16 Foods That Will Help Support Your Immune System
Immune System Boosters
We are all aware that our immune system is our body’s defense system against viruses, colds, and flu. During this current health crisis, your immune system is more important than ever to help your body fight the COVID-19 Virus (Corona Virus). Here we have highlighted 16 foods that will help your body to be healthy and your immune system ready should you need it.
1. Citrus Fruit
Vitamin C is often the first vitamin people turn to when they have a cold or the flu, many citrus fruits are high in vitamin and should be included in your diet. Our bodies do not product or store vitamin C so it is vital to you need daily intake to stay healthy.
Thankfully there are a wide variety of citrus fruits and most of them are high in vitamin C, adding fresh lemon juice to a glass of cold water is one of my favorites, refreshing and super healthy.
2. Red Bell Peppers
Red peppers are a great source of vitamin C and in most cases contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruit. They are also a rich source of Beta Carotene which is important for healthy eyes and skin.
For me, the other great thing about Bell Peppers is they are low carb which means they are great for weight loss.
Look for yogurts that have “live and active cultures” and are free from sugar, like Greek yogurt. These types of yogurt may stimulate your immune system to help combat diseases. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are preflavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of raw honey instead.
Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.
Broccoli is a real superfood that packed with vitamins and minerals; these vitamins include A, C, and E. It’s also full of antioxidants and fiber; it is, without a doubt, one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.
To maximize its full power, cook it as little as possible ideally eat it raw, it is excellent in a salad with bacon or ham.
5. Bone Broth
Of course, we have to throw bone broth in here, and for a good reason, because it’s packed with lots of vitamins and minerals that support boosting immunity. Have you ever heard that the immune system resides in the gut? Modern medicine is busy researching the vast connections between the immune system and gut health, and they’ve found that they have a very close relationship.
In a previous post, we gave you an excellent recipe for Bone Broth click here to check it out.
Garlic is used as an ingredient globally, mainly because of its unique flavor and, of course, its health benefits. It adds a little zing to food, and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. There is some evidence to suggest garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow down the hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
Ginger is another ingredient that has been used for centuries as a source of healing. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea.
While it’s used in many sweet desserts and cakes, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol-lowering properties.
I use ginger juice mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar and a low carb sweetener as a post-workout refreshing drink.
When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds and viruses, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. Nevertheless, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it needs the presence of fat to be adequately absorbed. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E.
I keep a bag of Almonds in my desk as they a great healthy snack.
9. Sunflower Seeds
Seeds tend to be missing from the modern western diet, and yet they are super healthy. Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
Vitamin E is essential in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.
Spinach made our list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.
11. Green Tea
Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved.
Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.
Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.
Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.
You may know Turmeric as a principal constituent in many curries. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in managing both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, several studies have shown that high concentrations of Curcumin, which gives Turmeric its unique color, can help reduce exercise-induced muscle injury.
Here at OptimaEarth Labs, we are big fans of Turmeric, and in particular, Curcumin as one of our best selling products is a high-absorption Novasol Curcumin supplement – click here for details.
When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6.
Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.
15. Kiwi Fruit
Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.
Shellfish isn’t what jumps to mind for many who are trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are packed with zinc.
Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.
Variety is the key to proper nutrition. Eating just one of these foods won’t be enough to help fight off the flu or the coronavirus even if you eat it regularly. Pay attention to serving sizes and recommended daily intake so that you don’t get too much of a single vitamin and too little of others.
Eating right is a great start, and there are other things you can do to protect you and your family from the flu, cold, and other illnesses.