Does eating fruit sometimes feel like a guilty pleasure? Well, it shouldn't! While it's important to eat it in moderation, fruit is actually quite good for you. Some fruits boost immunity because they contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that the body needs to stand strong against infections.
I don't know about you, but I'm eager to do anything I can to help my body stay healthy—especially given all the crazy illnesses floating around these days. So if you're in the same boat, here's a list of some of my favorite immunity-boosting fruits that I try to consume regularly.
Strawberries have always been one of my favorite, most refreshing fruits. Thankfully, they're just as healthy as they are tasty! Just half a cup of sliced-up strawberries can give you as much as 54% of your daily vitamin C needs. The human body needs vitamin C to mount a strong immune defense. Vitamin C supports the adaptive and innate immune system and strengthens the epithelial barrier so it can keep pathogens out.
Even when strawberries aren't in season, and you can't just pluck them out of your garden or pick them up from a local farmer's market, you can buy frozen strawberries to get the same benefits. Since frozen fruit is harvested and packaged in its prime, it's always nutritious and delicious. I like to add frozen strawberries to my breakfast smoothies, but they can also be thawed out and added to cereal, oatmeal, and toast.
Oranges are amazing in terms of their vitamin C content. You only need to eat one medium orange to care for nearly 80% of your body's vitamin C needs. The nice thing about oranges is that they're quite affordable and can fit into any budget. They're also easy to pack in lunches or as on-the-go snacks.
Kiwi fruit may be small, but it's mighty in immune-boosting properties! You'll get up to 71% of your daily vitamin C needs from just one humble kiwi! I leave eating kiwis plain, but they also taste great in salads and fruit smoothies.
Have you ever wondered how the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," came to be? It's probably because apples contain pectin. This important fiber is also prebiotic, which means the good bacteria in your gut can feed on it.
Since healthy gut bacteria are essential for optimal immune function, it makes sense that eating apples will help you develop good immunity. Apples also contain many different vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin B2, and vitamin C. All of these vitamins are known for their positive impact on the immune system.
I love tropical fruits, especially papaya. This delicious fruit contains 157% of the daily recommended vitamin C amount! It also contains papain, an enzyme that helps break down proteins in meat. Papaya is also packed full of antioxidants that are all very good for the immune system.
You may think it's strange that lemons are on my list of favorite fruits, but they're pretty incredible because of their vitamin C content. A single lemon contains over 50% of your daily value for vitamin C. I like to cut a lemon in half every morning and squeeze the juice into a tall glass of water. It's remarkably refreshing and helps me start my day off in a healthy way.
If you've been looking for ways to boost your immunity, the answer might be sitting in your fridge right now. Try consuming some of the above fruits regularly to reap the benefits. Your immune system will thank you!