10 Amazing Foods That Boost Your Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s best line of defence against toxins and infection. When you have a weakened immune system, you’re more susceptible to fatigue, headaches, as well as annoying infections, such as the common cold.
But when you’ve got a strong immune system, you feel as though you could achieve anything.
Lots of people assume fighting off infections and invaders is a simple case of cleaning their hands all the time and sneezing into their elbow. But the best way to bolster your immune system and ward off vicious attacks from foreign bodies is by improving your diet. Let’s take a look at 10 amazing foods that boost your immune system!
Butternut squash is one of the best foods you can eat if you’re looking to double down on infections and bacteria. It contains around 160% of your recommend daily amount of vitamin A, which means that eating more of it boosts your eyes, your skin – and your immune system.
Cooking with it is magic, too, because there are many things you can do with squash. You can include it in mac & cheese, make a butternut risotto, add it to a curry – anything you want!
Here’s the deal: Yogurt is full of live active cultures, which basically means that it’s full of living bacteria. The good news is that this is healthy bacteria that keeps your gut free of germs that can cause disease.
There are lots of different varieties of yogurt out there on the market, but without doubt the best one for a healthier immune system is non-fat Greek yogurt. You can it by itself, or you can slip it into meals, such as salads or really hot curries!
Shellfish is not something you often hear about, but it’s one of the healthiest sea foods you could ever eat.
Shellfish is rich in a compound called selenium, which boosts your white blood cells’ production of essential proteins that boost your immune system. These proteins – which are known as cytokines – help to flush flu viruses out of your body.
Other sea food that contain selenium include lobsters, oysters, clams and crabs.
Grapefruit also deserves its place in our list of foods that boost your immune system. The humble grapefruit has managed to outlast all the other diet fads that have come and gone since Americans were first told to try it back in the early 1930’s.
Grapefruit is extremely rich in vitamin C, which is essential for quickly and easily fighting off infections, such as the common cold.
Pink or red grapefruits are particularly good for your immune system because it is their rosy colour that suggests they’re high in bio-flavonoids, phytonutrients that strengthen your system.
You can slice a grapefruit in half and eat it as part of your breakfast. Yum!
Oats And Barley
Other great foods that boost your immune system are oats and barley, they contain a fibre called beta-glucan, which contains antioxidant properties that are super powerful at eliminating nasty toxins from your bloodstream.
When animals consume more of this compound, they reduce their risk of developing influenza, and it can even ward off herpes and anthrax.
In humans, beta-glucan helps wounds to heal faster – and boosts immunity.
You can easily get your oatmeal fix in the morning at breakfast, while barley is a great addition to winter warming soups.
The reason carrots are so bright is because they contain a compound called beta carotene. As well as illuminating the carrot, beta carotene also supports your body’s mucus membrane, making it difficult for nasty bacteria to get inside your bloodstream and wreak havoc.
You can eat carrots raw or cooked, and they can be included in your sandwich, soups, or broths.
Garlic also made it to our list of foods that boost your immune system. Dieticians and nutritionists will tell you that you should try to eat garlic at least once a day. This is because it’s fantastically healthy, and contains something called allicin which is known to combat bacteria and infection.
In a study, British researchers gave one-hundred and forty-six patients either garlic extract or a placebo for three months. When the results came in, it was revealed that those who ate the garlic extract were two-thirds less likely to catch the flu.
Other studies have shown that people who regularly cook with diet have a 50% lower rate of developing stomach cancer.
Using chicken soup to fight the common cold is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and your grandmother probably enjoyed reminding you of this. It turns out that your grandmother was right to do make you the soup because it really is fantastic for your immune system.
How it works is that when chicken is cooked, it releases an essential amino acid known as cysteine. This amino acid is very similar chemically to acetylcysteine, a potent drug that is used to treat bronchitis.
Moreover, the soup is cooked using a salty broth which has been found to thin mucus in a similar way to cough medicines.
Broths are also good at keeping you hydrated.
We all know about spinach’s superfood attributes, but spinach is also one of great foods that boost your immune system.
Spinach is high in folic acid, which helps to repair damaged cells and tissue. It also contains plenty of vitamin C, and even more potassium than bananas.
You should aim to squeeze spinach into your diet at least twice a week. You can cook it or eat it raw, and it can be included in your stir fries, your egg dishes, or on your sandwiches.
My mother always used to try to get me to eat more broccoli when I was a child, but I was very good at resisting. But just like my grandmother knew that chicken soup was good for treating the common cold, my mother obviously knew that broccoli was already a great immune fighter.
Actually, broccoli both boosts and fights; it helps your body to detox, and it can also prevent illness.
One of the reasons we get sick is because our liver is out of whack, but broccoli can revive it by flushing out toxins from your bloodstream.
Do you know other foods that boost your immune system?
Stay happy and healthy!