The Best Foods To Boost Immune Health
Cold and flu season is around the corner and we’re all wondering what we can possibly do to avoid the dreadful feeling of runny noses, sneezing, sore throats and sleepless nights of plugged up sinuses and body aches. But before you grab the Vicks or Nyquil, the best thing for that cold you’re battling could be in your pantry or refrigerator. There are tons of different foods you can incorporate into your diet to help boost your immune system and prevent your body from catching those pesky bugs that have a way of throwing a wrench in your life. Filling your body with all sorts of good vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, probiotics, and potassium can make you more prepared. Follow this list of bacteria and virus fighting foods and you’ll be fighting your way through the winter with ease.
There a tons of reasons to eat yogurt and the fact that it’s delicious is just the start. One of the main motives people should incorporate yogurt into their regular diet is because it’s full of probiotics, the good bacteria that helps keep away the bad stuff. And since the majority of our immune system lives in our gut, a healthy digestive system is the most important part of maintaining good health.
Now you have another reason to eat your oatmeal in the morning. Whole oats and barley contain a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that might help fight infection more than Echinacea, according to a study done in Norway. So just remember that every time you make yourself some oatmeal to warm your bones know that it’s also protecting your body.
Besides the fact that it’s one of the best things to ever happen to the culinary arts, this trusty plant of the onion family also happens to be antibacterial. Garlic has been used in medicine for thousands of years for things like digestion, respiratory problems and infections. Research has found that people who eat a lot of garlic also have lower chances or getting certain cancers, like stomach and colorectal. For now, we’ll stick to the fact that it’s great for colds. And if you’re feeling brave and you’re sinuses are all stuffed up, try chewing on some raw garlic. It’s been known to help clear everything up.
Perhaps one of the least likely contenders for flu prevention, clams, oysters, mussels, crab and lobster are actually one of the best, Shellfish contain selenium that helps white blood cells to produce cytokines that help clear the flu virus out of the body. If you’ve ever wanted any excuse to eat lots of lobster, now you have it.
From portabella to porcini, pretty much every type of this edible fungus has properties that increase white blood cells and make them more aggressive. Be sure to incorporate some of these into your online culinary classes.
Carrots and Sweet Potatoes
Perhaps some of the best fall and winter vegetables, carrots and sweet potatoes have more in common than their color. Both carrots and sweet potatoes contain copious amounts of Vitamin A, one of the most important minerals for fighting infections. Raw or cooked, incorporating both of them into your diet will give you tons of sickness fighting meals.
First lobster and now chocolate, fighting colds doesn’t seem as bad as you thought it did, right? Cocoa is actually packed with antioxidants and zinc, which we’ve learned are very good for us and our immune system. Be sure to steer clear of any milk chocolate or diluted chocolate and stick to the ones that have a small amount of sugar. If your chocolate does, be sure to eat just a little bit to reap the benefits.
Eggs and Milk
Vitamin D deficiency is a very real, very big problem across the U.S. Folks just aren’t getting as much as they should for their bodies to function well leading to lowered immune system and fatigue. So just remember when you’re not out in the sun as much in the winter months to keep up your Vitamin D with milk, eggs and some fortified orange juices.
I’m sure you’ve heard that citrus fruits like grapefruit, lemon and oranges are full of Vitamin C. And I’m sure you’ve also heard that Vitamin C is an important part of immune health. And you’d be right. But in order for Vitamin C to really work its magic, you need to regularly consume it. So don’t just start doing it when you begin to feel like you have a cold coming. Be sure to either take supplements or eat foods full of it on a regular basis.