11 Foods Experts Say Will Boost Your Immune System

Eating foods that boost and improve your immune system could help keep you healthy during cold and flu season (and every other season, for that matter). Such immune-boosting 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.

1. Red Bell Pepper

Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Nutritious Life – 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.”

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