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10 Foods for Immune Health

10 Foods for Immune Health

Flu season in the U.S. tends to peak between December and February, so now is the perfect time to start including more immune-boosting foods in your diet. Vitamins–especially beta carotene and vitamins C, D, and E–help your body resist illness. Folate, manganese, riboflavin, iron and zinc can also help your body fight off the winter ick.

Already sick? Try these natural remedies to help your cold symptoms or these natural flu remedies!

Of course, no diet is going to make you 100 percent cold–and flu-proof, but eating these foods for immune health may help you avoid sickness. If you do get sick, arming your body with the nutrients it needs can help you get better faster.

10 Foods for Immune Health

Foods for Immune Health: Pumpkin

1. Pumpkin – Pumpkin and other yellow or orange winter squash provide a good mix of vitamin A along with soluble fiber, folate, manganese, and riboflavin to help boost your immune system. Read more about pumpkin and immune health here!

Foods for Immune Health: Spinach

2. SpinachA cup of cooked spinach provides 5 percent of your daily zinc requirements. It also has 377 percent of your vitamin A, 29 percent of your vitamin C, and 19 percent of your vitamin E. Spinach is very high in iron, but it also contains a compound that makes it hard for your body to absorb. Look to other foods for your immune-boosting iron.

Foods for Immune Health: Pumpkin Seeds

3. Pumpkin Seeds – When you cook up that immune-boosting pumpkin, roast the seeds for extra cold and flu-fighting power. An ounce of roasted pumpkin or winter squash seeds has 19 percent of your zinc requirements.

Foods for Immune Health: Blueberries

4. Berries – Blueberries are a superfood rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants that help protect your body from illness.

Foods for Immune Health: Mushrooms

5. Mushrooms – Button mushrooms may look unassuming, but they’re actually a very good source of flu-fighting vitamin D, riboflavin and manganese.

Foods for Immune Health: Beans

6. BeansA cup of cooked black beans provides 13 percent of your daily zinc. Black beans – and other beans – are also a good source of manganese, folate, iron, and soluble fiber.

Foods for Immune Health: Molasses

7. Blackstrap Molasses – Molasses is rich in immune-boosting iron. Maybe that’s why molassesy gingerbread is such a popular fall and winter flavor!

Foods for Immune Health: Broccoli

8. Broccoli – Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are good sources of vitamins A, C, and E. They’re also a good source of folate, manganese, and iron. Broccoli in particular, though has been shown to contain a compound called DIM that supports immune health.

Foods for Immune Health: Tea

9. Tea – You know that a steamy cup of tea helps soothe some of your cold and flu symptoms, but did you know that a cuppa could also help prevent illness? A 2003 study found that tea contains compounds that help your body fight germs and viruses.

Foods for Immune Health: Kombucha

10. Kombucha – Kombucha contain probiotics which help support your body’s immune system. If kombucha isn’t your speed, try adding other fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, or miso to your diet this fall and winter.  Leesa’s favorite is GT Dave’s Raw Organic Mutli-Green Kombucha!

Leesa also recommends always choosing organic!

Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


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Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

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