Your immune system is a critical component to your overall health and you need to be eating certain foods for your immune system. Without eating properly, your body’s ability to defend itself against various infections and diseases can be greatly compromised. And we don’t want that now, do we?
- Do you have a weak immune system at the moment?
- Do you find that you often have a cold or that it seems to take a long time for the cold to disappear?
- Do you find that a small cut often takes longer than usual to heal?
- Or perhaps you are experiencing digestive issues like diarrhea or cramping?
Often these issues can be rectified by paying attention to your diet and ensuring you are giving your body what it needs to efficiently fight off the numerous viruses and bacteria we come into contact with on a daily basis.
Let’s take a look at 8 foods for your immune system and luckily, they are all pretty tasty and easy to incorporate into your diet.
This common nut is not only delicious and has a milky texture but is also rich in Vitamin E. This vitamin performs as an antioxidant in your body and improves the way your immune system functions.
Almonds are also high in iron and protein which are necessary to keep you strong, healthy, and full of energy to get through your day. The added benefit is that they are a great little snack in the afternoon to ward off those 3 pm munchies! They also are one of the foods that are great to maintain brain health!
Being of Ukrainian and German heritage, I love me some cabbage. I know it isn’t everyone’s favourite food but if you are trying to keep from getting sick, I highly recommend you incorporate it into your cooking.
It is an excellent source of Vitamin C which we all know is essential for maintaining a strong and robust immune system. Cabbage also contains glutamine which promotes intestinal health.
#3. Chicken Soup
Good ol’ chicken soup! When you are feeling ill, homemade chicken soup can not only make you FEEL better but actually decrease the duration of the cold. It is extremely easy to make and add tons of vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions and even cabbage!
You can use a rotisserie chicken to make it quick and easy
All of the vitamins and minerals add that extra boost you need when you are feeling ill. Also, the broth can prevent you from suffering from fatigue which is one of the common symptoms of dehydration and help to reduce the congestion in your mucous membranes.
I guess grandma was right when she said we should eat our chicken soup!
Did you know that garlic has such powerful bacterial and infection-fighting properties that it was used to fight gangrene in both the world wars? Now I am pretty certain that you are not faced with such extreme infections right now. However, eating garlic one of the important foods for your immune system and most beneficial if eaten in its raw state.
It can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as kill any parasites in your body. If eating raw garlic does not sound appetizing to you, you can crush it into olive oil and incorporate into your cooking or if preferable, you take garlic supplements.
Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties which can help make your sore throat feel better when you have a cold. It also is great for nausea. It is naturally found as root and can be added to your cooking or to a hot cup of lemon tea for additional benefits.
I freeze the entire ginger root and when I need it, I grate it, using my cheese grater! It dissolves into my dishes or tea easily. It does contain some heat in the form of capsaicin that also helps with chronic pain.
Mushrooms contain a soluble fibre that has anti-inflammatory properties. They are also high in B vitamins such as riboflavin (B2), folate (B9), thiamine(B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and niacin (B3).
The B vitamins are important because they aid in the body’s ability to retrieve energy from food and they also help to form red blood cells. As an added bonus, the B vitamins are also important for a healthy brain!
Eat it like Popeye! Spinach and other dark greens like kale or Swiss chard are packed full of vitamin C but also tons of antioxidants, making them great foods for your immune system. Eating spinach can help fight off infections and even regenerate other antioxidants in your system, including vitamin E. Such leafy greens also contain folate which boosts your immunity and allows you to resist infections.
Yogurt is filled with vitamins and proteins (try Greek yogurt to get some extra protein!) that are super healthy. Even more importantly, yogurt contains lactobacillus which a probiotic that is a beneficial type of bacteria that keeps your gut healthy. It helps to keep unhealthy bacteria levels in check. It is also great for people who are susceptible to yeast infections. (Although yeast infections are most commonly associated with women’s health, men can develop them as well.)
A word of caution when eating yogurt – be wary of the ones with added fruit as they may contain high levels of sugar which can be harmful to your teeth. Some may also contain aspartame – one of several common migraine triggers.
It is best to consume plain yogurt and add fresh fruit or honey if you are looking for some sweetness. This tip can also help you wean yourself off sugar. Use plain yogurt instead of sour cream – it tastes the same, is higher in protein, and much lower in fat!)
Eating well and feeling well are synonymous with one another. Therefore, it is crucial that you pay attention to not only what you are eating, but also the signals your body is sending you.
Attempt to incorporate the above-mentioned foods for your immune system. Keep it strong and healthy so when you do fall ill, you are able to fight off the infection and get back to your old self quickly!
What foods do you swear by to maintain an optimal immune system?