Top Ten Foods to Support Your Immune System
Whether you decide the Covid vaccine is for you, or not, it is crucial that we take the time now to naturally support our immune system. Incorporating nutrient dense foods into our diets is well known to provide us with essential nutrients that supports our immunity. Here’s my list of Top Ten Foods to Support Your Immune System, all of which are included in recipes on my 18 Day Cleanse.
What is the immune system?
The human immune system is formed of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins, which work together to fight off viruses, bacteria, fungal infections, and other forms of disease (pathogens). When a pathogen enters our bodies, our immune system gets to work by producing and releasing antibodies. Antibodies create antigens, which latch onto pathogens and kill them. Aside from modern medicine, you can use the following foods to help support your body’s natural defenses:
Filled to the brim with antioxidants known as anthocyanin (a flavonoid), blueberries reduce your likelihood of developing an upper respiratory tract infection, or cold. Perfect given the current pandemic.
A study in 2017 discovered that curcumin – a substance in turmeric – has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can improve your immune system. Turmeric can easily be added into a smoothie and, as the weather gets cooler, tastes delicious as a latte.
As well as being loaded with potent antioxidants, like sulforaphane, broccoli is a great source of vitamin C. Our bodies can’t produce this vitamin, so it is vital we consume our recommended intake from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Rich in beta carotene – a source of Vitamin A – sweet potatoes contribute to healthy, glowing skin. There is also evidence to suggest that Vitamin A provides some protection from UV rays, reducing the effects of skin damage.
Similar to blueberries, spinach contains flavonoids to help the immune system fight off common colds. However, spinach is a superfood, which is rich in other vitamins including carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
6. Green Tea
With upper respiratory infections making the rounds, I’m packing this list with flavonoid-rich foods. Green tea is another great example for supporting your immune system with pesky colds.
Garlic has been a natural remedy for colds for a long time, and with good reason. A study demonstrated that test subjects taking a placebo had more than double the number of common colds than participants taking garlic supplements that contained allicin.
8. Sunflower Seeds
Rich in the antioxidant, vitamin E, sunflower seeds are not only a delicious addition to salads, or Buddah bowls, but they also support your natural immune system in fighting off free radicals (which can damage cells).
Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, and fiber. Eating a small handful of almonds is another tasty way to support your immune system.
10. Oranges or Kiwis
Last, but not least, oranges and kiwis are packed full of vitamin C. However, if fruit really isn’t your cup of tea, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative.