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Kickoff's certified personal trainers and registered dietitians share detailed analysis, discussion, and how-tos about the questions we get most often

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Boost Your Immune System With These Super Foods

With #Covid-19 taking over our newsfeeds, televisions, thoughts, and even grocery stores (hello, toilet paper shortage 2020), there’s never been a better time to tune into our health. Now and always, ensuring we eat enough fruits and veggies is vital in making sure our immune system gets the boost it needs to keep doing its job. 

While tracking macronutrients might be the hot trend among fit-influencers, it’s the micronutrients that are going to give you the biggest bang for your health buck. These five immune-boosting foods are rich in them.

5 Common Immune-Boosting Foods

Citrus Fruits

You’ve probably heard for years that taking vitamin C will help reduce your cold and flu symptoms when you’re sick. That’s because vitamin C has natural immune boosting properties. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and even veggies like kale, red bell peppers, and broccoli are great sources of vitamin C. And ladies, a bonus here is that vitamin C is also essential in collagen production and keeping our skin healthy. You can grab a piece of raw fruit and eat as is, or top a bowl of greek yogurt to ensure you’re also getting enough protein (which is essential for our organs to function properly, repair muscle tissues, and keep our bodies working the way they should).

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants (beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A). This nutrient is important for producing white blood cells in our bodies, which helps fight off bacteria and viruses. Sweet potatoes are a great option for any healthy diet because they’re a complex carb that will help give us energy and keep us feeling fuller a little longer. Bake them, or slice them and air fry for some sweet potato fries. 

Turmeric

Turmeric has been used for centuries in delicious recipes and as an herbal remedy. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can boost our immune system and increase antibody responses to help fight off infection. Sprinkle some in your next smoothie or add into your favorite soup recipe.

Garlic

In addition to warding off vampires, garlic may actually help keep sickness away, as well. Tons of research has been done studying the effects of garlic and boosting immune response. The best part is garlic is a great addition to almost any meal. Add fresh garlic to your stir-fry, soups, poultry, or pasta the next time you cook. 

Green Vegetables

Eating greens is essential for boosting our health as a whole. Green veggies are full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and vitamins such as A, C, calcium, and fiber. Not only can eating enough vegetables help fight off heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, but it can also help boost your immune system. Try blending spinach or kale in your next smoothie, or saute zucchini, brussels sprouts, or broccoli with a little olive oil and garlic the next time you cook dinner. 

Keep in mind that eating too much of one kind of food can actually be a little detrimental to your overall health. If you eat ONLY green vegetables but exclude the other colors of the rainbow, you run the risk of missing out on other beneficial nutrients. Try and keep your plate colorful; the bigger variety of fruits and veggies you add to your daily diet the healthier you’re setting yourself up to be.