It is always the right time to boost your immune system – not just when you feel sniffles coming on or you enter the cold and flu season. It’s important to feed your body certain foods that will help keep your immune system strong so you can ward off those common colds before you catch one.
Truthfully, if you’re looking for ways to boost your immune system, it’s time to go to the produce section of your local grocery store.
Consider these seven immunity-boosting foods to plan your meals!
#1: Wild Blueberries
Small but mighty, wild blueberries have more total antioxidant capacity (ORAC) than almost all of the typical fruits and vegetables you see at the grocery store. They have a considerably higher ORAC value than their bigger cousins, cultivated blueberries.
The higher the ORAC value of a food the more powerful that food is at slowing the aging process, fighting disease, reducing inflammation and preserving health.
Add some wild blueberries to your daily smoothie or morning oats for a boost in your immune system.
Some research suggests that garlic might slow the growth of some species of bacteria. Although there is no evidence that garlic can protect us against viruses, it can help boost our immune systems.
As we prepare almost any of our dinner meals, we begin with fresh crushed garlic and red bell peppers to boost our immune systems. Creating a good starter base to sauces and soups is a great way to incorporate immune boosting antioxidants into our diets.
It’s quite common that most people look for a vitamin C supplement of some kind from the pharmacy department. Vitamin C helps to increase the production of white blood cells, but it's much better to to get this boost by eating citrus.
Vitamin C has a powerful antioxidant punch while also helping to reduce or fight off infection and create more antioxidants that your body needs.
Some great options to add to a snack during the day are: grapefruit, oranges, limes or lemons.
#4: Red Bell Peppers
Yes, red bell peppers made it on our list too. I mentioned this incredible vegetable while sharing about the benefits of garlic and using both garlic and red bell peppers in sauces and soups.
In comparison to citrus, ounce for ounce, red bell peppers have twice as much Vitamin C. Red bell peppers not only boost your immune system but double as a healthy skin aid and the beta carotene is great for your eyes too.
We give you permission to eat ginger more than just on your plate of sushi. Whether it’s pickled or fresh, ginger is full of immune boosting benefits. Ginger is antibacterial so it not only helps to support the immune system but it’s a wonderful gut reliever and gut soother.
You can easily add grab a cup of soothing ginger honey tea, or add a few tablespoons to your daily smoothie.
#6: Leafy Greens
When your mother said, “Eat your greens.” she may not have known how beneficial these actually were for you. But, I am here to tell you — EAT YOUR GREENS.
Whether you prefer kale, swiss chard or plain ol’ spinach, they all are full of immune boosting properties with high levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. As you learned already, Vitamin C is an important vitamin to your overall health. So double up the citrus and greens for a great way to boost your immune system.
The best way to incorporate greens into your diet is either by making a mix green salad using kale, swiss chard or spinach with romaine or another salad lettuce. A quick way is to also toss a few handfuls into your daily smoothie.
#7: Brussel Sprouts
There are so many ways that Brussel sprouts can improve your health. Brussel sprouts possess anti-inflammatory properties and are high in antioxidants, which help to neutralize the free radicals that can cause the inflammation we’re trying to reduce.
I prefer mine roasted. I wash my vegetables, prepare them for cooking, add some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle lightly in sea salt. I roast for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. I am always roasting these on the weekend and then use them throughout the week on salads and in meals. It’s such a great way to get the full benefit of this nutrition vegetable.
There you have it, 7 simple foods to add into your meal plan in order to boost your immune system while reducing inflammation.