9 Fruits to Boost Your Immune System!
Winter is not officially over, and there is no denying that flu season is still upon us, especially now with the spread of Coronavirus. It’s not a coincidence that our sick days begin to increase while the temperatures are still cold. Viruses like the flu and common cold thrive in lower temperatures, and they are very contagious. Help your body stay healthy this year by consuming these nine immune-boosting fruits!
Apricots are a small yet nutrient-dense fruit that contains many antioxidants to boost your immune system including vitamins A, C and E. Apricots are also full of flavonoids, a specific kind of antioxidant that has been proven to strengthen the immune system and even protect against diabetes and heart disease. To get the most benefits from apricots, try eating them fresh and unpeeled. Dried apricots also contain many nutrients, and they are an easily transportable snack!
The first thing I do every morning is to drink a large glass of water with lemon. Lemon is fantastic for the immune system because it contains high levels of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant. Lemons also have antibacterial properties and can prevent bacterial growth and infections. As the temperature begins to drop and flu season begins, lemon can be an extremely beneficial addition to your diet. Try drinking hot water with lemon and manuka honey if you catch a cold this season! The mixture can treat throat infections and help to loosen chest congestion. Many delicious recipes incorporate lemon like my Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta.
Many people forget about the many health benefits of apples! Apples contain loads of antioxidants to boost your immune system. They are also very high in fiber and water, which makes them the perfect mid-day snack. When buying apples, remember that they are included in The Dirty Dozen, so be sure to buy organic! One of my favorite ways to enjoy apples is by making an Apple Crumble.
Did you know that grapefruit is one of the lowest-calorie fruits that may promote appetite control! They also have a very high content of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system. grapefruits also contain vitamin A, which is known to benefit your immune system by protecting against internal inflammation. Try snacking on slices of grapefruit or using it as a delicious addition to your salad.
Raw cranberries are very low in fat and rich in vitamin C. Eating raw cranberries can be good for your immune system but drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is even better! Unsweetened Cranberry juice contains more antioxidants than raw cranberries. Cranberry juice has many powerful health benefits that include blocking urinary infections and lowering bad cholesterol! I also love adding cranberries when I bake – try my cranberry loaf!
Cherries are another fruit that can aid in your immunity this fall. Cherries contain high levels of vitamin C along with significant levels of melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. The immune system can be severely compromised without adequate sleep! Next time you need help falling asleep try drinking a glass of unsweetened tart cherry juice.
Pears are another great source of vitamin C that will help you to build a stronger immune system this fall. Pears are also known to be anti-aging because of the levels of fiber they contain, which is a crucial nutrient for your skin! It is always best to eat seasonal fruit and pears happen to be in season through winter! Pears are a fantastic option for a healthy dessert during the holidays. Try my Poached Pears with Cream Sauce recipe to easily incorporate pears into your next meal!
Pomegranates have been raved about as a health food for centuries, and for good reason! The pomegranate is bright red because it contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. Pomegranate juice has higher levels of antioxidants than red wine and green tea. Pomegranates also contain high levels of vitamin C and may even have cancer fighting properties according to recent studies.
Mangoes are a vibrant, delicious fruit that also happens to great for your immune health. A serving size of mango provides a quarter of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A aids in the production of white blood cells which help to fight off infections within your body. Mangoes will also help to keep your hair and skin hydrated and glowing! I love making a mango salsa and topping Grilled Salmon or Salmon Burgers with it – so flavorful!