How do you strengthen the immune system, the body’s natural defense against disease and infections, is a very common question. The answers often include regular exercise, an adequate amount of sleep, no smoking or excessive alcohol drinking, and of course, a healthy diet.
However, some of these are probably hard to implement during a pandemic. Stress levels are high and most people are simply trying to manage each day as best as they can. Spending a lot of time planning meals that have all food groups is practically impossible, so individual items that have copious amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all in one may come in handy.
24/7 Tempo used the U.S. Department of Agriculture site to determine fall foods, and consulted a clinical nutritionist to identify the best fall superfoods that may help boost immunity.
If you like meat, the good news is that you don’t need to go vegan to support a healthy immune system, according to Liat Nadler, clinical nutritionist at Just Eat Well in Portland, Oregon. “But the best thing you can do is to include whole plant-based foods in your diet on a regular basis.”
“What matters is looking at the big picture,” Nadler said. If you eat a lot of whole foods, don’t worry about the occasional fries or cakes you consume. Conversely, if you eat primarily junk food, the occasional whole food won’t save you, she noted.
Eating the right foods is not rocket science, and superfoods is not a scientific term. It’s a marketing term used to describe foods that are nutritionally dense, although often there are also misconceptions about which fruits and vegetables fit that description. Not all foods are created equal, and you only think some foods are healthy when, in reality, they wreak havoc on your body.
To compile a list of 30 fall superfoods that can support the immune system, 24/7 Tempo first identified produce that are in season in the fall according to the United States Department of Agriculture. We then consulted a clinical nutritionist and reviewed several sources, including the National Institutes of Health and online reviews of medical research on the benefits these fruits and vegetables offer.