[caption id="attachment_28610" align="aligncenter" width="856"] Fight Allergies and Increase Immunity with these Foods[/caption]
If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies, chances are you’ve tried your fair share of over-the-counter and prescription medications in attempt to find relief. But no one likes walking around feeling their head is disconnected from their body, as if often the case with those solutions. There is something else you can try. You may be able to find relief by building up your defenses against them. Certain foods can boost your immunity. Here are our top ten favorite immune boosting foods:
- Grapefruit – Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C, making it a no-brainer for boosting the immune system. The red and pink varieties are best because their rosy color indicates that they are full of bioflavonoids, which are phytonutrients. These naturally occurring compounds cause beneficial reactions in the body, including increased immunity.
- Cauliflower – Cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are all cruciferous vegetables, meaning they’re not only rich in antioxidant vitamins that boost immunity, but they also contain choline, a nutrient essential to a healthy diet. Choline keeps your cells function properly and also helps support a healthy gastrointestinal barrier, keeping bacteria safely confined in the gut. When you’re sick, cauliflower is especially beneficial because it’s also rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off infection.
- Carrots – Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which gives them their bright orange color. Beta-carotene supports the body’s mucus membrane, which lines the respiratory and intestinal tracts, making it harder for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause illness.
- Eggs – It’s still probably not a good idea to eat them every day because of the cholesterol content in the yolk. But egg yolks are a rich source of protein, which can help immune-related problems and avoiding them altogether is unnecessary. Egg yolks also contain zinc and selenium, which are important minerals that increase immunity.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is an antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial wonder, so doing much than just boosting the immune system. It actually fights the pathogens that cause illness. Cinnamon is extremely easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Sprinkle it on just about anything for a delicious boost to your immunity.
- Mushrooms – Who knew, right? Mushrooms are a major source of the immune system-boosting mineral, zinc. People who don’t have enough zinc in their diet tend to have fewer white blood cells to help battle illness, which can lead to a reduced immune response.
- Kale – Greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are all the rage right now. And with good reason. They are immune boosting super foods that contain high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C packs a powerful antioxidant punch by fighting off damaging free radicals and regenerating other antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E. They also contain folate – another immunity boosting food.
- Watermelon – Summer is almost here and watermelon is the perfect sweet treat to boost your immunity. Like other fruits, watermelon is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, but what makes it a super food is its large concentration of lycopene. Lycopene gives watermelon flesh its red color and offers a ton of health benefits, including reducing respiratory inflammation, which helps prevent infection.
- Yogurt – One of your immune system’s most important roles is to troll the gastrointestinal tract and prevent germs, bacteria, and other pathogens from entering the bloodstream and making you sick. Yogurt can help do just that. It’s loaded with probiotics (healthy bacteria) to keep your gut happy.
- Wheat germ – wheat germ is a key source of fiber that’s packed with protein and vitamins, including vitamin E. It’s also a great source of choline and zinc, powerful immune boosters. You can easily add it to your bread, muffin, and cookie recipes, or sprinkle it over yogurt and fresh fruit or your breakfast cereal.