Taking care of yourself and finding any way possible to boost your immune system is a popular topic these days. Widely talked about but rarely explained, your immune system is made up of different cells, proteins and organs that all work together to protect you. The immune system is two parts working together to function as one: the innate immune system is the part that you were born with. The adaptive immune system develops over time as your body comes in contact with different microbes or chemicals that are released by microbes. Needless to say, our bodies are amazing, miracle “machines” that need proper maintenance, which requires us to take care of them. There are a lot of things we can do to help boost our immune system, one of which is eating healthy foods. Let’s highlight 10 of those foods and the ways they help our immune system to protect us.
Top 10 Immune Boosting Foods
If you are seeking nature’s help to get your body on track and stay strong to fight off illness and disease, here are some great weapons to fuel your body and immune system:
- Citrus Fruits – When people hear “citrus fruits they almost always think about vitamin C because most citrus fruits contain high levels of vitamin C. These include: oranges, tangerines, clementines, grapefruit, lemons and limes, to name a few
- Red Bell Peppers – We always assume that citrus fruits contain the highest amount of vitamin C because we hear about them the most, but actually red bell peppers take top prize on vitamin C content. One red bell pepper has almost 3 times the amount of vitamin C compared to an orange. If you aren’t constantly adding this sweet pepper to your normal diet, I would recommend making it a staple vegetable in your rotation
- Broccoli – This green superfood is packed with vitamins C, A and E as well as antioxidants and fiber and remains one of the best for your health vegetables that you can eat, hands down
- Garlic – You can’t hide its taste (or smell) but garlic has long been known for its help in fighting infections. Research has shown it can help slow the process of hardening the arteries of the heart and some evidence suggests it can lower blood pressure. It helps the immune system by having large amounts of sulfur compounds, one of those being allicin
- Ginger – A root used to “spice up” recipes, ginger is well known for helping with nausea. It is also a natural aid for inflammation, from a sore throat to other causes of inflammation, it can also help lessen the effects of chronic pain, with a bonus of lowering cholesterol
- Spinach – Another power packed vegetable, spinach is high in vitamin C, beta carotene, and various antioxidants, which can increase the fighting power of the immune system
- Yogurt – Yogurt that contains live and active cultures, like greek yogurt, can power up your immune system to battle disease and sickness. Always read the label before purchasing, some yogurts are loaded with sugar and all do not contain live and active cultures. Finding one that also has vitamin D is another benefit to your immune system
- Almonds – While not quite as popular as vitamin C when talking about immune properties, almonds are power packed with vitamin E which is another powerful antioxidant that helps build a healthy, strong immune system
- Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds are another type of seed or nut that comes packed with vitamin E, which is necessary in healthy immune function, and they also include vitamin B-6 and selenium
- Turmeric – Tumeric is well known as an important ingredient in all things curry. Familiar to most for its bright yellow color, it has been used for generations as an anti-inflammatory for different types of arthritis and other forms of muscle injury and damage. Curcumin, a property of turmeric, is being researched as a possible help for boosting immunity and as an antiviral
As I research and look for information to write these blogs, I’m learning so much and educating myself on what choices are best for my health and the health of my family. I hope blogs like these are bringing you knowledge and information as we all seek to live healthier, longer, happy lives. There were so many good foods, herbs, teas and natural substances I found while researching this topic. I was only able to focus on 10, but I encourage you to do your own research, maybe some of the ones not listed here would be better for you. Knowledge is a great weapon as we all fight to better our health.
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