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Most people turn straight to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system.
Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.
- 75 mg for women
- 90 mg for men
If you opt for supplements, avoid taking more than 2,000 milligrams a day.
Red bell peppers
If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Well, red bell peppers contain almost 3 times as much vitamin C as an orange (45 mg). They’re also a rich source of beta carotene.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants. This green “super flower” is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.
The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health.
Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also slow down hardening of the arteries, and there’s weak evidence that it helps lower blood pressure. Also, for this reason, to lower cholesterol.
Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. It may help decrease inflammation, which may reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. It decreases chronic pain and might even possess cholesterol-lowering properties, and relives nausea as well.
The spicy root packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin.
Spinach made our list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C — it’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible, so that it retains its nutrients.
Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kind that are flavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead.
Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with this vitamin. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.
It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats.
Note: In order to unlock all the enzymes from nuts/seeds/grain, make sure you soak them according the chart bellow:
Soak Time For Seeds, Nuts, Beans and Grains
|Nut / Seed||Dry Amount||Soak Time||Sprout Time||Sprout Length||Yield|
|Alfalfa Seed||3 Tbsp||12 Hours||3-5 Days||1-2 Inches||4 Cups|
|Almonds||3 Cups||8-12 Hours||1-3 Days||1/8 Inch||4 Cups|
|Amaranth||1 Cup||3-5 Hours||2-3 Days||1/4 Inch||3 Cups|
|Barley, Hulless||1 Cup||6 Hours||12-24 Hours||1/4 Inch||2 Cups|
|Broccoli Seed||2 Tbsp||8 Hours||3-4 Days||1-2 Inches||2 Cups|
|Buckwheat, Hulled||1 Cup||6 Hours||1-2 Days||1/8-1/2 Inch||2 Cups|
|Cabbage Seed||1 Tbsp||4-6 Hours||4-5 Days||1-2 Inches||1 1/2 Cups|
|Cashews||3 Cups||2-3 Hours||4 Cups|
|Clover||3 Tbsp||5 Hours||4-6 Days||1-2 Inches||4 Cups|
|Fenugreek||4 Tbsp||6 Hours||2-5 Days||1-2 Inches||3 Cups|
|Flax Seeds||1 Cup||6 Hours||2 Cups|
|1 Cup||12-48 Hours||2-4 Days||1/2-1 Inch||4 Cups|
|Kale Seed||4 Tbsp||4-6 Hours||4-6 Days||3/4-1 Inch||3-4 Cups|
|Lentil||3/4 Cup||8 Hours||2-3 Days||1/2-1 Inch||4 Cups|
|Millet||1 Cup||5 Hours||12 Hours||1/16 Inch||3 Cups|
|Mung Beans||1/3 Cup||8 Hours||4-5 Days||1/4-3 Inches||4 Cups|
|Mustard Seed||3 Tbsp||5 Hours||3-5 Days||1/2-1 1/2 Inches||3 Cups|
|Oats, Hulled||1 Cup||8 Hours||1-2 Days||1/8 Inch||1 Cup|
|Onion Seed||1 Tbsp||4-6 Hours||4-5 Days||1-2 Inches||1 1/2-2 Cups|
|Pea||1 Cup||8 Hours||2-3 Days||1/2-1 Inch||3 Cups|
|Pinto Bean||1 Cup||12 Hours||3-4 Days||1/2-1 Inch||3-4 Cups|
|Pumpkin||1 Cup||6 Hours||1-2 Days||1/8 Inch||2 Cups|
|Quinoa||1 Cup||3-4 Hours||2-3 Days||1/2 Inch||3 Cups|
|Radish||3 Tbsp||6 Hours||3-5 Days||3/4-2 Inches||4 Cups|
|Rye||1 Cup||6-8 Hours||2-3 Days||1/2-3/4 Inch||3 Cups|
|1 Cup||8 Hours||1 1/2 Cups|
|1 Cup||4-6 Hours||1-2 Days||1/8 Inch||1 Cup|
|Spelt||1 Cup||6 Hours||1-2 Days||1/4 Inch||3 Cups|
|Sunflower, Hulled||1 Cup||6-8 Hours||1 Day||1/4-1/2 Inch||2 Cups|
|Teff||1 Cup||3-4 Hours||1-2 Days||1/8 Inch||3 Cups|
|Walnuts||3 Cups||4 Hours||4 Cups|
|Wheat||1 Cup||8-10 Hours||2-3 Days||1/4-3/4 Inch||3 Cups|
|Wild Rice||1 Cup||12 Hours||2-3 Days||Rice Splits||3 Cups|
Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function.
The seeds are also incredibly high in selenium. Just 1 ounce contains nearly half the selenium that the average adult needs daily. A variety of studies, mostly performed on animals, have looked at its potential to combat viral infections such as swine flu (H1N1).
You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. This bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
High concentrations of curcumin, it can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage and boost immunity
Both, green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant.
The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of it.
Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the enzyme is preserved.
The tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, that aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells.
I normally do not advise on consuming animal products, but when meat-eaters, you’re sick and reach for a chicken soup, it’s more than just the placebo effect that makes you feel better.
The soup may help lower inflammation, which will improve symptoms of a cold.
Chicken and turkey, both are high in vitamin B-6.
Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.
Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it, so that our immune cells can function as intended.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet:
- 11 mg for adult men
- 8 mg for most adult women
NOTE: Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.