I’ve been known to be a healthy eater for a while now. And while eating whole, clean foods to be healthy is great; eating foods or spices for their health benefits is a more targeted approach for nutrition. While we all know that oranges, pineapples, tomatoes and the likes can do wonders for your immune system, I decided to dig a little deeper into lesser known superfoods. Below are 7 ingredients to add to your diets ASAP to help boost your immune system.
Turmeric is probably one of the most effective superfoods to exist. It’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, does amazing things for the brain, improves the skin, and powers up the immune system. It’s often found in Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese foods (particularly curries) and gives those dishes a vibrant yellow color.
If you’re not making a curry, you can still integrate Turmeric into your diet. If you don’t want to use the spice, you can always take a supplement! I make Turmeric Chai Lattes or even dash this on my eggs in the morning with black pepper.
TIP: Black pepper helps your body absorb the turmeric better.
Teas are packed with various antioxidants that enhance immune function. I recommend swapping your morning cup of coffee for some elderberry or green tea.
I drink green teas during the day. I also drink chamomile at nighttime to help me unwind; it’s incredibly stress relieving!
Garlic is probably something you’re already eating, but maybe you should add even more of it. Garlic is capable of fighting bacterias and viruses; it has been used for centuries to prevent colds and the flu. Fortunately, growing garlic is said to be extremely easy so you can pluck it straight from your backyard, if you plant the seeds now. I don’t have a green thumb on my body though, so I usually buy it!
Most Asian cultures swear by ginger for everything. Drinking ginger juice has even become a thing in the Western world, but you won’t find that in my cup. I used to use it while I was pregnant to help ease nausea, vomiting, and cramping. It’s also a good antioxidant that can support the immune system.
I add ginger to my oatmeal sometimes. You can also brew a ginger tea or take a supplement.
Walnuts and almonds are key anti-inflammatory foods, that contain nutrients like vitamins E and B6, play a role in supporting the immune system.
I snack on them raw or toss them into salads, smoothies, or DIY trial mixes.
Did you that red bell peppers contain roughly three times more Vitamin C than oranges? Vitamin C is essential preventing colds and flus, but also help get rid of them if you happen to be infected.
Chop them up into wedges and toss them into your salad, sautéed, or eat them raw with hummus.
Mushrooms are rich in vitamins, polyphenols, sterols and zinc, which keep the immune system strong. According to U.S. News, mushrooms also regulate white blood cells and keep them in a prepared state so they can attack viruses/bacteria that attempt to takeover the body.
I find them most delicious on the grill or sautéed. Of course, if you’re not a mushroom fan you can always take a supplement to get the awesome benefits.
What foods or supplements do you like to use to boost your immune system?