4 Ingredients to Boost Your Immunity in 2021
Happy New Year! We hope you’re off to a great start and enjoying the winter months.
We all agree that we need to keep our immune systems strong to fight diseases. So what exactly are the best foods to eat to enhance immunity and protect us from the environmental threats our bodies face every day?
Before you keep reading 😉, remember you can watch Hanni share her thoughts on this topic via our YouTube Channel. Or, just keep reading below.
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. Some cells can heal from the damage, while others cannot. These damaged cells may play a part in diseases, like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
One way to combat these attacks on our immune system is to increase our consumption of antioxidants. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Diets high in vegetables and fruits, which are good sources of antioxidants, have been found to be healthy.”
Antioxidant rich foods can also help stop or limit damage caused by free radicals. Your body uses antioxidants to eliminate free radicals as it tries to restore you to an optimal wellness state.
4 Ingredients to Boost Your Immunity
The immune system prevents countless diseases and cures infections. However, sometimes it needs a little help. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can provide that extra boost. 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 and for dinner a generous portion of brussels sprouts or broccoli. Yum!
2. Berries: 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.
In animal and test-tube studies, acai has shown potential as an anti-cancer agent. More studies are needed to determine its effect in humans. These powerful berries grow on acai palm trees in the Amazon rainforest. They are processed into a pulp before eating.
My daughter just loves Acai bowls…probably eats them 2-3 times a week. They can get expensive, but you can also make your own.
3. Turmeric: 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 for centuries now 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. I’ve personally found this to be very effective as an anti-inflammatory agent. Give this amazing healthy turmeric chicken stew a try for your next dinner.
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/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. If nothing else, research has shown time and time again - we are what we eat.
Many of us, myself included, have over indulged the past few months as we’ve had to adjust our schedules and lifestyles to accommodate social distancing and minimal contact with others. Now is a great time to reset and focus on what you want to accomplish with your health over the coming months.
Our team of JOYVIAL health coaches can help you set your goals for the year including adding in more delicious and nutritious foods. What about just adding one citrus fruit to your daily food intake? Or one large salad?
We believe change is about adapting small, sustainable habits, let us help you reach the goals you desire Call us today at 1-866-JOVIAL to schedule your free consultation. Remember to like and follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for all the latest health and wellness tips.