Whether it’s cold and flu season, daily life, or the middle of a disease outbreak, it’s essential to keep our immune systems at their best. Of course, if you get a virus, you can react with medicine, but why not be proactive and learn how to boost your immune system? Adding a few superfoods into your diet can give your body the extra push it needs to defend itself naturally.
Immune System Friendly Vegetables
Scouring the produce section can be your best bet, especially when it comes to vegetables. Whether eaten cooked or raw, they pack a tasty punch to keep sickness at bay.
No matter their color, bell peppers have vitamins – C and A specifically – that serve as antioxidants to keep immunity up. The good news is that these vitamins also help reduce heart disease, so eat peppers with a bit of dip or use them to add flavor to your meals.
Baked sweet potatoes are a great meal on their own, or swap out traditional potato chips or fries for ones made with sweet potatoes. Doing so adds beta carotene to your diet, which is also an antioxidant that has vitamin A.
Although you may not be familiar with the term, vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower are considered cruciferous, which means related to cabbage. Interestingly enough, these superfoods promote good gut health and can fend off pathogens in your intestines.
Immunity-Boosting Berries and Fruits
Fruit is delicious, healthy, and easy to grab on the go as a treat. Add these into your diet, especially during cold and flu season, to help keep sickness at bay.
There may not be a more delicious way to boost your immunity! Blueberries are easily added to yogurt and cereal or eaten by the handful. Additionally, they contain flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidant that aids the immune system. Another bonus is that they are high in vitamins A and C.
These aren’t as readily available as other berries, but a trip to your local health food store should suffice for finding elderberries. Typically dried, they are excellent for steeping in tea or turning into a syrup. The antioxidants in elderberries not only boost immunity, but they also lower blood pressure.
Of course, it’s well-known that citrus is a powerhouse of vitamin C, which keeps bodies in tip-top shape to fend off pathogens. Grab an orange, eat a grapefruit for breakfast, or add freshly squeezed lemons and limes into water or tea.
Superfood Additives for Your Diet
The items in this list are ones that should be added to what you are already eating as they certainly aren’t tasty when consumed on their own. Whether you are cooking, baking, or making a smoothie, think about adding a few of these immunity boosters.
Garlic not only staves off vampires, but it can also ramp up the number of immunity-fighting T-cells in your bloodstream to attack pathogens in many parts of the body. Sprinkle it on bread or use it to add flavor to a meal.
Serving as an antibacterial agent, ginger can help boost the immune system and fend off harmful pathogens. This spice is in many recipes, and ginger can also be used in tea for easy consumption.
If you were looking for an excuse to make snickerdoodle cookies, this is the one! Not only is cinnamon a popular flavor, but it is readily available and stimulates the immune system. It’s a tasty way to incorporate antioxidants!
No matter which immunity-boosting superfoods you incorporate, it’s best to fuel your body with food that can help your natural defenses all year round! Of course, these are merely suggestions to promote a healthy lifestyle, but please consult your health professional if you are looking to make changes to your diet or habits.
If you don’t have time to prepare these super foods, one of our Mint Chef’s would love to help you out! Give us a call to speak more about how we can help you out with healthy meal prep and incorporating superfoods into your diet!”
Chef Julie + The Mint Team