5 Foods to Boost Your Immunity in 2023

5 Foods to Boost Your Immunity in 2023

Have your stress levels been at their maximum through the holidays?  Juggling the maze of holiday expectations and activities can be full of joy but also lead to exhaustion and poor nutrition.  A lack of real food micronutrients adversely affects the immune system and leaves us at risk for infection.

Let’s start the New Year off with an immunity boost!  To achieve ideal or improved immune function, let’s look at some surprising food choices.

Acerola Cherries for Vitamin C

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is widely recognized as a super-antioxidant that supports immune responses. This includes the adrenal glands through metabolism of the primary stress hormone, cortisol, in the body to curb the stress response. Vitamin C fights free radicals in the body which in turn promotes heart health, tissue repair, and wound healing.

Cherries (1 cup) pack a punch with 50 times the vitamin C of an orange. Other options include citrus, broccoli, bell peppers, and raw kale.

Oysters for Zinc

Zinc is a powerful trace mineral which means it is only required in small amounts to activate over 100 enzymes which carry out healthy cellular functions. A mild to moderate zinc deficiency slows the activity of lymphocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages that protect the body from viruses and bacteria. [1]

Protect yourself with zinc rich oysters! They lead the list, with just 6 (52mg) delivering 472% DV of zinc. Other great foods include chickpeas, mushrooms, beef, and cashews.

Wild Salmon for Vitamin D

Vitamin D works as a pro-hormone which supports a healthy brain, metabolism, thyroid function, bone health, etc. This common deficiency is a hot topic for research right now due to its’ potential role in protecting from Covid-19 and preventing many cancers. The easiest ways to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D are 20 minutes of forward-facing sunlight exposure, if possible, and eating nutrient packed foods.

Vitamin D sources include fatty wild salmon, cod liver oil, egg yolks, sardines, beef liver, and mushrooms.

Black and Green Tea for Catechin

Both black and green tea contain polyphenols, specifically catechins, which help to support a healthy gut microbiome with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Polyphenols are antioxidants which protect against development of certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.

Enjoying a recommended 2-3 cups (240-320mg of polyphenols) of organic black or green tea per day increased the virus-fighting compound to support upper respiratory health. Other foods include blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and spinach.

Apples for Quercetin

An apple a day may keep the doctor away! Apples with the skin are packed with quercetin, a polyphenol derived from plants. Quercetin has been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and may provide additional immune-supporting effects when combined with vitamin C. It provides an anti-inflammatory effect. In test tubes, quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamines, which are chemicals that cause allergic reactions.

Food sources include apples, berries, capers, grapes, onions, tomatoes and nuts/seeds, turmeric, and chocolate. [2]

Hopefully a few of these foods grabbed your attention and remind you to positively impact your health in small ways. It all adds up.

Follow @bespokebodypilates and email to receive an 11-page eBook Commit to Simple:  Immune Boosting Recipes.




Cid Ford Feltenstein BS Bio, Balanced Body Certified, PMA, The Method graduate work Vintage Pilates, CPT, FNS, HC, RYT200. Cid supports clients through the winning combination of intelligent lifestyle and nutritional choices with a strong foundation of Classical Pilates. She is fortunate to have Jay Grimes and Sandy Shimoda as her mentors in The Method ; additional work with Ana Caban, Daniela Escobar, and Ken Krech. Cid works with clients online and in her private studio in South Florida. @cid_ford



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