Help your body stay healthier and fight infection with this delicious in-season produce.
Looking for ways to help protect yourself from COVID-19, as well as other illnesses and infections? Start by boosting your immune system. This is one way to keep your body primed to fight viruses and bacteria if they enter your body so you’re less likely to get sick.
While many healthy lifestyle habits are good for your immune system, one delicious way to keep your immune system strong is to fill your plate with foods that contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Spring produce is ripe for the picking now. Here are 9 spring veggies that fit the bill when it comes to immune-boosting powerhouses.
- Leafy greens – Vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, collard greens, arugula and lettuce provide loads of health benefits. Since they contain high levels of vitamins C and K, as well as beta carotene, folate and fiber, they’re also powerful immune boosters.
- Asparagus – This vegetable contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that strengthens your immune system and helps protect cells from the effects of free radicals. Cooking this vegetable in a small amount of oil helps your body better absorb the vitamin E.
- Carrots – Best known for their ability to keep eyes healthy, the beta carotene and vitamin C in these spring veggies also help strengthen your immune response.
- Broccoli – Full of vitamins A, C and E, as well as many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate. It also contains loads of fiber.
- Radishes – Packed full of vitamin C, radishes also contain minerals like calcium and potassium, as well as other antioxidants that are good for your immune system. They also help reduce your risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Peas – This popular spring vegetable is a good source of vitamins C and E, as well as zinc and other antioxidants which all support immune health.
- Artichokes – High in fiber, as well as vitamins C and A, potassium, iron and antioxidants, artichokes can keep your immune system in tip-top shape. They are also naturally high in polyphenols, which can repair damaged cells that impair immune function.
- Garlic – Known for its ability to improve heart health and fight infection, garlic is also an immune booster thanks to a high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
- Avocados – This creamy “veggie” which is really a fruit contains vitamins E and B6, magnesium and copper to support a healthy immune system. It also contains unsaturated fat, which helps increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E. Guacamole anyone?
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Date Last Reviewed: February 15, 2022
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Dietary Review: Jane Schwartz, RDN, CLT