Several foods and nutrients have been found to strengthen the immune system in order to help ward off cold, flu, and other contagious germs that tend to make the rounds each year. If you’re dreading the thought of catching yet another bug, it’s time to focus on foods and nutrients that can boost your immune system.

Vitamin C
Oranges and their juice immediately come to mind, but one small kiwifruit has twice as much Vitamin C. All citrus fruits have Vitamin C in them. Just be careful with grapefruit and grapefruit juice, as it can sometimes interact dangerously with certain medicines.

Zinc is found in a range of green, leafy vegetables, but one of the best sources is pumpkin seeds. Choose the unsalted kind and snack more sensibly with these tasty little treats.

Getting enough high-quality lean protein can be a challenge when everyone lots to eat high-carb comfort goods like pizza. Aim for fish twice a week, especially salmon; and chicken, turkey, lean pork, such as a pork loin, and vegetarian options at least once a week, such as tofu (if you are not allergic to soy) and beans such as black beans and kidney beans.

Yogurt for Probiotics
Probiotics help keep your digestive system healthy. Aim for 0% fat. Greek-style yogurt has twice the protein, for the same number of calories.

This is an essential mineral for heart health and the immune system. It is found in salmon, but the #1 source is Brazil nuts.

Vitamin A and Vitamin D
Vitamin A and Vitamin D have both been shown to promote a healthy immune system.
The best sources of Vitamin A include:

  • Sweet potato
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Peppers