A Grocery List for Immune Support
There is a growing amount of evidence indicating that nutrition and other lifestyle factors influence the strength of your immune system and its ability to ward off outside attacks. Adults and children alike benefit from “eating the rainbow” or including a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables in their everyday diet.
Fruits and vegetables get vibrant colors from phytochemicals, which are natural bioactive compounds that promote good health while attracting our eyes with their dynamic colors.
Eating the Rainbow
Each fruit or vegetable color offers its own rewards, as the color of your produce is a critical guide to the benefits it supplies. Understanding the correlations between fruit and vegetable colors and health benefits can motivate you to include more in your diet.
Red Fruits and Vegetables
Red fruits and vegetables include tomatoes, strawberries, red beans, peppers, and beets. Consuming red produce supplies your body with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and the antioxidants lycopene and anthocyanin.
Lycopene and anthocyanin offer the body a powerful antimicrobial effect and work to support the immune system in fighting off attacks.
Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables
Carrots, peaches, squash, pineapple, and most citrus fruits fall in the orange and yellow fruit and vegetable categories.
These powerful foods provide the body with zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. They promote healthy joints and collagen formation and boost the immune system.
White Fruits and Vegetables
White and brown fruits and vegetables like bananas, onions, parsnips, and cauliflower are high in potassium, fiber, beta-glucans, lignans, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
These nutrients benefit heart health, boost immunity, support digestive tract health, and boost metabolism.
Green Fruits and Vegetables
Green fruits and vegetables, including grapes, broccoli, apples, melons, spinach, asparagus, and more, protect the heart with their high concentrations of potassium and vitamin K. They also help maintain healthy vision and strong bones and contain lots of fiber and antioxidants.
Purple and Blue Fruits and Vegetables
Cranberries, grapes, eggplant, and blueberries offer vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. In addition, they have been shown to boost urinary tract health, improve memory function, and promote healthy aging.
Your Immune Support Grocery List
“Eat the rainbow” means that the best additions to your grocery list are a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to support your immune function and overall health.
Our immune-boosting grocery list highlights some of our favorite produce and other nutritional powerhouses.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices make food taste better, but many of them also improve your health. For example, ginger can calm an upset stomach, and it provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. At the same time, cinnamon can fend off free radicals and even support stable blood sugar levels.
One of the biggest nutritional powerhouses falls into the herbs and spices category: turmeric, or specifically turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin has many scientifically proven health benefits, including supporting immune function and healthy inflammatory response.
However, it’s hard to eat enough turmeric to see all of these benefits. Curcumin is poorly absorbed in the bloodstream, so taking Quality of Life’s Curcumin-SR™ allows you to reap all benefits.* Curcumin-SR™ features MicroCurcumin™, QOL’s proprietary blend cultivated to increase curcumin’s absorption and bioavailability.*
There’s a reason everyone reaches for the vitamin C when they get the sniffles. Researchers believe that vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which supports the immune system. Since almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, they’re an excellent choice in supporting your immune health.
Whether you’re feeling spicy enough for chili peppers or you’re sweet on bell peppers, the whole range of peppers offers vitamins and minerals that support your immune system. Spicy peppers are rich in capsaicin, which accounts for their heat and may reduce pain and your body’s inflammatory response.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. These crunchy, dense vegetables contain phytonutrients that may help regulate the body’s inflammatory response and support the health of the immune system.
Mushrooms are low in calories and high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants. In addition, these fungi are an excellent source of zinc, which is a vital nutrient for the immune system, along with selenium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Mushrooms provide unparalleled immune system and digestive support, making them important enough for your health to include daily. We’ve found the easiest way to do that is with Kinoko® Gold AHCC® and Kinoko® Platinum AHCC®, ensuring you support your immune system’s function and harness the healing properties of mushrooms.*
Yogurts touting their “live and active cultures” have something to brag about. Those cultures may stimulate your immune system and can work together with yogurt’s high concentration of vitamin D to boost the body’s natural defenses.
Select a plain variety and add fresh fruits and a drizzle of honey to get the most benefits from your yogurt; flavored yogurts are typically high in sugar.
Almonds are a delicious source of vitamin E, which is key to a healthy immune system. They also provide the perfect package for this vitamin, which needs fat for proper absorption.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, supporting vision, skin, and brain health while fighting free radicals, which can damage cells and negatively affect your immune system.
Chicken noodle soup has a long history as a cure-all, and it offers more than just soothing benefits. Poultry is high in vitamin B6, which affects many of the body’s chemical reactions, including the formation of healthy new red blood cells.
Chicken stock or broth contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients that support gut health and immunity.
Whole (Unprocessed) Grains
Whole grains help manage the body’s inflammatory response and are high in fiber. In addition, some whole grains, like barley and oats, contain beta-glucan, which helps boost immune health. Oats also contain polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants that help support immune health.
You’ll see substantial benefits when you incorporate immunity-supporting foods into your diet. The fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, and lean proteins that support your immune health also help your digestive and cardiovascular health. So expect to feel great when you eat great foods!