With summer coming to an end, (say it ain’t so!) and kids heading back to school, we all need to take extra precautions to protect our immune system from the inevitable bugs that come with cooler weather and school systems. Add these 10 immunity boosting foods to your grocery cart to give your body an extra level of defence this season.
NOTE: It is important to remember that no diet, supplement or “magic” treatment will protect you from COVID-19 and the flu, hence the importance of continuing to socially distance, wear a mask and wash your hands.
The powerhouse when it comes to getting vitamin C. Almost all citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C which increases the production of white blood cells, a key to fighting infection. It may be said that eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but give citrus a try for even more benefits. Oranges and grapefruits are great snack options and adding some fresh lemon to your water is an easy way for a boost of citrus.
One cup of broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange, making this little green tree a powerhouse immunity booster. It is also high in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron as well as plenty of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, and B6). You can eat broccoli raw, cooked or steamed, but note that the more it is cooked it will lose some if its nutrients.
Garlic is a great way to ward off unwanted illnesses … and potential suiters ;). All kidding aside, while it may not be great for a first date, garlic contains compounds that help our immune systems fight germs. Allin, a compound found in garlic is turned into Allicin when crushed or chewed, which in turn converts to sulphur-containing compounds known to boost white blood cells and fight against the common cold or flu.
Ginger does a lot behind the scenes to make us feel better. It has antispasmodic properties, over 30 amino acids and more than 500 enzymes to calm our systems. In addition to settling upset digestion tracts, ginger has relaxant properties making it a great choice for soothing sore throats and relieving tension headaches. Fresh ginger may also be effective in fighting against the common cold or flu.
Another food containing an impressive amount of Vitamin C is spinach. Along with antioxidants and beta carotene to fight infection, this is a great option for both preventing illness and fighting it if you’re feeling under the weather. Similar to broccoli, spinach can be eaten raw or cooked, however it retains the most nutrients when it is cooked as little as possible.
While most nuts are great for you to implement into your diet, Almonds contain a high amount of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects our cells from damage. They also contain protein and iron to provide a rounded immunity boost. Easy to pack in lunches, store on your desk or add to salads, yogourts and even baked goods!
If you’re unfamiliar with Turmeric, it is the herb that gives curry its yellow colour. It has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and medicinal herb. It packs a powerful immunity boosting punch with over 300 nutrients, including beta-carotene, fibre, iron, zinc and more. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties help with digestion, skin health, regulating blood sugars and preventing chronic inflammation.
An organic source of caffeine, green tea is also a great immunity booster. It is packed with antioxidants that enhance immune function as well as the amino acid L-theanine which aids in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells. You can consume green team warm, as cold-brew, in a smoothie and even as ice-cream.
Another big player in the Vitamin C game, kiwi contains roughly 230% of the daily recommended intake. Kiwis also support immune function and reduce the chances of developing cold or flu-like illnesses. Easy to pack in your lunch on their own, or cut up in a fruit salad, on top of a salad or within a smoothie.
Not just for toast! Avocados are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that strengthen the immune system, like Vitamin E, Copper, and Magnesium. Outside its own nutrients, the unsaturated fat in avocados can also stimulate the immune system to absorb more Vitamin A, D and E. This fruit is versatile and can be eaten on its own, on toast and salads, in smoothies, and of course as a dip for chips ;).
Keep yourself healthy this year and when you’re in need for additional self-care, visit a WaySpa partner for some relaxation and pampering.
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