Foods that boost your immune system

Darvin Nelson, Features Editor

 As hand sanitizer disappears from the shelves of stores nation-wide, COVID-19 has made people more aware of their health. People are looking for ways to avoid becoming sick and while hand sanitizer and face masks may work, the immune system is crucial for fighting off infections and illnesses. 

Here are some foods that can help you boost your immune system:

Garlic: Not only may garlic help lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries, but garlic has a large concentration of allicin which reduces inflammation and has antioxidant properties.

Red bell peppers: Red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C than citrus. They’re also rich in beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. This helps with vision, mucous membranes, skin, and the immune system.

Spinach: Like red bell peppers, spinach contains beta carotene. It’s also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Ginger: Ginger reduces inflammation and has a variety of antioxidants.

Broccoli: Broccoli is high in multiple vitamins. It contains fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and B6, and antioxidants. Antioxidants take down molecules that damage cells. 

Citrus fruits (oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, tangerines): Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which help protect the body from infections. It’s important to consume vitamin C as our bodies don’t produce or store it.

Vitamin E: This potent antioxidant can be found in wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, and almonds. Vitamin E helps maintain the immune system.

Zinc: Zinc helps produce proteins, DNA, and immune cells. Oysters, chickpeas, and cashews all contain Zinc.

Carotenoids: When eaten, carotenoids are made into vitamin A. This helps regulate the immune system and is better if they are cooked or consumed with fat. Carotenoids can be found in kale, mangos, carrots, sweet potatoes, and collard greens.

Omega-3 fatty acids:  Omega-3 is a fatty acid that reduces inflammation and can protect from autoimmune disorders, according to Fish and flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids.


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