With so much emphasis on better eating habits to live a healthier life, some people turn to supplements while other people turn to foods that boost the immune system. These food items are nothing new — they have been around forever.

 With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to understand that no supplement, diet, or other lifestyle modification other than physical distancing and proper hygiene practices can protect you from COVID-19, but you could feel healthier.

 A recent healthline.com article lists several foods that boost the body’s immune system.

Citrus fruits

 Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C, which helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.

 Popular citrus fruits include grapefruit, oranges, clementines, tangerines, lemons and limes. Because your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. The recommended daily amount for most adults is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.

Red bell peppers

 Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain almost three times as much vitamin C (127 mg) as an orange (45 mg). They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help you maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.

Broccoli

 Broccoli contains vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate. Research has shown that lightly steaming is the best way to keep more nutrients in the food.

Garlic

 Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Its immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

Ginger

 Ginger is an ingredient many turn to after getting sick. It may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. It may help with nausea as well. It packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. I may decrease chronic pain and might possess cholesterol-lowering properties.

Spinach

 Spinach is rich in vitamin C and packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible. However, light cooking makes it easier to absorb the vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid, an antinutrient.

Yogurt

 Look for yogurts that have the phrase “live and active cultures” printed on the label, such as Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Plain or varieties without sugar are better. Sweeten with fresh fruit or honey. Yogurt is a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

Almonds

 Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with vitamin E and also have healthy fats. Adults only need about 15 mg of vitamin E each day. A half-cup serving of almonds, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides approximately 100 percent of the recommended daily amount.

Sunflower seeds

 Sunflower seeds contain phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens. Sunflower seeds also are high in selenium.

Turmeric

 This bright yellow, bitter spice has been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Research has shown high concentrations of curcumin, which give turmeric its color, can help decrease exercised-induced muscle damage.

Other immune-boosting foods

• Green Tea • Papaya • Kiwi • Poultry • Shellfish, such as oysters, crab, lobster and mussels

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