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5 Immune-Boosting Foods

5 Immune Boosting Foods

Immune-boosting foods are key to focus on year-round. Your immune system is essential for staying healthy. It’s what recognizes illness or infection and swiftly responds to get rid of the intruder. Many times, we are not even aware of our immune system’s work, because it kills off bacteria and viruses before we feel any symptoms. Even when we do get sick, the symptoms we experience are the immune system’s defenses against the illness, and what ultimately help us feel better. 

In conjunction with lifestyle modification, strengthening your immune system is one of the best ways to prevent illness and infection. Boosting your immune system does not require some magic solution, it starts at the grocery store. 

Here are the top 5 immune-boosting foods to incorporate into your diet. 

Garlic

Garlic

Garlic adds a distinct flavor to foods, but it’s also valuable for your immune system. It contains allicin, a strong antibiotic that’s released when the cloves are crushed. For many years, it’s been used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Packed with calcium, potassium, and sulfuric compounds, it’s been touted as a powerful immunity-boosting food. Garlic is most beneficial for the immune system in its raw, uncooked form. 

Ginger

Ginger

Ginger is another great immune-boosting food. It has been noted for its anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory quality of ginger can help reduce inflammatory illness and symptoms like a sore throat. It’s also been shown to reduce chronic pain and nausea. 

For many years, ginger elixirs have been used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Ginger shots are created from concentrated amounts of fresh ginger, and popular juice bars now sell them. However, you can also make them at home and are a great way to incorporate more fresh ginger into your diet. 

Citrus

Citrus Fruits 

Vitamin C is the most well-known ingredient for helping the immune system. Vitamin C increases white blood cell counts, which are important for fighting infections. It’s a potent antioxidant and essential micronutrient. Research has found that VItamin C supplementation can prevent and treat systemic and respiratory infections. 

Your body does not produce or store Vitamin C, so you must intake it daily. The daily recommendations for men and women are 90 mg and 75 mg respectively. 

While most people know that oranges contain a lot of Vitamin C, they may not realize that most citrus fruits are high in this micronutrient. Some other Vitamin C-packed citrus fruits to add to the rotation are:

  • Limes
  • Clementines
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Tangerines

Broccoli

Broccoli 

This vegetable touts various vitamins and minerals. Broccoli contains Vitamin C, A, and E, as well as antioxidants and fiber. Because of its impressive arsenal, broccoli is one of the best immune-boosting foods you can eat. 

To maximize the effect of broccoli, try to eat it cooked as little as possible. If you can, eat it raw. Dip it in hummus or a healthy sauce of your choice to consume raw. If you are looking to cook it, steam it to preserve nutrients. 

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and Seeds

Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that your immune system needs. Since Vitamin E is fat-soluble, it needs fat to be absorbed. Almonds and other nuts contain Vitamin E alongside healthy fats, which ensures absorption of the vitamin. One half-cup serving of almonds delivers 100% of the recommended Vitamin E intake. 

In addition to almonds, sunflower seeds also contain powerful nutrients. They have Vitamin E, B-6, and selenium. From one ounce of sunflower seeds, you can obtain almost half of the selenium you need. 

5 Immune Boosting Foods

Tips for Immune Boosting Foods

Here are some useful tips for eating immune-boosting foods:

  • Add variety. There are many variations of immune-boosting foods. Try to mix up which ones you eat to keep things enjoyable and to ensure you get all of your nutrients. For example, instead of eating oranges every day, try different citrus fruits. 
  • Try new recipes. Many of the immune-boosting foods above are ideal to eat raw, but you can also add them to many different recipes. You can use nuts and seeds to make your own trail mix, cook broccoli as a side, or in a casserole, season your foods with natural ginger and garlic. 
  • Eat them daily. Immune-boosting foods are not only great during cold and flu season or when you feel sick. Consuming them daily ensures you get enough of the immune-boosting vitamins and minerals for better immune system functioning. In addition, don’t reserve these healthy foods for when you’re feeling ill, consume them regularly to support immune system function. 
  • Look for other immune-boosting foods. The five foods above are some of the top immune-boosting foods, but they aren’t the only options. When looking for more healthy foods to support your immune system, pay attention to Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium, Vitamin B6, and antioxidants. Some other great foods to consider are:
    • Leafy greens. Spinach, kale, etc. 
    • Turmeric
    • Green tea
    • Yogurt
    • Red Peppers
    • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
    • Oily fish
    • Sweet Potatoes 
    • Kiwi

5 Immune Boosting Foods

Immune Boosting Food Recipes

There are many delicious ways to enjoy immune-boosting foods. Here are some of the top recipes to try:

  • Immunity shot. Get 100% orange juice. If you can squeeze an orange at home, even better! Slice up fresh garlic and grate fresh ginger. Mix the ginger, garlic, and orange juice. Add turmeric and honey for an extra boost of immunity. This one isn’t the best tasting, but it’s jam-packed with immune-boosting ingredients and is a great way to start your morning. 
  • Homemade trail mix. Choose a few of your favorite nuts and seeds. For instance, almonds and sunflower seeds contain immune-boosting vitamins, but so do many other seeds. Add dried fruit of your choice, like raisins, and a few dark chocolate chips. 
  • Veggie platter. Raw veggies aren’t always the most enjoyable snack. Make them a little tastier by dipping them in a healthy homemade sauce, like hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas, tahini paste, fresh lemon juice, fresh garlic, ground cumin, and salt. Add any other seasonings to taste and dip all of your fresh veggies in it. 

5 Immune Boosting Foods

Get More Immune Boosting Advice 

Taking care of our bodies is crucial for staying healthy. Incorporating a balanced nutrition plan with the immune-boosting foods above is essential for your overall wellness. Knowing where to start with transforming your diet and supporting your immunity can be challenging. Getting support from a community is one of the best ways to learn new tips and tricks for your health journey. Incorporate the above 5 immune-boosting foods into your diet to help you stay healthy.

The JOC Transformation Community is one of the best places to learn all about immune-boosting foods, nutrition, fitness, and wellness. It’s a tight-knit, members-only community that the JOC team created to help our members out. It’s also the perfect place to find accountability partners and to learn from others with similar lifestyles. If you are looking for a great community to jumpstart your health journey and help you learn all about immune-boosting foods and more, join the JOC Transformation Community on Facebook today! Click this link to get started. 

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