A strong immune system is key to staying healthy and fighting off illness. What you eat plays an important role in keeping your immune system strong. Certain foods contain nutrients and compounds that can give your immunity cells a boost. Adding these immune-boosting foods to your diet can provide your body with the compounds it needs to defend itself against germs and infections.
From apple cider to zinc, there are plenty of edible options to help your body’s defenses prepare for battle. When cold and flu season strikes, a strong immune system is your best line of defense. Supporting your immune health with the right foods gives your body the nutritional weapons it needs to fight back against viruses and bacteria trying to make you their next victim.
Vitamin C Packed Foods
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports immune health. It helps immune cells function more effectively and enhances their ability to protect against infection. Excellent food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, red bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and kiwi. Eating vitamin C rich foods daily gives your immune system an extra boost.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. They support immune function by crowding out harmful bacteria and regulating inflammation. Kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are all naturally excellent sources of probiotics. Aim to incorporate a few servings of probiotic-rich foods into your diet each week.
Zinc Containing Foods
Zinc is a mineral that plays a significant role in immune cell development and communication. Deficiency can negatively impact immune function. Foods high in zinc include oysters, crab, lobster, baked beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and chickpeas. Be sure to get adequate zinc from your diet to keep your immune system in top shape.
Garlic contains the compound allicin, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Regularly incorporating garlic into your meals gives your immune system an edge against germs and viruses. Use fresh garlic cloves in your cooking or take a garlic supplement if you tolerate it well.
Ginger root contains gingerol, a bioactive compound that exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that may strengthen immunity. Add fresh ginger to stir-fries, smoothies, and tea. You can also take ginger supplements to reap the potential immune-boosting benefits.
The curcumin in turmeric has been shown to enhance immune cell activity. As a potent anti-inflammatory, it may also help regulate immune function. Add turmeric to curries, soups, and smoothies. Curcumin supplements are another option but may interact with certain medications.
Fighting Bacterial Infections?
If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic like Keflex (cephalexin) to treat it. Keflex is effective for infections of the skin, throat, ears, lungs, and urinary tract. When taking antibiotics, always complete the full course as prescribed, even if you start feeling better. If your doctor recommends Keflex, be sure to ask about any current Keflex special deals that could help make the medication more affordable.
Many pharmaceutical companies offer discounts, coupons, or savings cards for certain drugs, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. Taking advantage of special offers can provide savings on prescriptions when you need them. With an adequate dose of the right antibiotic, bacterial infections don’t stand a chance.
Incorporating plenty of immune-boosting foods into your balanced diet gives your immune system the nutrients it relies on to protect you. Aim for a variety of fruits, vegetables, probiotics, herbs, and spices to support overall immune health. Leading a healthy lifestyle along with a diet rich in immune-boosting foods will go a long way in helping you fight off illness.
Talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements, especially if you take medication. With smart dietary choices and healthy habits, you can give your immune system the advantage it needs to keep you feeling your best.