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The 3 Foods This Nutritionist Swears By For Supporting Immunity

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Ginger Tea with Honey

Supporting our immune system should always be a priority, but as it becomes something unavoidable we're looking for ways to work immune supporting factors into our daily lives.

This winter, Maya Feller, R.D. sat down with co-founder and co-CEO Jason Wachob on an episode of the mindbodygreen podcast (be sure to listen to the full episode) to discuss her favorite foods and eating habits—and of course, the topic of our immune systems came up, given the start of the cold and flu season. These three foods are easy to find and can be used in a variety of ways—all of which will give your immune system the support it needs.

1. Clementines

According to Feller, when they're in season she has "like tons of clementines" on her table. Their benefits are the same as those of their more commonly cited relative the orange, but in a smaller (and, dare we say, tastier) package and come from vitamin C, which has been linked to supporting the immune defense.

"It's this great antioxidant that helps to banish free radicals," said Feller, "When we're exposed to so many people and so many viruses, getting a little dose of vitamin C is incredibly helpful."


2. Ginger

Did you grow up drinking ginger ale when you were sick? There's an actual reason for that, beyond just helping settle an upset stomach. "I love fresh, raw ginger," said Feller, "for some of the antimicrobial properties."

Among ginger's many benefits are its reported ability to help fight infection and ease joint and muscle pain—a common symptom of many illnesses.

3. Garlic

Yes, that ingredient that seems to permeate global cuisine is also a popular one on the lists of immune supporting foods. For Feller, it comes from her roots—and pairs with another of her favorite foods for immunity. "I don't know if it's because I'm from the Caribbean," she said, "that like my grandmother would make these teas with like garlic and ginger, and I just thought it was fantastic."

Wondering if there's more you can do to support your immune system? Learn what it really means to "boost" your immunity, consider trying some acupressure points to support the system, and try these three tips to stay healthy from an infectious disease specialist.

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