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Fit Talk

Hi, I'm Mark, Director FIT@PRC, and this is 'Fit Talk'. Each Month I will present articles on nutrition, fitness and just health in general. Check back in soon for the next Fit Talk!

15 Foods That Boost the Immune System

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This is a good time to give your immunity system a check up. One thing you can do is to improve your diet by adding these 15 immune boosting foods to your diet. The following is a summation of an article by Katherine Marengo, LDN. 

RD. It can be found at Healthline.com, which is an excellent source of fitness and health information. - Mark

Citrus Fruits

Because your body doesn't produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it's easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.

Red Bell Peppers

If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. 

Broccoli

Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables

Garlic

Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds.

Ginger

Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol-lowering properties.

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Green Tea

Green is packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. It also has high of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. 

Tumeric

This bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.

Almonds

Vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

Yogurt

Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Get it plain and add your own fresh fruit.

Spinach

Not only is spinach  rich in vitamin C, but is also packed with numerous antioxidants. It also contains beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. 

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Ginger

Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol-lowering properties.

Papaya

Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effec

Kiwis

Kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning proper

Poultry

Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6. Vitamin B-6 is vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.

Shellfish

Some  types of shellfish are packed with zinc. These include crab, clams, lobster and mussels. Zinc helps bodies immune cells to  function as intended. But you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet. For men, it’s 11mg  and for women 8 mg. Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.