12 Immune Boosting Foods
Why it’s good for you: Honey contains vitamins, minerals, water, and enzymes necessary to give the body energy. It has antioxidant levels similar to that of spinach and apples and is known for soothing sore throats and seasonal allergies. Make sure you are buying local honey (usually found at your local farmer’s market) if you are looking to treat seasonal allergies.
Why it’s good for you: It chalk full of Vitamin C! Vitamin C aids the body in the synthesis of collagen, the healing of wounds, the repair and maintenance of bone and teeth health, and has potent antioxidant properties. It is thought that Vitamin C can help lower blood pressure, fight heart disease, and slow the progression of vision loss. Though most commonly thought of when one has the common cold, Vitamin C plays a much larger role in our immune systems.
Why it’s good for you: The main active compound in Ginger is gingerol, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is used to help digestion, treat nausea, and fight the common flu and cold. Ginger has also been known to improve brain function, lower cholesterol levels, and ease pain and inflammation in the joints and muscles.
Recipe to Try: Cozy Congee
Why it’s good for you: History shows that garlic has been used in cooking for 5,000 years and there is a good reason for that! Not only does it add zing and undeniable flavor to every dish, fresh garlic has been known to lower the risk of developing lung cancer and destroy brain cancer cells. Studies have also shown that garlic can reduce high cholesterol levels and even lower blood pressure.
Recipe to Try: Garlic-Parmesan Popcorn
Why it’s good for you: Spinach is high in vitamins K and A and also includes vitamins and minerals such as manganese, folate, magnesium, and iron (to name a few). It is best to eat lightly cooked in order to release higher levels of several vitamins and nutrients. Spinach has the ability to fight against injury, certain types of cancer, and is fantastic for skin cell development.
Why it’s good for you: Nuts are high in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and selenium making them a highly nutritious snack or add-on to any meal. And they fit into nearly every diet be it gluten free, keto, paleo, or vegan, how cool is that!
Why it’s good for you: Broccoli is chalk full of vitamins A, C, and K and is an excellent source of plant-based iron. It is also a good source of fiber, folic acid, and potassium.
Why it’s good for you: Kale is great for keeping healthy skin and mucous membranes as well as for maintaining a healthy weight. It’s rich in vitamin A, C, E, and K and high in fiber, iron, and zinc.
9. Red Peppers
Why it’s good for you: Red peppers are another vitamin C rich source. Ounce for ounce, red peppers actually contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. They are also a great source of beta-carotene which helps to keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Recipe to Try: Quinoa Stuffed Red Peppers
Why it’s good for you: Seeds can help tone muscles, strengthen bones, give you energy, help control bad cholesterol, and help maintain good digestion. Every seed is different so it’s good to eat a variety of seeds to get the full benefits available – try sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or pomegranate seeds to name a few!
Why it’s good for you: Mushrooms are a great source of selenium, potassium, copper, fiber, and protein. They are also packed with anti-oxidants providing many immune-boosting benefits. Plus, listen up celiacs, mushrooms are great for your gut! They are a prebiotic (they help nourish the good gut bacteria). And just on a random note, check out this TED talk on how mushrooms can save the world 🙂
Why it’s good for you: Turmeric contains curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is best taken in the form of a supplement in order to get the most out of turmeric, however, if you are using it as a spice, it is best to serve it with black pepper in a fatty meal. Black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% and curcumin is fat soluable; thus, the fatty meal.
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