Supporting and boosting your immune system has never felt more important than right now. No one likes to be ill. If you want to try and avoid developing a common cold, the flu or another illness, it pays to think about how you can keep your immune system healthy and ready for action.
As it may be easier to catch a cold during fall and winter, we want to help you stay healthy. Keep your body energized by giving it key vitamins and nutrients.
There are actually a lot of superfoods out there, but here are 8 that we recommend incorporating into your diet to help boost your immune system.
Green and black tea in particular are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Green tea in particular contains catechins, an antioxidant that has been shown to be helpful in the prevention of viruses
Drinking green or black tea when you are feeling sick can greatly reduce the time you stay sick.
2. Herbs & Spices
Who would have thought that food flavor enhancers in your kitchen pantry basics have a lot of health benefits? Ginger, turmeric, and garlic are powerful superfood health supplements which produce potent antioxidants that protect the body against invading germs and strengthen your body’s natural defenses.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce pain. It is commonly used in the treatment of flus and colds, so why not start consuming it early for prevention? It is antibacterial, which is why it is such an effective immunity booster. Add a piece to hot water and lemon or even into juices to reap its benefits.
Turmeric is antibacterial and antiviral. Turmeric is a natural way to help bolster the immune system. The scientific community also recognizes ginger as a natural antibiotic. Several studies have demonstrated ginger’s ability to fight many strains of bacteria. To add this to your diet, add a piece of hot water and lemon or grate into salads.
Garlic is an affordable way to fight off bacteria, viruses and infections. To get the benefits, it is best consumed raw. Try grating into salad dressings, to maximize its full antibiotic properties.
3. Fatty Fish
Fish is a wonderful example of a superfood as it is loaded with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, especially wild organic salmon, tuna, or herring. Omega-3 decreases inflammation and has been suggested to boost white blood cell activity and help your immune cells function properly.
4. Citrus Fruits
Lemons and oranges are the first things that come to mind when you say citrus fruits. But there are other citrus fruits that are easily obtainable and an excellent source of Vitamin C and other anti inflammatory nutrients like lime, clementines, tangerine, and grapefruits.
Vitamin C is important as our first line of defense to strengthen immunity against invading pathogens, viruses, and bacteria.
Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to your water, tea, or even on iron rich vegetarian foods for a vitamin C boost. It is important to have citrus fruits on a regular basis as our body does not produce vitamin C, hence consuming a citrus fruit daily will give your body the nutrients it needs and it helps your body fight off infections and illnesses.
Specifically strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Aside from the fact that berries are sweet and yummy to eat, it is rich in vitamin c, loaded with flavonoids, and packed with antioxidants. Because of this, berries are important for boosting the immune and cardiovascular systems due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions.
Mix them into your breakfast smoothie, morning cereal, or yogurt for an extra boost to your immune system.
6. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are rich in fiber, immune boosting vitamins and minerals, and have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent inflammation at an early stage.
This powerful vegetable family include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, and kale.
Aside from boosting your brain’s performance, snacking on nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews can give you a lot of necessary nutrients. Nuts are rich in vitamin E which acts as a powerful antioxidant. It also helps the formation of white blood cells which kills the bad bacteria when you are sick.
You only need a handful of nuts a day to get all the necessary nutrients your body needs.
Yogurt contains essential probiotics, or “good” bacteria, that can help decrease the bad bacteria that bring on sickness. These healthy bacteria keep you healthy and stimulate your immune system.
Opt for a low calorie, tart tasting version like Greek yogurts. They are the ones that include live cultures.
How can you best support your immune system as the new flu season waits in the wings? Keep your diet full of superfoods that support your immune system like the ones stated above.
Aside from this, focus on healthy lifestyle habits. Including a balanced diet, having adequate sleep, exercise on a regular, and always wash your hands.