
Green tea is rich in something called L-theanine, which works to promote the formation of healthy cells in the immune system and can help promote relaxation too. Green tea also contains flavonoids, which are present in many plants to help support a fully functioning immune system.
Almonds are a great snack and also are full of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to protect the cells in your body. Almonds are also full of healthy fats and fiber, which make them a great choice to help you feel full when you're feeling peckish.
A Few More Good Foods
As mentioned, your immune system depends on a healthy gut and nothing helps your gut to stay healthy better than foods with probiotics. This includes fermented foods such as tempeh, pickles, miso, and sauerkraut. Yogurt, too.
You are what you eat, especially when it comes to your immune system. Support it with a healthy and varied diet.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Madison, Wis.