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Powerhouse Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Viruses occur throughout the year. In the winter, homes are closed up to keep the cold air outside. This makes it easier for germs to spread around a classroom, home, or business. Keep colds and the flu away by washing hands regularly, getting a flu shot, and eating foods that are known to boost the immune system's function.

#1 – Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are best, but you could add yellow and orange and also ingest a lot of vitamin C. The benefit to bell peppers is that they also are very low in sugar, so you can eat plenty of them and not have to worry about natural sugars.

#2 – Blueberries

Blueberries contain high levels of anthocyanin. This antioxidant helps ease inflammation. It is known to help boost the body's immune response, too. It's one of the best fruits to turn to if you're battling a cold or upper respiratory infection.

#3 – Citrus Fruit

Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are examples of citrus fruit. They all have very high levels of vitamin C. Drink their juice, add slices to your water or seltzer, or turn them into smoothies and enjoy a quick boost of antioxidants.

#4 – Cruciferous Vegetables

Studies show that cruciferous vegetables have an antioxidant (sulforaphane) that helps ward off cell damage. Broccoli is one of the best cruciferous vegetables, as it's high in vitamin C. Other cruciferous vegetables to add to your diet, are Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and turnip.

#5 – Garlic

The strong flavor of garlic adds to almost any savory dish. Garlic is also an excellent source of allicin, which is a compound with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities. Studies find people who take garlic supplements or eat a lot of garlic have a lowered incidence of colds.

# 6 – Ginger

Choose ginger root when you're planning to use ginger to strengthen the immune system. In addition to protecting the cells from oxidative stress, ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger is also very versatile. Pieces of dried ginger root make an excellent hot or cold tea. Add lemon and honey for additional protection against viruses.

#7 – Kefir

Kefir is a fermented beverage that is like a thin yogurt. It's easy to find in stores and mixes well into smoothies. The bacteria in this beverage is believed to help boost antioxidant activity within the body. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties and helps increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut. It's believed that this can help rid the body of some of the bacteria that impacts the immune system.

Cooking is not everyone's favorite daily chore. If your mom and dad are struggling with meal preparation, it's a good time to discuss senior care. Let caregivers plan meals with them. Caregivers can take them shopping, carry groceries in, and cook meals for them. Call a senior care agency to discuss prices.