Peppers are high in Vitamin C. Picture: Pexels / Nick Collins
Peppers are high in Vitamin C. Picture: Pexels / Nick Collins

What you should eat to maintain a strong immune system

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Jun 1, 2021

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With chilly days in full swing, it's easy to assume that getting sick - whether it's a run-of-the-mill cold or, worse, the flu - is almost an inevitability.

But here are some things you can add to your diet that can help keep winter illnesses at bay by boosting your immune system with the likes of vitamin C and zinc.

Bell peppers:

They are low in calories and exceptionally rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet. One medium-sized red bell pepper provides 169% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin C, making it one of the richest dietary sources of this essential nutrient.

Strawberries:

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for immune system and skin health. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and also contain decent amounts of folate (vitamin B9) and potassium.

Broccoli:

Broccoli contains 89mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. One-half cup of steamed broccoli provides 57% of the DV (daily value) for vitamin C and may lower your risk of inflammatory diseases.

Brussels sprouts:

They pack a vitamin C punch. One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts packs over 150% of the minimum DV C target. If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try sprinkling them with fresh garlic, olive oil and parmesan.

Remember, even if you bolster your immunity with every item on this list, it's still your safest bet to get a flu shot.

It’s also important to note that people in good health can boost their immune system markedly by living a healthy lifestyle, with regular exercise and enough sleep. However, no matter how healthily you live, it is not a substitute for the measures that protect you from contracting Covid-19, such as washing your hands, social distancing and wearing a mask.

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