As we grow older, our bodies get weaker and are more susceptible to viruses and diseases. We ought to take extra care of ourselves, especially during these trying times. It is paramount that we continue to remain vigilant by practicing good personal hygiene. As some of us are slowly heading back to the office, continue to consume food rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthier and stronger immune system.
Here are the best superfoods for a healthier and stronger immune system you should incorporate into your diet.
1. Citrus Fruits
Majority of citrus fruits are high in vitamin C – from oranges, strawberries to grapes, they help build a stronger immune system. As your body is unable to develop this vitamin on its own, try to consume these fruits on a daily basis. It also serves as an antioxidant, which helps to fight free radicals in the body, preventing heart diseases and other illnesses.
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2. Green Tea
Green tea contains a high level of epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, which is a powerful antioxidant. EGCG boosts one’s immune system and also helps reduce cancer risks. Besides green tea, chamomile and black tea are also great for your immune system. Instead of drinking a cup of coffee every morning, how about changing to green tea?
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One of the go-to superfood, broccoli has high amounts of vitamins such as vitamin A, C, E and also rich in antioxidant and fiber. When cooking broccoli, chop them into smaller pieces but ensure each piece is well intact and cook it as minimally as possible to retain all the nutrients. Steaming is the best cooking method to ensure all the nutrients are not lost. If you’re making a soup, do not toss the broccoli water as it has all the nutrients.
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Garlic can be found in the majority of Asian cooking, which not only adds depth to your dishes, but also helps regulate a healthy immune system. It contains a compound called alliin, which contains sulfur that gives off the distinctive garlic smell and taste. Go ahead and add an additional spoonful of garlic, because it’s flavourful and good for your health!
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An anti-bacterial food, ginger is laden with immune-boosting benefits that prevents sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Start your day right with a cup of hot tea and add a slice of ginger – it will help improve digestion and increases absorption of food.
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It is important to take note of the type of yogurt you buy when grocery shopping. Always opt for Greek yogurt instead of flavoured yogurts as they are laden with sugar and preservatives. Greek yogurt is rich in vitamin D, C and probiotics that promote a healthy immune and digestive system. You may add a dash of cinnamon if the yogurt is too sour for your liking.
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Rich in beta carotene, antioxidants and vitamin C, spinach are packed with vitamins and minerals that regulate a strong immune system. Similar to broccoli, this leafy vegetable is best consumed over light cooking to retain the optimum nutritive value.
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8. Red Bell Pepper
The perfect ingredient for pasta and pizzas, red bell peppers are just as rich in vitamin C as any citrus fruit. It is also rich in beta carotene that promotes a healthy eyesight and keeps your skin radiant. Want to improve your eyesight? Here is the best food you should eat for a brighter and better vision.
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Turmeric is a bright yellow spice used in many curry dishes and common in our households, with a nutritive value that you are possibly aren’t aware of. This delicious spice helps to boost your immune system and should be incorporated in your dishes, especially during flu season.
Last but not least, water is strongly recommended to build a strong and healthy immune system, as it not only removes toxins from your body, but also ensures all your organs are functioning properly. Add a wedge of lemon to your drink, for that added flavour and a kick of vitamin C to boot.
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