( CNN) As flu season rages on, it might be comforting to know that what you eat can help your immune system fight off any potential coughs, sneezes and sniffles.
“It’s got the live culture in there, and what live culture does is helps with the intestine microbiome, ” he said, referring to how the live cultures, or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt can help keep your gut microbiome — the ecosystem of microorganisms in your intestine — healthy. It turns out your gut is home to about 70% to 80% of your immune cells.
A systematic its consideration of 23 randomized controlled trials, involving 6,269 infants, found that consuming probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, “appears to be a feasible way” to decrease the incidence of respiratory tract infections in children. The review was published in the periodical Medicine in 2016.
Yet many colorful foods also can provide benefits for your immune system and gut health. Only as the rainbow has seven colourings, here are some colorful foods that can help fuel your immunity.
Red, orange and yellow tends to have vitamin C
“If you’re eating the rainbow, any red buzzer peppers and green buzzer peppers have a lot of vitamin C. They have a lot of antioxidants and phytonutrients, ” Fatakhov said.
“Anything that is orange or yellow tends to have a lot of vitamin C in there, ” he said. “Vitamin C will help the immune system.”
Citrus fruit, tomatoes and tomato juice are major contributors of vitamin C to the American diet, but Heller said that other good food sources include strawberries, kiwi, Brussels buds and cauliflower.
Although storing food for a prolonged period of time and cooking may reduce vitamin C content, fortunately many of the best food sources of vitamin C, such as fruits and veggies, are usually consumed raw, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Leafy greens pack powerful nutrients
“Any of the vegetables that vitamin D is in — green leafy vegetables — all help the immune system, ” Fatakhov said. “We’ve known in several studies that vitamin D actually plays a huge role in the immune system.”
Benefits of Vitamin D
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