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POSTED: Dec 16, 2018

The Thirty - 12 Immune-Boosting Foods to Eat If You Don't Want to Get Sick This Winter

When we think about protecting and improving our immune systems (especially this time of year when sickness feels rampant), we typically think of popping Emergen-C, trying to get more than our usual three hours of sleep, and ordering the most vitamin C–filled cocktail on the menu. Tequila sunrise, anyone? Alas, those probably aren't the best strategies, and we know we could be more strategic when it comes to throwing our immune systems a bone come flu and cold season. "We are constantly being exposed to organisms on a daily basis that we ingest or come in contact with," explains functional nutritionist Samantha Franceschini. "Our Immune system is constantly on defense, and the strength of our immune system determines whether these organisms make us feel sick or slowly manifest into disease."

We already knew nuts and seeds are one of the best foods for our daily quota of plant-based protein and fats, but it turns out seeds (pumpkin, in particular) are filled with zinc—one of the most important minerals for staving off sniffles and sluggishness.

"Zinc is an essential mineral for the immune system," Franceschini confirms. "An immune system without zinc is like an army without soldiers. Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate in the afternoon, toast up some chickpeas for a salad, or snack on a handful of pumpkin seeds to help to store optimal levels of zinc in the body."

See Article The Thirty - 12 Immune-Boosting Foods to Eat If You Don't Want to Get Sick This Winter