While it’s possible to catch a cold at any time of year, rates of cold and flu leap upwards during the winter months, and can spread quickly. And while this pandemic is going on, it’s even more important than ever to have not only a good immune system, but a great one! Here are snacks that you can eat at any time of the day that help reinforce and strengthen your immune system.
1. Salsa and red pepper sticks
Now, with this tip we have do a disclaimer: Don’t just go for your regular grocery store salsa that could be high in sugar and salt. Also, do not pair the salsa with chips that are high in carbs and salt either. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, a type of plant pigment which has been shown to enhance immune function by protecting virus fighting cells from damage. In a study led by researchers from the Federal Research Centre for Nutrition in Germany, male subjects supplementing their diet with a daily glass of tomato juice a day showed positive modulations in markers of immune function.
Cooked tomatoes contain more lycopene than raw, so go for a salsa which is based on cooked rather than fresh tomatoes or make your own by cooking tomatoes, chilli and garlic and a small drizzle of olive oil – the fat boosts absorption of lycopene.
2. Broccoli (hold the cheese and dip)
These little trees are more than just a go-to vegetable for dinner. Eaten raw or cooked, broccoli is one of the most nutrient-packed veggies you can get. Along with high levels of potassium, folate, and a bunch of antioxidants, broccoli is a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C. But be sure not to add cheese or other mucus-inducing foods like ranch dressing, etc. Eat raw, with maybe a little pinch of salt and you should be good to go!
3. Kiwi fruit
Kiwi fruits are one of the richest sources of vitamin C, containing around 70-100 mg per fruit, over 100 percent of the recommended daily intake. That’s right, these little babies that are furry on the outside, but sweet and juicy on the inside are packed with way more vitamin C than oranges. Studies show that adding kiwi fruit to the diet is an effective way to boost plasma levels of vitamin C to optimal levels.
In one 2012 study of older adults experiencing symptoms of respiratory infections, those randomized were told to eat four kiwi fruit per day. They experienced