Washington: It turns out that what you eat can help your immune system fight off any potential illnesses.
While there is no specific food or diet that helps rid the body of disease, eating foods full of nutrients can be beneficial, said Samantha Heller, a registered dietitian and senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Health in New York told CNN.
Heller added, “The immune system needs all nutrients to function optimally. These include vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, protein and phytonutrients.”
Many colourful foods can provide benefits for the immune system and gut health. Here are a few examples.
Red, orange and yellow tend to have vitamin C: Dr. Eddie Fatakhov, a physician and nutritionist at the Center for Internal and Integrative Medicine in Alpharetta, Georgia told CNN, “If you’re eating the rainbow, any red bell peppers and green bell peppers have a lot of vitamin C. They have a lot of antioxidants and phytonutrients.”
He added that anything that is orange or yellow tends to have a lot of vitamin C. The vitamin helps the immune system.
Citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice are major contributors of vitamin C. Other good food sources include strawberries, kiwi, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Leafy greens pack powerful nutrients: Arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and collard greens are rich in nutrients that can benefit your immune system, including vitamins C, E and K. They also include carotenoids; folate; and minerals.
Cruciferous vegetables are a source of indole-3-carbinol, which has been studied, along with other indoles, for the role it may play in lowering the risk of several types of cancer. That research remains ongoing.
Blue, indigo and violet foods: Dried fruits can pack a big nutrient punch. The reason is that nutrients and fibre are more concentrated when water is removed from fruit. Dried fruit is also a rich source of antioxidants and the B vitamin folate.