Foods to Strengthen Immune System

Certain foods can help combat the common cold and flu.

Nothing can sideline your training like a bad cold or the flu, and both run rampant this time of year. But your immune system has a complex network in place to keep you healthy–if you fuel it well. When a pathogen invades, white blood cells (called macrophages) engulf the virus, prompting B cells and killer T cells to attack it. This response leads to the creation of other cells designed to destroy the same virus if it shows up at a later date. But just a few nutritional missteps can weaken your body’s response. That’s why it’s important to eat foods that provide the nutrients your body needs to shore up your defenses.

Almonds are packed with an immune-boosting duo (vitamin E and manganese), providing 37 percent of your daily need for both in one ounce. Many runners’ diets tend to be low in these nutrients, and studies show that not getting enough can weaken immune cells’ initial charge on pathogens.
Eat It: Top cereal and yogurt with chopped almonds, or add to salads and rice.

Canned Salmon
A three-ounce serving supplies more than 100 percent of your daily need for vitamin D. This nutrient keeps a wide variety of immune cells in working order; not getting enough can put you at risk for infection. Salmon also provides protein and omega-3s that boost immune-system strength.
Eat It: Mix with chopped celery, parsley, and a touch of olive-oil mayo; stuff into a whole-wheat pita for a quick recovery meal.

Collard Greens
Collards pack 45 percent of your daily folate need in one cooked cup. This B vitamin helps generate immune cells every time your body gears up to fight a pathogen. Com-pounds called glucosinolates calm inflammation caused by killer T cells, helping you feel better when you do get sick.
Eat It: Sauté or steam for a side; stir into soup; or add raw leaves (not stalks) to salads.

Check out a few more food items to strengthen your immune system.


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  • By pragya, July 26, 2017 @ 2:12 am

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