If you’re like most people, your response when sickness hits is to take a pill. While this approach is sensible for fighting off infection and disease, it does not function the same way when it comes to building up your body’s natural defenses. Gulping down supplements might appear to be an easy way to boost your immune system, but research shows that the beneficial effects of vitamins and minerals were a lot more pronounced in those who consumed these nutrients as a piece of real food, as opposed to taking supplements.
There’s also the potential for taking so much of a given supplement that you do more damage than good. With a huge variety of nutritional supplements just a click away, it is far too easy to ingest potentially hazardous amounts of a particular nutrient. (Just look at what has been happening with garlic.)
Plus, he adds,”consuming immune-boosting nutrients through food brings an entourage of other beneficial nutrients, such as hundreds of carotenoids, flavonoids, minerals, and antioxidants which aren’t in many supplements.” And of course food tastes better and is often less expensive than stocking up on bottles of individual vitamins and minerals.
We’ve pulled together a list of some of the top foods for boosting your immune system, in addition to some easy ways to incorporate them into your shelter-in-place menu. As the French say, “à ta santé.”