Flu season is upon us, and the good news is that certain types of green vegetables can help boost your immune system. “Any leafy green will provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other key nutrients to your diet,” Manaker told Eat This, Not That!
“No matter which green leafy you choose, including more into your diet is likely a good idea, assuming you don’t have an underlying condition that requires you to limit this type of food. But among the greens out there, my favorite choice is kale,” she continues.
When you don’t have adequate levels of immune-supporting nutrients, your body may not be able to perform properly, which may lead to your immune health suffering,” Manaker explains. “All leafy greens will provide a boost of nutrients.
And among the list of options, kale is one that is incredibly nutrient-dense”. She added that kale is the best because it contains two essential ingredients that help boost the immune system: vitamins A and C. “Vitamin A can play a role in helping support the immune system and helping the body fight infection by promoting skin health,” Manaker says.
“Since skin acts as a barrier from the outside world, keeping skin health in check is critical when supporting our immune health,” she explained. is.
She added that vitamin C stimulates the production of antibodies that the body uses for "defense" against viruses and bacteria.
“Some data suggests that taking in more vitamin C may offer immune support benefits,” Manaker says “Kale also contains fiber, a nutrient that supports gut health,” says Manaker. “And since having a healthy gut is linked to having a healthy immune system, including fiber foods like kale [into your diet] can be a fantastic immune-supporting step”.
Dietary tips for incorporating more kale
“To include more kale in your diet, you can add a handful to your smoothie, sauté it with some extra-virgin olive oil and garlic for a simple side, or bake leaves for a crispy chip,” she advises.