4 Foods to Boost Your Immunity
I hope you’re off to a great start to the year. In these colder winter months, when the flue, Covid or a simple cold knock on your door you know your immune systems needs support. So what exactly are the best foods to eat to enhance your immunity and protect you from the environmental threats our bodies face every day?
The Fight to Stay Healthy
So, what are we up against in the fight to stay healthy? There are many factors that weaken our immune system including lack of sleep, stress, poor diet, lifestyle choices, and lack of movement. We also face environmental threats every day such as toxic chemicals, pesticides and air pollution.
Viruses and infections attack our cells every day, which can lead to diseases, like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. One way to combat these attacks on our immune system is to increase our consumption of antioxidants. Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Diets high in vegetables and fruits, that are therefore high in antioxidants, are the easiest way to consume antioxidants.
4 Ingredients to Boost Your Immunity
The immune system prevents countless diseases and cures infections. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can provide that extra boost needed to do so. Try incorporating these four immune boosting elements into your diet on a regular basis.
1. Green leafy vegetables
Dark, leafy greens are excellent sources of fiber, folate, iron, calcium, and vitamins C and K. They also play a critical role in regulating the immune system by providing important chemical signals that encourage immune cells in the gut to function properly.
Arugula, spinach, and especially kale are great sources of these nutritious compounds. Try to incorporate a leafy green into each meal. For breakfast perhaps a nutritious green smoothie, for lunch a nice big green salad or a side of spinach or collard greens, and for dinner a generous portion of brussels sprouts or broccoli. Yum!
Don’t you just love the way berries look? They are so luscious and delicious but also hold some amazing health benefits. Berries have immune-boosting benefits due to their polyphenol content; a type of plant antioxidant that gives blueberries and other berries like blackberries, strawberries and cranberries their vibrant color. Acai berries have been called a superfood, with benefits ranging from improved skin appearance to fighting off cancer.
Turmeric is a plant that’s common in South Asia but is grown around the world. The underground part of the stem is a spice that has been used in cooking for hundreds of years. It’s available as a dietary supplement for arthritis, and for cancer prevention. It’s known as the superfood spice of choice for busting pain and inflammation but, there is much more to this magical spice than just its amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
The active substance in turmeric is curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant and may help reduce inflammation and ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, one of the greatest downfalls of curcumin is that it is not well absorbed in the body.
Piperine in black pepper has been shown to enhance the absorption of curcumin and thus is often used in conjunction with turmeric.
4. Citrus Fruits:
Sweet, brightly colored citrus fruits bring a burst of sunshine into winter days. Citrus fruits are not only pretty and flavorful, they also pack in some significant health benefits. This class of fruits includes lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, as well as many more hybrids and varieties.
Citrus fruits are rich in multiple nutrients such as vitamin C, flavonoids, and fiber. These benefits help with vascular protection, reduce inflammation, improve gastrointestinal function and health, and play an important role in preventing conditions like diabetes, cancer, and neurological diseases.
Incorporating the foods and spices above can greatly enhance your immunity and decrease the risk of getting sick. In addition, these ingredients can also help you fight feeling low in general.
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