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Well guys, I think it’s safe to say we’re all willing to do just about anything to boost our immune system these days. Flu season is FINALLY winding down, but we’re still dealing with a nasty pandemic. We need to make sure our bodies are in tip top shape to fight those germs!

Of course, the best way to support your immune system is to focus on overall health. Eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep and dealing with stress are all SUPER important to avoid getting sick and to fight infection if you DO get sick.

But are there some foods that could give your immune system a little boost? Absolutely! Citrus fruits are the first thing that come to mind for me, but what about some other good ones that you might not think of?

If you’re looking to kick your immune system into high gear, these 5 foods will do the trick!

blogilates red bell peppers healthy immune system

1. Red Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are full of good stuff! Like citrus, bell pepper has a ton of vitamin C. This powerful little vitamin is really important for the immune system because:

1. It’s an antioxidant that helps get rid of nasty germs when you’re already sick.

And

2.  It helps boost white blood cells that attack and get rid of infection.

If you eat the red ones, they can give you 3 times as much vitamin C as an orange! Lately, my favorite way to eat these is to throw them in the air fryer and then top them off with Trader Joe’s Everything But The Elote seasoning! It’s sooooooo good.

blogilates green spinach foods boost immune system

2. Spinach

I mean… Popeye loves spinach and I don’t think he ever gets sick, right?

Seriously though, spinach is amazing for the immune system! Not only is it loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, but it also has powerful plant compounds called carotenoids. These compounds (beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin in spinach) are super important antioxidants. They protect our cells and help the immune system do its thing to fight off infection.

If you’re not a huge fan of spinach, try it sauteéd in a little garlic, stuffed in some pasta, or in lasagna. BRB, drooling.

blogilates yogurt with berries in white bowl on cutting board boost immunity

3. Yogurt

All yogurts are NOT created equal. But if you pick the right kind you can really boost that immune system! Grab yogurt that has “live active cultures” on the label, and avoid the ones with a ton of added sugar.

“Live active cultures” = probiotics. Probiotics are just healthy bacteria that do amazing things for your gut health, and a healthy gut can really boost the immune system!

Eating yogurt is also a good way to get some extra vitamin D, which also supports the immune system! I’m thinking we can be overachievers and throw some vitamin C-rich berries in our yogurt. YUM.

If yogurt isn’t your thing, try some other fermented foods to get your probiotic boost like:

  • Miso soup
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh
blogilates garlic bulbs healthy immune system food

4. Garlic

I DEFINITELY don’t have a problem with eating more garlic. Yum.

Garlic has been used for a looooong time in holistic medicine, thanks to its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Garlic is good for the immune system thanks to a little thing called allicin. Some research suggests that allicin (which is released when you chew or crush garlic) can help boost the response of white blood cells when they come across viruses in the body.

Some studies even suggest that garlic supplements can help prevent the cold and flu, but more research is needed.

blogilates almonds in glass jar healthy foods boost immune system

5. Almonds

Almonds are filling and super healthy. They’re packed with vitamin E, which is actually just as important for the immune system as vitamin C! Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights off free radicals. This is important because free radicals can weaken healthy cells in your body.

One difference between vitamin C and vitamin E is that vitamin E is fat soluble…which just means your body can’t absorb it without fat. Soo here’s the cool thing about almonds – not only does a 1/4 cup serving give you 50% of your vitamin E for the day, but it also gives your body the healthy fat it needs to absorb it!

Here are some other healthy foods with vitamin E:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kiwi

While all of these foods have nutrients that your immune system loves, here’s the take home message:

Eating a bell pepper or snacking on some almonds isn’t going to boost your immune system overnight. There’s no magic food here to fight off the nasty germs going around. The most important thing is that you include these foods in your diet on a regular, long-term basis. Stocking your body with tons of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is the best way to help your immune system stay in good shape. Oh, and remember that exercise, sleep and stress have BIG influence too!

Of course….remember to WASH THOSE HANDS! 😊

The Conversation (14)

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  • Waveney Dorris D Silva says:

    Hi, my name is Waveney and I am from the UK. I have been following lately and I really feel your workouts are really intense. Since we are all quarantined I would love you to please suggest me workout to reduce thighs.

  • Aneta says:

    Great half of them are my favorites already! I made a quick moodboard to safe in my phone so I won’t forget it the next grocery shopping :)

  • nice post

  • Teresa Leonard says:

    Love you Cassie! Thank you for your positive and informative posts💖

  • Katey says:

    Hi there! I love your posts and use your recipes all the time. I’m only wanting to add to the discussion!

    Bell peppers are a member of the nightshade family and are hard to digest for many people! Some people even claim they can worsen inflammation.

    Spinach is a high oxalate food, so I always cook it just to be safe.

    Also, almonds are high in phytic acid, which does have health benefits, but also can interfere with mineral absorption in your body, so it’s good to soak them first!

    I do love Kiefer too – as some other posts mention!

    Thanks again!

  • Kimberley Vos says:

    Im feeling so good rn that earlier today i bought red capsicum…hehe

  • I used to work at a health supplement store before this whole thing started, and a lot of people were buying vitamin C, and Bee propolis!

  • Victoria Datri says:

    Hi!!! I´m from Argentina and i´ve been following you since 2015…Here it´s imposible to find Pilates Mat instructors. I really love your workouts, and your happiness!!!!! I drink a glass of Kefir everyday to boost my inmune system. Do you Know Kefir?

    • R says:

      Your initial comments about overall health, sleep and stress being important are true. The foods listed though are likely to do nothing for immune system. No good evidence for anything mentioned aside from having enough vitamin C. It’s better to leave advice related to immunity to healthcare professionals, especially during a pandemic! People do not need to worry about eating these things because it doesn’t matter.

  • Cindy says:

    Hi Cassey, thank you for all that amazing 30 day challenges. For staying fit during #stayathome I’m doing your split, squat, butt and abs challenge simultaneously. :) Still need a small workout to tone my arms. I want perfect tank top arms. ;)
    I was wondering if you could give us a 30 days arms challenge, too. That would be great.

    Stay safe and healthy.

    Best wishes from Germany
    Cindy

  • Tegan Payne says:

    Thanks for sharing this Cassey!! I was wondering if you could provide a plan for people wanting to do something like your 90 day journey? <3 thank you for being a great human and helping so many other people

  • Anniebelle says:

    Thank you Cassey. This was a super interesting article. Bell peppers! Who knew right?

  • SamanthaRaut says:

    I love this! It’s so helpful! And managing sleep and stress is SUCH a big factor. I find that while I am getting more sleep, my stress levels are up (like everyone else is probably feeling on occasion these days). Thank you, Cassey!!

  • Beverly says:

    Love your website been watching since when you first started.
    Your recipes are GREAT & sooo easy I love that keep it up. What will we do when you go through your late years just make sure to keep up those recipes. LOL

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