The best foods to support your immune system

We regularly get asked by our patients what they can do to boost their immune system. The simple answer is a balanced diet goes a long way to keeping your immune system working in optimum condition.

The best foods to support your immune system will have lots of vitamins such as A, B6, C, D and E. They will also have important minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper.

Here is what we recommend.

Spinach

Spinach is packed full of vitamins and minerals that support a healthy immune system. It is a great source of vitamins A, B2, B6, C and E.

Spinach will also have lots of calcium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus.

Red peppers

It is no surprise that this is such an important vegetable in the Mediterranean diet.

Red peppers are packed full of vitamins A, B6 and C and can be a good source of vitamins B2, B5 and E. Eating them raw is always best as cooking can break down some vitamins.

Sweet potatoes

These are a favourite in the Nolan household. This tasty root vegetable is full of vitamin A, while also being a very good source of immunity-supporting vitamins B6 and C and minerals such as manganese and copper.

Almonds

Almonds are a brilliant source of vitamin E. Just a small handful provides around 35% of your recommended daily allowance. They are also rich in minerals, particularly calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Sunflower seeds

These really are an amazing food source. Full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids, they are a rich source of vitamins B1 and E and minerals including copper.

Mushrooms

There has been some interesting research done into the immunity boosting properties of  mushrooms. A 2015 study in the University of Florida found that people who ate a cooked shitake mushroom daily over a four week period greatly improved their immune systems.

Mushrooms are full of vitamin B6, copper and selenium and are one of the few vegetable-derived sources of vitamin D.

Garlic

No surprises here! Garlic is undoubtedly one of the best foods to support your immune system. It contains sulphur and selenium, which are both excellent immunity boosters. Sulphur also helps the body absorb vital minerals such as zinc, which are essential to maintaining a strong immune system.

Ginger

Like garlic, ginger contains a number of properties that help support the immune system. It reduces inflammation in the body and promotes perspiration, which helps the body to rid itself of toxins.

There is more helpful information in these articles.

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