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 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 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.
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:
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
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.
Tips for Immune Boosting Foods
Here are some useful tips for eating immune-boosting foods:
- Leafy greens. Spinach, kale, etc.
- Green tea
- Red Peppers
- Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
- Oily fish
- Sweet Potatoes
Immune Boosting Food Recipes
There are many delicious ways to enjoy immune-boosting foods. Here are some of the top recipes to try:
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.