Finding the right foods to boost your immune system can be a little overwhelming due to the fact that there are so many claims being made all over the internet as to what can help. But there is no need to feel defeated because today I’m sharing the top 10 foods to boost your immunity. Oh and PS – 5 foods to avoid. It’s time to get your immune system in tip-top shape.
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I didn’t really think much of my immune system until I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disorder. And then it became a daily practice of learning how to boost my own immune system and help my own little fighters protect my body. Whether you have an autoimmune disease or not, boosting your immune system is important, and the food on your fork is your best medicine!
What Is The Immune System?
The best way to think of your immune system is as your body’s first line of defense against any nasty illnesses or diseases. Having a healthy one is super beneficial and can improve your chances of being able to fight viruses and bacteria which may cause your body harm. Your amazing body knows when a germ enters and your immune system then gets to work by sending white blood cells to start an attack on those nasties.
Your immune system is a highly complex system that is made up of a variety of proteins and cells and so it is vital that you take good care of it in order to allow it to work at its best.
What Are Immune System Boosting Foods?
You may think of food as being a simple way to give the body energy but certain foods can provide so much more than that and immune-boosting foods are excellent at taking care of this incredible biological system. Eating these immune system boosting foods might aid you in fighting off common illnesses that we all become susceptible too especially during those winter months. With such a wide range of immune system boosting foods, there is something to suit every palate.
Here are 10 great foods to help boost your immune system!
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10 Foods to Boost Your Immune System
Now that we understand exactly what we are trying to target with these foods, it’s time to take a look at 10 of the best and most delicious immune-boosting foods that may help in giving you a strong and well functioning immune system.
Made from boiling animal bones in water, bone broth or stock as it is sometimes known can be a great help when it comes to looking after your immune system. The reason for this is that the bone broth helps to restore the lining of the gut and this may help your immune system to function better. One of the great things about this immune-boosting food is that it can be consumed on its own or as part of a more diverse dish.
GET THE RECIPE: Bone Broth
They say that eating your greens is good for you and so it’s little wonder that broccoli makes an appearance on this list. The super vegetable can possibly aid the function of your immune system through its high vitamin content, made up of plenty of vitamins A, C and E. On top of this, broccoli is a potent anti-oxidant which is excellent news for the immune system.
Is there anything more refreshing than eating citrus? It’s at the top of the list when you are looking for foods to boost immunity. Eating citrus fruits might aid the immune system due to the fact that they have high vitamin C content making them great at aiding in white blood cell production, which is essential to your immune system. With such a great range of citrus fruits, you can mix it up and try new ones each day.
Dark Greens-Kale, Spinach or Argula
It’s actually quite hip to eat your dark greens these days and one of the reasons is that they promote good health and the health of your immune system is no exception here. Eating these dark greens such as kale, argula or spinach might help in boosting your immunity by providing your body with beta carotene and Vitamin C. Coupled with this, these leafy greens have superb anti-oxidant properties, which as we’re beginning to learn could be perfect for boosting that immune system.
Fermented Foods And Pro-Biotics
Eating pro-biotics and fermented foods can help to replace good bacteria which lives in the gut. Having a lot of these good bacteria can give many health benefits and one such benefit is boosting the immune system. There are a variety of foods you could try such as kefir, sauerkraut or kombucha.
Adding garlic to your diet is a great way to introduce foods that boost immunity and this is such a diverse food, you can add it to a variety of dishes and enhance the flavor as well as enhancing your immune system. The way it works is that garlic releases a product known as allicin which is fantastic when it comes to fighting bacteria or infection, the main function of the immune system. There has been a lot of research done on how garlic can boost immunity and the results are certainly pleasing.
GET THE RECIPE: Lemon Garlic Zoodles
OK, so this one is a drink rather than a food, but it’s still a great one to include to help your immune system to work at its best. Green tea is well known for being an excellent anti-oxidant but there is more to this drink that just that. Green tea contains EGCG or epigallocatechin if you want to use the technical term, which is great at aiding your immune system. If this wasn’t enough, the tea has a high amount of a particular amino acid called L-theanine which some suggest can improve the body’s ability to fight infection.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
No matter what your personal tastes, there are so many foods containing omega 3 fatty acids, meaning that there will be something for everyone, whether its fatty fish, eggs or avocado. Omega 3 fatty oils have been seen to increase the function of white blood cells, which play a vital role in the functioning of the immune system and along with this they also help in taking care of the cells. These fatty acids are also known to reduce inflammation which is excellent for so many areas of health.
GET THE RECIPE: Salmon with Healthy Detox Pesto
GET THE RECIPE: Avocado Matcha Smoothie
SHOP: Top Omega 3 Supplements
Full disclosure – I cannot stand mushrooms. Blech. However… the humble mushroom might possibly be the solution to immune system problems. Mushrooms have been seen to greatly increase the function of the white blood cells and this is what makes them so effective in maintaining a healthy immune system. Aside from this, mushrooms also contain high levels of vitamin D which is known to assist the body in fighting off particular diseases.
This tasty spice can be used in a variety of ways, or it can be taken as a supplement. However you choose to ingest it, it has some great advantages when it comes to your immune system. One such advantage is the fact that turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory which is vital in keeping your immune system healthy and functioning. On top of this turmeric is known to increase the immunomodulating capacity of your body.
GET THE RECIPE: Healthy Sweet Potatoes
Foods to Avoid
Of course, there are also foods you will want to avoid as much as is possible in order to maintain a healthy immune system. As with anything, you don’t necessarily have to cut these foods out of your diet entirely, but they should be kept to an absolute minimum and enjoyed as an occasional treat. Among other things, the following foods might increase inflammation within the body, provide too much sugar and send your immune system function in the opposite direction that you would like. The foods that you should try to avoid are:
Your immune system is a vital part of your body that detects and fights of infection and illness through the use of white blood cells. When this system is working well, you will likely notice a decrease in conditions such as the common cold or stomach flu (although you’ll never be able to avoid these completely.) However, if your immune system is not at its best, you will be unable to fight off these types of infections as easily.
By including these top 10 foods to boost your immune system, you might be able to help your immune system to become stronger, more responsive and therefore more effective. Which ones are your favorites?
Are you Inspired?
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Love, hugs, and staying healthy.
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