It’s back-to-school time already, which means the cold and flu season isn’t far behind. You can start doing things now to keep your immune system healthy, and there are many foods that can help you do so. Fortunately, an apple a day isn’t the only way you can boost your immune system through diet. Take a look at some of these superfoods that can help you kick infections to the curb!
Top 12 Immune Boosting Foods
1. Lemons – Whether you’re adding a slice to your favorite beverage or trying to zest up a dish, lemons are an inexpensive way to get extra vitamin C as well as normalize your body’s pH level.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar – This vinegar is one that will have you smiling instead of turning up your nose. It contains a host of vitamins including potassium, calcium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium, iron, and sulphur. Apple cider vinegar also has the added benefit of having strong anti-yeast properties. It’s great for preparing fish and vinaigrette for salads.
3. Yogurt/Kefir – Both contain beneficial bacteria that line the intestines to combat parasites, bacteria, and virus germs. If you don’t like the taste of yogurt by itself, jazz it up a little by adding a nutrient rich fruit such as blueberries or strawberries.
4. Turmeric – You may have seen this in your spice rack, but how many of you can say that you’ve ever put it to use? Well, it’s about time! Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is speculated to have properties that allow it to generate more immune cells. Not only is it wonderful for Indian dishes or adding to eggs and vegetables, but turmeric adds visual appeal as well, due to its beautiful golden yellow color.
5. Garlic – Now I know you’ve heard of this one. Maybe it’s not as interesting as turmeric, but garlic has been known to pack a powerful for punch for centuries. The Egyptians valued it to the point of using it as a currency. Garlic contains sulphuric compounds, that not only give it its recognizable smell, but also unparalleled protection against illness. As for adding it to your diet, I think you know what to do with this one. You’ve probably just been waiting for the excuse!
6. Oregano – Believe it or not, the benefits of oregano do not end at making Italian food delicious. Oregano is high in antioxidants and saturated with phenolic acids and flavonoids.
7. Ginger – It’s time to ginger snap to it! Known for minimizing heartburn, motion sickness, migraines, and preventing colon and ovarian cancers, ginger also gives your immune system an extra boost. Look for ginger in herbal teas or add it to your favorite recipe for an extra zing.
8. Oysters – You either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. You might have heard of oysters being a powerful aphrodisiac, but did you know that they also rev up your immune system with high levels of zinc? Zinc protects the potency of your helper T cells, enabling them to detect and antigens and germs. In light of building a strong immune system maybe it’s time you started acquiring a taste for oysters. The additional benefits couldn’t hurt as well!
9. Broccoli – This might have been something you scooted around on your plate as a kid, but as an adult you can’t ignore the major health benefits of broccoli. Not only is it rich in vitamins and minerals, but it’s also one of the most effective immune boosters. Because it contains the anti-cancer and potent antioxidant compounds, vitamins A, C, and E, broccoli is a threat to germs in your body.
10. Red Bell Peppers – Would you like to increase your energy level and strengthen your immune system with one food? Red bell pepper can tackle both and is a great source vitamin C. In fact, many physicians agree that of all the fruits and vegetables, red bell peppers are one of the best sources of vitamin C.
11. Green Tea – This one comes as no surprise. It’s been known for ages that green tea strengthens the immune system and fights bacteria and viruses. Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG which prevents a virus from being replicated and multiplying. The most recent research suggests that the benefits of green tea may be as far reaching as a cancer fighting agent.
12. Pumpkin – This shouldn’t be too hard to add to your diet during the upcoming holidays. Pumpkin is rich in beta carotene, the main component of vitamin A. Vitamin A prevents cancer and strengthens cellular communication in the immune system. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of protein and zinc. Pass the pumpkin pie!
Hormone Balance Helps Support a Strong Immune System
Did you know that hormone decline and imbalance can negatively affect your immune system? If you are not feeling as healthy as you should, take our symptom checker to find out if you could have a hormone deficiency.