Occasionally coming down with a cold or flu bug is a painful fact of life for most of us but we do have some control over how well our bodies are able to fend off and cope with illness. If you feel like your immune system could use a little revitalization, try adding more of these nutritious immune-boosting foods.
TOP 5 MOST DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS IMMUNE-BOOSTING FOODS:
Along with close relatives, onions and leeks, garlic contains special sulfur-containing phytonutrients that act as antioxidants by clearing up cellular damage, support natural detoxification, and support overall immune system health. Garlic also possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties.
IMMUNE-BOOSTING GARLIC RECIPES:
Mushrooms help support our macrophages and natural killer cells, two important immune system workers. This nourishing plant-based food also contains beta-glucans, an immune-boosting compound that’s been used medicinally in China for centuries.
IMMUNE-BOOSTING MUSHROOM RECIPES:
Mushroom and Bean Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Along with immune-boosting beta-glucans, oats are also a source of wellness-promoting fiber and prebiotics. Healthy bacteria in our guts (probiotics) feed on prebiotics to stay strong and fight off harmful, illness-causing bacteria and pathogens. High-fiber foods like oats also help support natural detoxification.
IMMUNE-BOOSTING OAT RECIPES:
4. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods give us more than just food for our healthy bacteria; they provide the actual probiotics themselves too! Yogurt is one of the foods most commonly cited as a source of probiotics but there are lots of plant-based sources out there too. My favorite vegan and vegetarian sources of immune-boosting probiotics are tempeh, miso, kimchi, and kombucha tea.
IMMUNE-BOOSTING FERMENTED FOOD RECIPES:
5. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are concentrated with antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals, and essential fats that keep us healthy and disease-free. Zinc (found in pumpkin seeds, cashews, and other nuts and seeds) helps regulate our immune systems and keep our bodies clear of cellular damage. Many nuts and seeds (like chia seeds, flax, and walnuts) are also sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.