Fruit: Natural Sickness Defender
Fruit fights the germs we're exposed to in the winter. "The vitamin load keeps your immune level high, allowing you to fend off colds and flu," says Amy Howell, Ph.D., a research scientist at Rutgers University. Fruits also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Try the five below to give your immune system a boost.
Apples The most popular source of antioxidants in our diet, one apple has an antioxidant effect equivalent to 1,500 mg of vitamin C. Apples are loaded with protective flavonoids, which may prevent heart disease and cancer.
Papayas With 250 percent of the RDA of vitamin C, a papaya can help kick a cold right out of your system. The beta-carotene and vitamins C and E in papayas reduce inflammation throughout the body, lessening the effects of asthma.
Cranberries Cranberries have more antioxidants than other common fruits and veggies. One serving has five times the amount in broccoli. Cranberries are a natural probiotic, enhancing good bacteria levels in the gut and protecting it from foodborne illnesses.
Grapefruit Loaded with vitamin C, grapefruit also contains natural compounds called limonoids, which can lower cholesterol. The red varieties are a potent source of the cancer-fighting substance lycopene.
Bananas One of the top food sources of vitamin B6, bananas help reduce fatigue, depression, stress, and insomnia. Bananas are high in magnesium, which keeps bones strong, and potassium, which helps prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.