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Best Foods for the Immune System – How Your Diet Can Support Your Health

January 26, 2022

Is your immune system functioning optimally?

As you get older, it’s important to be proactive in looking after your health and wellbeing. During the winter months, you may be more likely to pick up coughs and colds. If your immune system is low, it can struggle to fend off unwanted illnesses. 

This week, we’re looking at the best foods for the immune system, and how your diet can help to keep you healthy:

Variety of best foods for the immune systems

Best Foods for the Immune System: Citrus Fruits

You may find it beneficial to incorporate plenty of citrus fruits into your diet. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system.

By encouraging the production of white blood cells in your body, vitamin C will help your body to fight off infection and protect you from unwanted illnesses. 

Your body needs plenty of water to stay hydrated; you can add fresh slices of lemon to help improve the taste. The citrus infusion will also help to detox your body, helping you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Grapefruit has a high water content and so will help with hydration, too; why not experiment with different recipes, such as adding it to an overnight oats jar for a tangy twist? 

Citrus-infused water

Bell Peppers Are Important for Your Immune System

Bell peppers contain high levels of vitamin A, which boosts your immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also essential for your eye health and vision.

Bell peppers are a delicious way to give your body a healthy boost of vitamins. As they’re so versatile, you can pop them in many dishes, such as chilli, stir fry or salad. Why not try slicing a raw pepper and serving it with hummus for a healthy snack?

Person cutting red bell peppers

Best Foods for the Immune System: Garlic and Ginger

Garlic and ginger pack your dishes with strong flavours and a host of nutrients. They taste great together; why not use them to create a delicious chicken noodle soup or vegetable curry? Dishes such as these are great for strengthening your immune system. 

Garlic is known for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties, which can help to destroy viruses and other microorganisms in your body. Its high sulphur content can also help to fend off colds and flu.

Ginger is full of antioxidants which can help to rid your body of harmful toxins, improving your overall health. They can also help to protect you against the signs of ageing.

Best foods for the immune system: garlic and ginger

Best Foods for the Immune System: Dark, Leafy Greens

Some of the best foods for your immune system are kale, broccoli and spinach. Dark green vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that support your overall health, leading to a stronger immune system. 

They’re also excellent sources of fibre and iron and contain vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. These help to support your bone health, immune system and lower your risk of serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. 

You can add dark, leafy greens to salads or stir-fries, or add them to your morning smoothie for a subtle nutritional boost.

Best foods for the immune system: dark, leafy greens

Blueberries Are Excellent Immune-Boosting Foods

Blueberries are known as a superfood, and they’re one of the best foods to help boost your immune system. Although small in size, they’re high in nutrients and make for a great snack.

They’re full of antioxidants which can help to reduce cell damage, protect you against unwanted illnesses and leave you feeling fit and healthy.

You can add blueberries to smoothies or fruit salads, or you could try sprinkling them over your porridge for an extra boost.

Porridge topped with blueberries

As well as eating the best foods for the immune system, it’s important to look after your overall health. Try to get a good nights’ sleep and exercise often to reap the benefits during your retirement.

To find out more about ways to look after your body, why not read our previous blog to discover our top 5 healthy meals for seniors?

Alternatively, please contact a member of our team at Friary Meadow for more information about our retirement development.