Nutrition Articles

8 Foods That Strengthen Your Immune System

Give Your Body an All-Natural Booster Shot

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Surely you've heard the old saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."  While a daily apple is a better strategy than nothing, it'll actually take a much stronger plan to really boost your immune system. Almost every year, we hear that this cold and flu season is predicted to be a doozy, and we're cautioned to be proactive to fight against germs. The best weapons in germ warfare are adequate sleep, regular exercise and appropriate hand washing.  But don't stop there: Give your immune system an all-natural "booster shot" by eating more of these readily-available, budget-friendly foods. 

Foods That Fight Colds & the Flu
 
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Sweet Potatoes do double-duty when it comes to fighting off infection. They're filled with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that transforms into vitamin A, another antioxidant that keeps your skin strong and elastic, which helps keep those harmful bacteria and viruses out of your body.

Try It: Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Swap It: Other foods rich in these antioxidants include carrots, acorn squash, butternut squash and pumpkin.
 
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant shown to attack free radicals and fight infection. Vitamin C it can lessen the time it takes your body to fight off a cold.  
 
Try It: Grapefruit Salad

Swap It: Other vitamin C-rich foods to try are oranges, tangerines, kiwis, bell peppers, papaya, strawberries and broccoli. Continued ›
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

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