Foods That Can Help Boost Your Immunity

Published On Sep 29, 2021

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Welcome, everyone. I'm Doctor John Whyte, the Chief Medical Officer at WebMD, and you're watching Coronavirus in Context. Getting yourself vaccinated is one of the best ways to keep you and your family safe. But what are some other ways that you can boost your immunity this fall and winter?

Well, certainly getting enough sleep, preferably 7 to 9 hours a night, trying to be active most days of the week for at least 30 minutes, trying to minimize stress. But what you eat also plays a powerful role in boosting your immunity. So here are some of my favorite foods. Let's start off with citrus, tangerines, oranges, clementines. They're a great source of vitamin C. And blueberries, guess what? They're not considered citrus fruits, but they still pack a powerful antioxidant punch.

Another thing I want you to consider is yogurt. When you hear yogurt, think the microbiome. And we know the role our gut plays in healthy immune system. I look for ones with active and live bacteria. Those good bacteria that are going to help your gut protect you against those harmful bacteria. Yogurt is also a great source of vitamin D to help strengthen your bones. But make sure you check the sugar content. I typically go for plain yogurt and then I put those blueberries in it in the morning.

The other thing to think about are nuts, almonds, pistachio, walnuts, they're a great source of vitamin E, which can help repair cell damage, as well as reduce inflammation. But here's a tip for you, go unsalted. What's next? Kale, this happens to be red kale, or we have spinach. A great source of zinc as well as vitamin A.

Also, fiber. We don't get enough fiber. I often tell people when they say, Dr. Whyte, I don't like spinach. I don't like kale. You know what? You can put it in a smoothie with that yogurt and those blueberries, and you'll get a powerful immune punch. Now when we talk about boosting your immunity, instead of saying, oh, what supplements should I have, I want you to consider spices and herbs. And I've got three of them for you to consider. They all start with letter G.

Let's start off with ginger. I don't know if you've ever seen the ginger root. Now I'm old enough to remember when we used to treat nausea in the hospital with ginger. But we've learned that ginger is also a great way to help your immune system. It helps fight those harmful bacteria and can also reduce inflammation.

I also want you to consider garlic. Garlic has been around for centuries, if not millennia. It's an important source of calcium, magnesium, and that smell? It's from sulfur containing compounds. It helps us fight bacteria, as well as fungus. A great way to boost your immune system.

Onions work a little differently, but they still pack an immune punch. And finally, ginseng. It's been used in Asian medicine for centuries. We now know that it seems to improve our number of immunoglobulins, which can reduce inflammation. Now that's the food, but what about what should you drink?

Personally, I'm a big supporter of coffee. I tend to do no more than two drinks a day, and that's important. But it has important vitamin B12. It has magnesium. It has powerful antioxidants. And if you don't like coffee, you can also try tea, especially green tea. That's where we seem to get the most immune punch. So there you have it. Different ways to boost your immunity with food this fall and winter. Thanks for watching.