As cold and flu season approaches, it’s good to get an extra immunity boost where we can. Foods that are full of vitamins and minerals can help keep us healthy and help us get better quickly if we do get sick.
Nutritionists recommend loading up on these immune-boosting fall foods:
- Pumpkin- It’s packed with vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant to fight off illness and vitamin A, which enhances immune function, according to registered dietitian Maggie Michalczyk.
- Honey- It contains a range of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, plus it’s a natural cough soother and it pairs well with other immunity-boosting ingredients like citrus, ginger and green tea.
- Cauliflower- This veggie can be turned into pizza, rice and roasted with other vegetables and it’s high in antioxidants, which fight inflammation and protect against illness, and it’s another great source of vitamin C.
- Brussels sprouts- Registered dietitian Kylene Bogden calls them “one of the most powerful cruciferous vegetables on the market” and they’re also full of vitamin C, B6 and potassium.
- Acorn squash- They’re delicious and loaded with calcium, potassium, beta-carotene and vitamin A.
- Apples- Thanks to all the fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, manganese and B vitamins, apples are great for the immune system.
- Butternut squash- When you’re roasting those veggies, throw in a cup of butternut squash, which contains over 450% of the vitamin A you need for the day, according to registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman.
- Cranberries-“The phytochemicals in cranberries have shown to have major antioxidant and antimicrobial effects in the body,” Beckerman explains. Just steer clear of cans of super-sugary cranberry sauce and find healthier ways to eat them.
- Pears- Another good source of immune-boosting vitamin C, pears also contain pectin, a fiber that nourishes healthy gut bacteria and research shows pectin may help regulate the immune system.