When you want to keep your system strong and stay healthy naturally, one of the first steps you might consider taking is to eat foods for immunity boosting. One of the best parts about this is that many of the best ones are plant-based so vegetarians and vegans can take advantage of them as well.
Although we think first and foremost of oranges and Vitamin C, there are some other great fruits that can help you stay healthy. Among these are kiwis, which contain vitamin C as well as vitamin E which can boost your T-cells, a type of white blood cell that is key to keeping your immune system strong. Strawberries have vitamin A, which helps with antibodies, as well as vitamin C; blueberries have both these vitamins as well, and papaya is high in beta-carotene which will get turned into vitamin A in your body.
Not surprisingly, some of the vegetables that are on the list of foods for immunity boosting are those that have high amounts of vitamins A, C, and E; beta-carotene; and/or anti-oxidants, which can help prevent damage to your immune system. Bell peppers are high in vitamin C and beta-carotene. Spinach is a good source of beta-carotene, as well as zinc, which is a mineral important for immune health. Tomatoes are not only rich in beta-carotene, but also in lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant. Onions are also great anti-oxidants, while garlic is a source of allicin, which is known to be a cell protector. Vegetables labelled cruciferous, including broccoli, radishes and cabbage, all have compounds that turn into ITCs (isothiocyanates) which boost your immune system’s response.
There’s no accepted definition of what a superfood is but suffice it to say that these are foods for immunity that are among the most powerful and, in many cases, are also fruits and vegetables.
Camu camu, a small fruit found in Peru and Brazil, is making a big name for itself for its health benefits. It’s quite high in Vitamin C, as well as in anti-oxidants, and it even has natural antiviral and antibacterial abilities.
Although all mushrooms can give your immune system a boost, reishi mushrooms have been used for centuries, as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example, to strengthen the ability to fight off illness. In addition to being a powerful anti-oxidant, they also have beta-glucans. Naturally found in your body, boosting the amount of this substance in your system is one of the best foods for immunity that you can find.
Turmeric is being touted for all sorts of health benefits these days, and one of those is its ability to boost your immune system. The reason for this is that it is high in antioxidants, as well as having anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. For an added boost, try making a tea or a warm non-dairy milk and add ginger and agave, which can also give your immunity a hand.
Keep the Flu Away with Wholesome Plant-Based Nutrition
While there is some disagreement within the medical community over whether it’s possible to eat foods for immunity boosting to stave off colds and flu, anecdotally, many people feel that they do get a helping hand from eating or drinking foods high in vitamin C and beta-carotene or with antioxidant and antiviral properties. You’ve got to eat anyway, so why not give some of these a try, at least during cold and flu season?