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Your best defense against disease is a strong immune system, but what gets you there? One of the most fundamental approaches is diet. The old adage "you are what you eat" is true. Food choices are a critical part of maintaining a healthy body and that means giving your immune system the support it needs. Consider these foods that do your body good by boosting your immune system!

Get Colorful

Pretty much any fresh, colorful food is packed with a powerful antioxidant called beta-carotene. You’ll find it in:

  • Apricots
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Green peppers
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes

It’s the beta-carotene that gives these foods their bright beauty, and it’s good for you. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that are responsible for certain types of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Grab Some Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics that improve gut health. Believe it or not, the majority of immune system response comes from your gut, so maintaining a healthy GI tract is essential to ward off disease. You can also find yogurt that is fortified with vitamin D for extra health benefits.

Add Nuts to Your Diet

Nuts are one of the most underrated foods on the market, but they have real health benefits. Cashews, for example, are rich sources of zinc, which your body needs to activate T-lymphocytes – an important immune system element. Consider T-cells your own personal security team: they circulate in the blood and lymph fluid defending you against pathogens, cancer cells and other foreign invaders!

If you’re not a fan of cashews, you also can get zinc from:

  • Oysters
  • Red meat
  • Beans
  • Poultry
  • Whole grains

It is also added to some cereals in order to improve nutrition.

The Magic of Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is packed full of just about everything your body needs to maintain a strong immune system. It provides:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Healthy fat
  • Zinc
  • Antioxidants
  • B vitamins

It is also one of the more flexible foods available. You can use wheat germ as a flour substitute in many recipes, for example. You can add it to smoothies for a little extra texture or sprinkle it on your favorite breakfast cereal.

Turn to Spinach

Spinach is another super food packed with healthy goodness. In spinach, you find:

  • Folate
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants including vitamin C

Eat it raw or lightly cooked to get the most nutrients.

Drink a Cup of Tea

Most types of tea offer some benefit but white, green or black are the best for your immune system. They contain polyphenols and flavonoids that are natural disease fighters. Tea is also a practical choice for antioxidants to blast those free radicals. If you are worried about the caffeine, the decaf is just fine, too.

Your immune system works hard for you, so why not give a little back? Making smart food choices that improve your health is a good place to start. If you are experiencing seasonal allergies and need treatment from symptoms that seem to persist, count on MedPost for convenient and compassionate walk-in care.

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Urgent Care Association of America