As the coronavirus outbreak continues to increase, precautions like proper handwashing, exercising, getting sufficient sleep, and social distancing are key to reducing the risk of contamination. However, there are also many benefits to boosting your immune system by eating healthy and natural foods. Although no research has proven that certain foods can cure or prevent getting infected, strengthening your body is a surefire way to defend yourself against it, and against any other infection for that matter.
Below is a list of expert-proven foods to load up in your pantry for the next months to boost your immune system.
Red Bell Peppers
High in vitamin C, a cup of red bell peppers has more than 200% of vitamin C – that’s twice as much as what the orange has! Studies have shown that vitamin C increases immune defense by improving specific cell functions of the body. It also helps reduce the risk of contracting respiratory infections and contributes to the growth of tissues in the body. Taking vitamin C supplements is vital because the body does not produce it internally. One can either slice one big red bell pepper and eat it raw, mix it with salad, or bake it with some tuna and cheese.
These beige marbles are loaded with protein, amino acids that are crucial in the growth and repair of various tissues of the body. Chickpeas also contain a large amount of zinc, which increases immune system strength and regulation. These make a healthy snack or added in some greens. They’re more delicious when roasted and added with a sprinkle of grape seed or canola oil. If you’re using canned chickpeas, however, you’ll need to rinse them first to lessen the sodium content.
A half-cup of broccoli contains more than 40% of one’s daily requirement of vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants and phytochemicals, substances that support the immune system, and prevents cancer and other chronic illnesses. To benefit the most from this superfood, eat it directly after it has been thoroughly washed or just slightly sauté it with a little olive oil and some garlic and mushrooms.
Mixing these delicious fruits to your daily dose of yogurt or peanut butter toast is one of the best ways to get your 50% vitamin C for the day. It has also been proven that strawberries help in cell damage protection and, of course, immune system strengthening. Don’t forget to drop some of these in one of your protein smoothies.
Remember Pop-Eye the Sailorman and how his muscles just grew every time he popped some spinach in his mouth? This cartoon character became famous decades ago, which only proves that spinach has been known to be a powerful vegetable that provides physical and mental strength. Aside from vitamin C, it also contains beta-carotene, a source of vitamin C, and antioxidants. Consume it raw, sauté it, or fold it in your scrambled eggs.
This one’s so easy to consume because it’s a staple for almost all kinds of recipes. It’s loaded with benefits, including reduced blood pressure and the risk of heart conditions. It’s also a known anti-inflammatory, which is why it helps tremendously in decreasing bacterial and viral infections. In the past, garlic has shown to get rid of the common cold. Mix it in your marinated meats, pasta sauces, or even soups and get the most of its health components.
The sun is the best source of vitamin D, but if you don’t have the opportunity to be exposed to the early morning sun, you can get it from these superfoods. Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D complex. It also aids the absorption of calcium in the body, which makes it beneficial for bone health. It also helps prevent respiratory conditions and some types of cancer. If you’re thinking of a healthy side dish, roast some button or shitake mushrooms with garlic, butter, and some dash of salt and pepper.