​The Best Immune-Boosting Foods

Our immune system protects us from outside invaders. We can support healthy immune system function daily starting with the foods we eat. Here are some of the most important nutrients for a strong immune system – and the foods that provide them.  
 
Zinc is used in over 200 enzyme reactions and helps build the body’s immune defense. Beans, especially garbanzo and lentils, are a good source of zinc. Hummus is a terrific snack with fresh cut vegetables. It can also be used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches and wraps. Lentil bean soup, either canned or made from scratch, is a delicious way to increase zinc levels. We can also buy canned lentils (not soup) and add them to rice or quinoa to boost a side dish. As for poultry and meat, beef contains the most amount of zinc, followed by lamb, turkey, shrimp, and scallops. Sesame and pumpkin seeds are also good sources of zinc.
 
Selenium is a free radical scavenger that sweeps away molecules that can lead to aging and tissue damage. Free radicals are unstable, and they search for other molecules to bind to, which can lead to poor health. Selenium can clear the way for the body to focus on a strong immune system. Foods rich in selenium include raw crimini mushrooms, which supply over 50% of our daily requirement in just 5 oz. Other foods with selenium include cod, snapper, tuna, halibut, and salmon. All supply over 70% of our daily requirement in just 4 oz. servings.
 
Vitamin C is commonly known as an immune supporting nutrient, and citrus fruits are known for their high levels of Vitamin C, but even higher levels can be found in red bell peppers. One cup of sliced red bell pepper delivers over 150% of our daily requirement. Use sliced bell pepper for dipping in hummus or guacamole. We can also use red bell peppers on salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
 
Vitamin A is another immune supporting nutrient, and spinach is an excellent source, containing over 100% of our daily requirement in just 1 cup. We can include raw spinach in our salads, use it as a topping on sandwiches, or add it to a blended smoothie. Sweet potatoes are another excellent source for getting vitamin A in our diet. Just 1 medium-sized sweet potato delivers over 200% of our daily requirement of vitamin A.
 
To Sum Up
The bottom line is we need to nourish our bodies, which we can do by choosing the right organic whole foods and environmentally non-toxic household and body care products. We should aim to eat an immune supportive diet, breathe fresh air, and listen to our bodies.