4 foods that can boost your immune system

(BPT) - Your family’s health is of the utmost importance. And while you can't always control what germs you come in contact with, you can control the steps you take to fight them off.

Part of that process is ensuring you and your family eat foods that promote a strong immune system.

With the right immune-boosting diet, you can reduce your risk of catching various illnesses and spreading them to your loved ones or your community.

What makes certain foods strengthen your immune system?

Immune-strengthening foods typically have a few things in common and may already be part of your daily diet. They’re usually natural fruits, vegetables and proteins that carry specific vitamins and minerals. A few examples of those vitamins and minerals include:

  • Vitamin C (Protects against infections)
  • Vitamin E (Acts as a powerful antioxidant)
  • Vitamin A (Helps fight off infections)
  • Vitamin D (Provides support for your immune system)
  • Iron (Helps carry oxygen to cells)
  • Selenium (Helps prevent infections)
  • Zinc (Helps produce new immune system cells)

Best foods for your immune system

Which ones you choose to eat may depend on preferences. However, you can’t go wrong with any of the following when it comes to your immune system:

  • Citrus fruits: Lemons, oranges and limes are all rich in vitamin C. You can also use the juices from these fruits in other foods that have immune-boosting benefits, like chicken or seafood.
  • Apples: Citrus fruits aren't the only ones that can strengthen your body's ability to fight off germs. Most people know that apples are full of fiber and natural sugars. But many don't know that their skin contains quercetin, which can help enhance your immune system and reduce inflammation.
  • Salads: Depending on what you put in them, salads can be packed with immune-boosting nutrients like broccoli, avocado, pineapple and salmon. You can also find immune-boosting nutrients in our Winter Fruit Salad recipe, which includes apples, kiwi and lime juice.
  • Green beans: Raw green beans can be a great source of vitamin C, and can make up a considerable portion of your daily vitamin C intake. The Family Health Project has a variety of recipes online featuring creative sides and meals you can make with them.

The key to a healthy immune system is variety

The immune-boosting foods listed aren't the only ones out there. Others like chicken, avocados and turmeric are all viable options. And of course, eating a variety of these can help your immune system perform its best and help you fight off infections.

The Healthy Family Project has all of the quick, easy and healthy recipes you need to make tasty and immune-friendly meals for your family year-round. That way, you can keep your home a healthy one while tending to life's responsibilities.

By aligning with health-conscious brands and more than 400 retail dietitians, The Healthy Family Project is participating in the third annual Mission for Nutrition celebration to promote the value of meal planning and healthy choices. For quick and easy recipes, you can check out their website to learn more.

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