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There are plenty of things you can do to help you avoid getting sick, such as washing your hands and regularly using sanitizing gel, however the ultimate way to prevent illness through contamination is to take the steps in protecting the immune system itself.

While eating an apple a day as the saying goes is a great start, there is a wide variety of food out there containing immune boosting nutrients that will keep your body running healthily.

Getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables (or more!) per day along with 8 to 10 glasses of water is ideal for staying energized and keeping your immune system on point, but it’s also important to understand which foods and nutrients in particular are beneficial so you can ensure they’re included in your diet.

Elderberry

Studies have suggested that elderberries, which have been hailed as a traditional remedy for flu viruses for years, actually do have the potential to help you recover from the flu at a quicker rate.

While scientists state that further studies are necessary to prove this theory for sure, there’s no harm in giving elderberries a try as they’re rich in antioxidants, which are proven to prevent cell-damage

Button Mushrooms

It’s a common misconception that mushrooms lack nutrients, as they actually contain a highly beneficial dosage of selenium. A deficiency in selenium has been linked to a heightened risk of severe flu, so it’s important to ensure your levels are high enough.

Furthermore, mushrooms have been suggested to have antiviral and antibacterial effects, as well as containing the B vitamins niacin and riboflavin, which also have immune system boosting qualities.

Acai Berry

You may have noticed the trend for marketing ‘super foods’ in recent years, one of which is the acai berry. Similar to a blueberry, this small, dark berry is full of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Antioxidants are proven to help the body maintain its immunity as it ages. As a result of its new found popularity, acai is easy to come by. You’ll find them fresh, in smoothies and even in skincare products.

Oysters

Oysters may be commonly linked to their aphrodisiac qualities, however they do so much more than that. They’re also able to boost the body’s immune system thanks to its zinc content. Zinc is also said to combat male infertility, as well as having antiviral effects, which is why it is often used for healing injuries.