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Immune Enhancing Foods

A surprising immune-building food that will keep you strong all winter is lean beef since it is full of iron and zinc, which protect against infection by bacteria, viruses, and parasites, according to Dr. Salge Blake, Clinical Associate Professor of Nutrition at Boston University. Beef is also an excellent source of the antioxidant selenium which helps defend and repair immune cells. A portion of 3 ounces per week is plenty.

Other foods that boost the immune system are beans and peas since they are good sources of immune-boosting iron and zinc, and they’re also loaded with vitamin B6, which helps create infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes. You can double the amount of iron you absorb from legumes by combining them with ¼ cup of broccoli, which will give you a fair amount of vitamin C, says Dr. Blake.

—Julia Maranan/AARP Magazine/Oct-Nov2012

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