Foods to boost your immune system
Many of us suffer from chronic stress in our daily lives, which effects or immune system making us prone to picking up niggling colds, flu and stomach upsets.
Here are just a few well-known foods that really do boost your immune system.
Eaten raw they are at their best as they lose their nutritional value upon cooking, so cook lightly or steam if you have to.
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The ultimate immune-boosting food. Rich in anti-oxidants.
Guards against cancer and is rich in a wide range of anti-oxidants, vitamins C and E, folate and iron.
High in carotenes, known to boost the immune system.
Lettuce and Salad Greens
Tangy varieties, such as chicory and endive, stimulate the liver, making them great detoxifiers. Most lettuces contain valuable amounts of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
Bursting with minerals and has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune-boosting and detoxifying properties.
You only need to eat two or three a day to benefit from their great combination of immune-boosting nutrients: vitamin E, selenium and B vitamins.
Has immune-boosting, antiseptic, wound-healing and anti-bacterial properties.
Strengthens the heart and blood, and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Also thought to help lower blood pressure. A key ingredient is allicin, which has cancer-fighting potential.
Best known for helping to prevent and treat urinary tract infections, especially cystitis, in women. They have both anti-fungal and antiviral properties.
Stimulates the immune system and circulation.
A traditional remedy, extract from these dark berries appears to block flu viruses in test tube studies.
Don't dismiss the lowly mushroom as low in nutrients: it has the mineral selenium.
Sometimes promoted as a "super food" along with produce like blueberries, the little acai berry's dark colour signals that it is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Aphrodisiac? Immune boosters? Possibly both, thanks to the mineral zinc that's found in oysters. Low zinc levels have been associated with male infertility.
Hydrating and refreshing, ripe watermelon also has plenty of a powerful antioxidant, glutathione.
This is another source of glutathione which studies suggest helps maintain the body’s immune system.
A handful of almonds may help shore up your immune system from the effects of stress.
Also promoted as a "super food", spinach is nutrient-rich. It has folate, which helps your body produce new cells and repair DNA.
Green or black? Both are loaded with polyphenols and flavonoids. Studies suggest these antioxidants seek out cell-damaging free radicals and destroy them.
Like carrots, sweet potatoes have the antioxidant beta-carotene, which mops up damaging free radicals.