We are all interested in keeping our immune systems healthy right now. Certainly getting enough sleep and some exercise will help, but health experts say what you eat has lot to do with it too.
The experts say you want to concentrate on foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep your immune system strong. Look for foods with vitamin B6 like bananas and foods with probiotics like yogurt.
Oranges and grapefruits get all the Vitamin C glory when it comes to boosting your immune system. But did you know one cup of strawberries or raw broccoli gives you nearly 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C? And, a medium size red bell pepper contains nearly double the daily value.
Gena Lewis is a doctor at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.
“I’m a medical doctor, and I prescribe medicine,” Lewis said. “But I always like to take the natural approach whenever possible, and food is medicine.”
Garlic and olive oil have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which help fight off infection.
“There’s so much evidence that the more we eat that’s plant-based, that’s not processed, so fresh from garden to kitchen is the direction to lean in,” said Richard Seidman, chief medical officer at L.A. Care Health Plan.
You can also drink bone broth which contains a more concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. To give it some flavor, simmer it with ingredients like ginger or cayenne for an extra immune boost.
With ways to keep your immune system healthy and kick sickness to the curb, knowing foods to stay clear of is just as important. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages, crunchy crackers and chips, which aggravate a sore throat, and processed foods which all weaken the immune system.