5 Foods to Support Your Immunity This Winter

5 Foods to Support Your Immunity This Winter

With the cold and flu season approaching, now is the time to take proactive measures to keep your body at its peak immunity this fall and throughout the year.

Plan your meals to include these 5 powerful immune system boosters this Fall: 

  1. Citrus Fruits: These fruits contain vitamin C which boosts the immune system’s defenses by stimulating the formation of antibodies to fight off your sickness. Choose citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges!
  2. Ginger: Many people often turn to ginger when they’re not feeling well, with good reason! Ginger may reduce inflammation, which can help with sore throats and other inflammatory disorders. Ginger can also be used to alleviate nausea and vomiting. Additionally, ginger has been shown to help with chronic pain and may possibly lower cholesterol.
  3. Garlic: Early civilizations recognized Garlic’s value in fighting infections. The immune-boosting benefits of garlic appear to be due to a high quantity of sulfur-containing substances like allicin. These compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu.
  4. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes have a natural orange hue due to the high level of beta carotene, a natural antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A deficiency has been related to a weakened immune system, therefore ensuring appropriate consumption during the fall is important! By keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines, and respiratory system healthy, vitamin A helps to regulate the immune system and protect against infections.
  5. Kale: It’s probably no surprise to see this healthy superstar on this list. Kale is high in vitamins A, C, and K and is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables available! 1 cup of raw kale provides 22% of the Daily Value for vitamin C. Furthermore, leafy greens can aid in the reduction of inflammation in the body, which is often linked to sickness.

Remember: Variety is key! Your body needs many micronutrients and no one food can provide them all, so eat the rainbow and include these foods in your diet to stay as healthy as possible this coming flu season.

Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Consultant