True health starts from within. When we are healthy, we feel strong and capable. One way we can keep ourselves healthy is by taking a preventative approach to our health. This means doing certain things to reduce the chance or frequency that we get sick in the first place!
So How Can We Do That? By Boosting Your Immune System!
Our immune system is what defends our body from infections by attacking germs and keeping us healthy. Therefore, our immunity is the strength of our immune system. Immunity refers to our body’s ability to prevent the invasion of pathogens in the form of bacteria and viruses that make us sick, like the cold or flu. This is especially important to consider because we are exposed to them every day. When we don’t pay mindful attention to strengthening our systems, these pathogens can easily negatively affect us. Good hygiene, hand washing, and exercise are well-known habits that support us in keeping our immune system working well.
But Is That All?
What if protecting yourself from getting sick and boosting your immunity could start with something as simple as incorporating a few different foods into your day to day?
Five Foods You Can Look to for Their Immune-Boosting Power
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are great for increasing your immunity as they are full of vitamin C. Fruits like orange, grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, and limes are great sources of vitamin C and make great additions to a fruit salad or a refreshing drink.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
These are vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel’s sprouts. They are full of antioxidants, and you may be surprised to know that they are also full of vitamin C. You can get creative and make a hearty quiche with broccoli to boost your protein at the same time.
Garlic is an extremely powerful immune booster as it is rich in compounds that make it both antibacterial and antiviral. Foods like onions, leeks, and shallots also have these same compounds, as well as prebiotic fiber. This type of fiber supports a healthy immune system by promoting good gut health. There are countless recipes that call for garlic (and any member of the allium family) to bring in its unique flavour and desirable compounds, from hummus to pizza!
You can go nuts snacking on these little wonders that are packed with Vitamin E! Vitamin E is a very effective immune boosting antioxidant because it supports the growth of t cells with the role to fight infection by fighting against infected cells. In addition to Vitamin E, almonds are also full of fiber, plant protein, and iron which support good overall health. Adding a few almonds to your parfait or as part of your trail mix is an easy way to get some immune boosting compounds into your body!
In this very potent root is the natural oil gingerol, which has many properties from being antimicrobial to anti-inflammatory and is even an antioxidant. Whether you steep it into your tea or cook with it to spice up your soup, adding some ginger to your diet will keep you feeling resilient.
While this is not an exhaustive list of all immunity boosting foods, this is a good starting point. Each of these foods can be used in a multitude of ways, giving you variety in your day to day with the added peace of mind that you’re not only nourishing yourself but also protecting your health and wellbeing.
Cassa Macedo, A., Oliveira Vilela de Faria, A., & Ghezzi, P. (2019). Boosting the immune system, from science to myth: Analysis the infosphere with google. Frontiers in Medicine, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2019.00165.