10 Immune Boosting Foods
We typically think of boosting immune function when we’re already feeling signs of the seasonal cold or suffering from a viral infection. While it is extremely important to give this system a little extra TLC in times of battle, what if we made it a priority 24/7?
Your immune system has 3 main functions:
- Remove excess fluids from body tissues
- Absorb fatty acids and subsequently transport fat to the circulatory system
- Form white blood cells
In layman's terms, it is built to produce WBCs to fight off pathogens when you are sick. On the other hand, it is also working hard on a daily basis to drain your tissues and rid your body of toxic chemicals (found in skincare, cleaning products, etc.) and unwanted antibiotics in processed foods.
Luckily, taking care of our immune system every day can be as easy as adding in the right nourishing foods (and of course, eliminating the processed ones where possible). Food should be viewed as preventative medicine and incorporating this list may help keep you out of the doctor’s office.
1. Garlic Not only does the fiber found in garlic feed the good bacteria in your gut (which helps with immune function), but substantial evidence has shown that garlic acts as an anti-fungal/ anti-microbial agent.
2. Citrus Fruits Who needs Emergen-C when you have whole foods that are packed with your recommended daily dose? Vitamin C aids in the production of WBCs.
3. Red Bell Peppers We usually turn to citrus fruits like oranges for Vitamin C, but believe it or not, red bell peppers actually have 2x the amount! Have a little of both and you’re guaranteed an extra boost.
4. Ginger One of the best foods for digestive health, ginger will surely aid in protecting your immune system. After all, the health of your gut is directly correlated with the strength of your immunity!
5. Blueberries Blueberries are made up of a flavonoid compound called anthocyanin which gives them their blue tint and antioxidant composition. They’re so nutritious that they actually fall under the ‘superfood’ category!
6. Turmeric The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin vault this spice to the top of the list. Inflammation means that your immune system is overworking itself. When your body is chronically inflamed, it essentially means your immune system is in constant ‘fight or flight’.
7. Broccoli Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.
8. Elderberry Next time you feel sickness coming on, grab a bottle of elderberry extract. Similar to blueberries, the flavonoids found in elderberry have been shown to reduce the duration of sickness by up to 3 days!
9. Manuka Honey Manuka honey has antiviral properties that may help treat ailments, including irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers, and upper respiratory infections. (1)
10. Spinach Spinach is packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene that will keep your body healthy and happy.