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22 Foods Nutritionists Eat to Improve Their Immune System
We all know cold and flu season is no joke, but we bet you don't want to get sick year-round, too, right? It's of utmost importance then that your immune system is strong enough to play defense at all times, and one way to do that is through eating certain foods that can help naturally improve your immune system.
Eating foods that boost your immune system could help keep you healthy during cold and flu season (and every other season, for that matter). Such foods include fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C and zinc—which some studies show may prevent viruses like the common cold when consumed together—and foods that are chock-full of other immune-improving substances such as collagen, probiotics, and vitamin A.
We called upon the experts to provide us with a list of foods that are designed to help your body stay immune to illness and help to naturally boost your immune system. Here are 22 foods that nutritionists eat themselves that can help you improve your immune system year-round.
1Red Bell PepperShutterstock
"I hate to brag, but I think I've had one cold in the past 12 or 13 years! Part of it is probably luck, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I eat clean, healthy foods that support my immune system all year long. Red peppers are one of my favorite foods to incorporate into my diet for immune system-boosting benefits. Gram for gram, they have about twice the amount of vitamin C as most fruits and vegetables, including the most famous immune-boosters, oranges. Vitamin C is really important for immunity because it can help reduce the length and severity of colds. It also helps your body make collagen, which keeps your skin healthy, and your skin is your first line of defense against germs. I love red peppers because they're sweet and delicious, and there are so many ways you can eat them. Add them to an omelet in the morning, eat them raw as a snack with a handful of almonds or a scoop of hummus, or slice them up and roast them with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper."
— Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Nutritious Life