With cold and flu season in full swing, you may be wondering what you can do to boost your immunity and protect yourself from the germs that are lurking at work, in public spaces, and even around your home. Luckily, the answer is simple! By consuming more of these 10 foods that can boost your immunity, you’ll be better equipped to fight off illness and keep your body functioning at its best! If you want to avoid getting sick this winter, don’t delay; start eating these immune-boosting foods today!
1) Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts contain selenium, an anti-inflammatory mineral. Brazil nuts are a great source of protein and can provide all the amino acids you need to build muscle, so they’re good for building up your immunity. They also contain vitamin B1 and tryptophan which may help you sleep better. Brazil nuts can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood because they have high levels of oleic acid and is thought to have triglyceride lowering qualities due to its high levels of alpha-linolenic acid.
Eating a handful of brazil nuts each day has been shown to increase HDL or good cholesterol. Brazil nut oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). These omega 3s are important for brain function, metabolism, eye health and more. If you don’t eat fish or take supplements, then this fat could be especially beneficial for you.
It’s possible that this food could prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing inflammation, improving heart rate variability and decreasing LDL cholesterol – sometimes called bad cholesterol – when it goes down as well as increasing HDL cholesterol – sometimes called good cholesterol – when it goes up.
Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, vitamin E, and antioxidants. The healthy fats in walnuts are also beneficial for brain function. One ounce of walnuts provides 20% of your daily value of copper to help fight anemia and osteoporosis. Walnuts are full of fiber to promote digestion, regulate bowel movements, and lower cholesterol levels.
This fat is also known as the mood food because it can stimulate production of serotonin, which boosts brain activity and helps you feel good. Eating walnuts on a regular basis will lead to better memory and improved cognitive skills. They’re one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there! If you don’t have time to snack on them throughout the day, try adding them into other dishes such as salads or smoothies.
Almonds: Like walnuts, almonds provide many health benefits including improving heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing risk of stroke. Almonds also offer skin-beautifying minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, potassium and calcium. One handful contains 10% of your daily intake of calcium needed for strong bones!
(1) Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin): These seeds may be small but they pack a lot of nutrition. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium and Vitamin A while sunflower seeds are full of protein and riboflavin (vitamin B2). A serving size is 1/4 cup so they make great snacks that won’t take up too much space in your bag.
Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein, eggs can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as maintain healthy skin. Incorporating them into your diet is one of the easiest ways to get that much-needed protein and other nutrients. Try making an omelet with veggies and cheese for a quick breakfast or lunch option.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is high in fiber which makes it filling. In addition, oats are a great source of magnesium, which has been shown to reduce stress hormones and regulate sleep patterns. The slow release of energy from oats also helps stabilize blood sugar levels, keeping you fuller longer.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has so many health benefits because it contains natural saturated fats like lauric acid and capric acid which have antibacterial properties and promote weight loss by regulating metabolism. These two fats also improve thyroid function as well as mood and mental clarity because they contain short chain fatty acids that are easily converted into ketones – these help fuel our brains when food isn’t readily available.
Other types of oils (e.g., vegetable oils) don’t provide these same benefits because they are mostly made up of long chain fatty acids that require more work on the part of the liver to break down. Olives: There’s a reason olives show up in Mediterranean diets all over the world! They’re full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and more potassium than bananas!
Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and lutein. Vitamin C can help your body produce infection-fighting white blood cells. Lutein is an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. And vitamin K helps blood clot properly and prevents bruising.
Don’t like cabbages? There are plenty of other immune boosters too! Give some a try today. What do you have to lose? In all seriousness, though, there’s nothing more worth investing in than our health. Get up and go get yourself some immunity boosting foods right now. You deserve it! The benefits of eating healthy will last you throughout your lifetime and will keep you from having to endure painful illnesses when they show up uninvited.
All sorts of fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, nuts – whatever floats your boat as long as it’s not refined sugar or processed food – can give your body the strength it needs to fight off those nasty bugs before they take hold. Think about what a gift this is. I mean, if you don’t believe me about how important good nutrition is for your overall well-being then maybe my recent bout with strep throat will change your mind.
I had been taking care of myself; drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, but it didn’t matter because I wasn’t giving my body the proper nutrients it needed to stay strong. It made me really appreciate just how important food really is! So here are 10 foods that can boost your immunity
Ginger has been a staple in Eastern medicine for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This root spice is also known for lowering blood sugar, relieving nausea, and even helping to ease the pain of arthritis and other aches and pains. Plus, ginger can keep your immunity boosted throughout the winter with all of these amazing benefits! The easiest way to use it is to slice up some fresh ginger and add it to tea or hot water.
You can also chew on raw pieces when you’re feeling under the weather. Other ways to include this warming spice are adding it to soups, stir fries, dressings, or marinades. Try grating fresh ginger into pastas or sprinkling it over salads and roasted vegetables! Turmeric: Turmeric has long been prized for its health benefits. Not only does this bright yellow spice have an earthy flavor that pairs well with many dishes but is also packed full of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body which can help fight off illness and disease.
Turmeric is also known for preventing Alzheimer’s Disease as well as cancer. One of the best ways to eat turmeric is by making Golden Milk (a combination of turmeric powder, ground black pepper, honey, lemon juice and almond milk). Once you taste this recipe you’ll be hooked! It has become one of my favorite drinks especially during cold and flu season. Simply heat up some almond milk, then combine it with turmeric, honey, black pepper, and lemon juice. It’s so delicious that I drink this every day when I start to feel like something might be coming on or after my workouts if I’m feeling sore from lifting weights.
No matter how strong your immune system is, you’re bound to catch a cold or some other virus at some point. If you’re feeling under the weather, garlic can help reduce your symptoms while strengthening your immune system. Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties that work as a natural antibiotic by fighting off infection and protecting against bacteria.
It also boosts the body’s immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells that fight infections, according to Live Science. For those who are too sick to eat, there are ways to get the benefits of garlic through drinking it in water or using it topically on skin wounds. Raw garlic, however, may cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals.
You should consult with your doctor before consuming raw garlic if you have an allergic reaction to common foods such as onions, leeks, chives, and other alliums. However, if cooked correctly (by roasting or frying), garlic is perfectly safe for everyone to consume. Eating raw garlic cloves during the winter months can give you protection from viruses like influenza A H1N1 (swine flu) because it reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract.
The consumption of garlic also helps lower cholesterol levels, which decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, eating more garlic means less likelihood of getting food poisoning because it increases stomach acidity levels that inhibit harmful bacteria growth.
The Papaya is a powerhouse of immune-boosting benefits. Along with vitamins A, C, and E, this amazing fruit contains numerous other healthy nutrients including antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that can lead to aging. Papayas are also loaded with digestive enzymes that can ease digestion and elimination. Plus, they’re full of carotenoids that act as powerful antioxidants to fight the damaging effects of oxidative stress on cells.
Additionally, the high fiber content in papayas can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time by slowing down digestion and balancing blood sugar levels. All these factors combine to give your body’s natural defenses an added boost! As if that weren’t enough, there’s another important benefit of papayas.
They contain a special type of enzyme called papain, which has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Researchers believe that it works by blocking chemicals responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. If you suffer from chronic pain related to arthritis or some other condition, adding this juicy tropical fruit into your diet may be just what you need! It’s definitely worth giving it a try.
One more way that papayas can improve your health? The natural anti-inflammatory properties of this delicious fruit have been found to be helpful in managing allergic reactions such as asthma. So go ahead and grab a piece at breakfast, lunch, or dinner—and enjoy the wide range of health benefits that come along with it!
Eating broccoli will provide your body with more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which can help prevent upper respiratory infections. Broccoli is also high in iron and fiber, making it an effective immunity booster. Add to soups or salads for a healthy meal. Eat raw as well as steamed or boiled, since cooking does reduce some nutrients. Nuts: Almonds are rich in vitamins E and B1 (thiamine), magnesium, protein, copper, manganese and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
Cashews contain zinc, copper and selenium. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. Pine nuts have one of the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in any plant-based food. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that fight inflammation that can cause illness. Brazil nuts have important amounts of selenium, which strengthens immune system cells. Sesame seeds are also rich in selenium, along with thiamine, calcium and iron. Cashews may be eaten raw or roasted; they can be added to sauces, cheeses and desserts like ice cream.
Sesame seeds should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. To toast sesame seeds, place them in a small skillet over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant. The same method applies to other nuts and seeds as well – keep them refrigerated when not being used. To increase their nutritional value, all these items should be lightly salted before eating them on their own or using them in recipes.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps the body fight infection. Bromelain also helps to digest protein, which is important for the immune system because it assists in the production of antibodies. Additionally, pineapple is a good source of manganese, a mineral which is essential for strengthening your bones and fighting infections.
Pineapples are an excellent source of vitamin C too! In fact, just one cup (raw) provides 105% of your daily needs. Potatoes: Potatoes contain more than two dozen B vitamins, including thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid (B5), and niacin (B3). These nutrients help release energy from food so you have more fuel to fight off sickness-causing germs. The nutrient quercetin found in potatoes may also be helpful as well.
Research has shown that people who eat foods high in quercetin, such as apples or onions, have fewer respiratory illnesses. Garlic: Garlic is a great natural remedy for colds and other types of infections. The antibiotic properties can reduce pain and inflammation while preventing bacterial growth on the skin. It’s even been shown to stop MRSA from spreading! Ginger: Ginger has potent anti-inflammatory properties with powerful antioxidant effects as well.
*Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce your risk of chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. *Tomatoes contain choline which can support your immune system. Tomatoes also have glutathione, an important nutrient for the production of antibodies.
Tomatoes also contain lutein and zeaxanthin which act as antioxidants to protect against free radicals that cause cell damage. *Potatoes: *Potatoes are rich in potassium and other nutrients essential for immune health. Potassium can help regulate levels of inflammatory molecules and decrease risk of infection. Potassium also helps maintain healthy pH levels to guard against bacterial infections such as Salmonella.
*Carrots: *Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A with potent antioxidant properties that help fight harmful substances called free radicals before they can do any damage to cells in the body. Carrots also provide us with a variety of B vitamins including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate, all needed for proper functioning of our immune system. Carrots are one of nature’s richest sources of antioxidant compounds called polyphenols which boost immunity by boosting the activity of natural killer cells (NK) that attack viruses and bacteria.