At Anda Spa, we believe holistic wellness starts within. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we take care of our bodies and immune system amidst the pandemic. While no specific foods or supplements will cure or prevent disease, feeding your body certain foods will indeed strengthen your immune system and keep you feeling healthier and happier.
We have compiled a list of the best immune-boosting fruits and vegetables that you should add to your next grocery run (or delivery).
There’s a reason why we look to vitamin C to ward off the common cold – because it helps to build a strong immune system. Vitamin C is known to produce white blood cells that help to fight infections. Since our bodies don’t produce or store vitamin C, it’s important that it is consumed daily via the foods you eat. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, so take your pick from grapefruit, oranges, clementines, tangerines, lemons or limes.
Kiwis pack a serious nutritional punch and are naturally loaded with essential nutrients, including potassium, folate, and vitamins K and C. While we know vitamin C helps ward off infection, the other nutrients found in kiwis help regulate your body and keep it functioning properly. Kiwis make a great snack on their own, or they can make a great topping for a yogurt breakfast or smoothie bowl.
Papayas are the ultimate V.I.P.! In a medium-sized papaya, you can find double the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and generous amounts of magnesium, potassium and folate – which are all essential to your overall health. Papayas also contain papain – a digestive enzyme that has anti-inflammatory benefits. We suggest scooping out the seeds and adding berries for an amazing fruit bowl or blending it into a delicious fruit smoothie.
A salad staple, spinach has a variety of antioxidants and beta carotene – both of which increase the ability to fight infections within our immune systems. While spinach is healthiest when cooked as little as possible, light cooking makes it easier for our bodies to absorb the vitamin A it contains. We recommend using it as a base in salads, or lightly sauteed as a side dish with protein and other fiber-rich veggies.
Red Bell Peppers
Not only do red bell peppers contain almost three times as much vitamin C as a Florida orange (when comparing ounce to ounce), but they are also a rich source of beta carotene, which helps to keep your skin and eyes healthy. Red bell peppers are a great addition to salads, or sauteed with onions as a dinner side dish. One of our favorite uses for red bell peppers is to stuff them with meat and other veggies as a stand-alone meal.
Naturally, we saved the best for last. Broccoli is one of the best vegetables to include on your plate. Supercharged with vitamins and minerals, broccoli is rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as fiber and other antioxidants. Keep in mind that in order to get the most broccoli benefits, it’s important that you don’t overcook it (or better yet, don’t cook it at all). If you are not a fan of raw broccoli, it is recommended to steam it so it retains as many nutrients as possible. We love our broccoli paired with almost any protein or eating it as an afternoon snack with hummus.
Variety is the key to proper nutrition so it’s important to keep serving sizes and recommended daily intakes in mind to get the proper ratio of vitamins and minerals. Add these six fruits and vegetables to your next grocery list for a healthy immune system and your journey to a holistic wellness approach.