Foods can be your number one tool to help you to support and boost your immune system. Having a healthy immune system reduces your susceptibility to infection and also helps you to fight viruses and other infection agents effectively. Here are 10 foods I always recommend to my clients to help boost immunity and fight viruses.
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The immune system is one of the most multifaceted and complex systems of the human body. From lymphatic vessels, white blood cells, your organs, specialized serum factors to cells in different tissues, it’s your shield against infection.
The support and enhancement of your immune system can be one the most important decisions that you can make to help you decrease your predisposition to infections (e.g. COVID-19, flu, colds, etc.) and even more serious illnesses such as cancer.
If you tend to get colds, flu, cold sores, fungal nail infections, genital herpes frequently or if you have a chronic infection or have or had cancer. Or if you experience sore and swollen lymph nodes your immune system may be debilitated.
Eating certain foods is the start of helping your body and its immune system. When I work with my clients, I always recommend these particular foods, as they struggle with immunity health challenges.
These 10 Foods Will Help Fight Viruses As Well As Boost Your Immunity
This amazing herb is one of the best choices to treat sore throats, colds, flu, sore and sluggish digestion. Its sulphur compounds and essential oils have potent antibacterial, antiviral and vermifuge properties making garlic a powerful internal and external antiseptic that can be used to treat several infections.
It also boosts the immune system by promoting the production of immune cells. Garlic can be a delicious addition to any food dish!
Ginger root has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties. It contains gingerol with strong anti-inflammatory properties and natural antihistamine.
This pungent root is a strong decongestant and has been used traditionally for the treatment of:
- sore throat
- respiratory congestion
- stomach upset
- headaches and
- menstrual pains.
Ginger can also protect digestive health and promote the normal immunity; it is with no doubt a fabulous food to keep at hand in your kitchen!
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This warm and pungent herb is rich in antioxidants to fight free-radical damage, vitamin E and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
It has been used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat and prevent chest colds, coughs, diabetes, cardiovascular issues and to relieve rheumatic and arthritic pain.
Turmeric can be used dried or fresh in your favourite food recipes.
4. High Vitamin C Containing Foods
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, an essential micronutrient and a cofactor for several enzymes involved in key body biochemical reactions.
It has an important role in the innate and adaptive immunity and the intake of foods rich in vitamin C can be of great help to boost your immune system!
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
- citrus fruit such as tangerines, clementines, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes and orange juice
- broccoli and kale
- kiwi, papaya and cantaloupe
- cauliflower and sweet potato
- red, green or yellow peppers,
Nothing like adding extra colour to your meals with vitamin C rich foods!
5. Prebiotic Foods
The maintenance of a balanced gut flora requires a diet rich in fibre that can feed your gut friendly bacteria, promote an overall healthy digestive system and consequently optimal immune function.
The best prebiotic foods that you can have include:
- Jerusalem artichoke
- chicory root
- wheat bran
- dandelion greens
- jicama root
6. Fermented Foods
Nothing is better than fermented foods to promote the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut! Fermented foods are an excellent source of live microorganisms to help the maintenance a healthy gut flora.
Probiotics can contribute to the normal functioning of your immune and digestive systems while improving overall health and well-being.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
This alkalising drink is made from fermented apples and can not only promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria but also boost your immune system.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in fibre, potassium, vitamin E and C. It has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which can be very helpful to fight coughs, congestion and respiratory infections.
8. Green Leafy vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables have immunity promoting properties by guaranteeing the optimal functioning of intra-epithelial lymphocytes present in the cells of gut and skin.
These include watercress, Swiss chard, kale, kale, cabbage, collard greens, beet greens and Romaine lettuce.
Green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium, fibre, folate, vitamins K and C and are a great addition to your diet not only to boost your immunity but also for overall good health.
There was a reason your mother always told you to “eat your greens”!
Nuts are packed with nutrients that can promote the normal functioning of your immune system. They are rich copper, selenium, zinc, iron, folate, fibre, healthy fats, vitamin C and E.
Some good nuts choices to implement in your diet to support your immunity include pistachios, chestnuts, almonds and walnuts. They can be used as a great snack as well.
Berries are rich in vitamin C, carotenoids, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, minerals, and phytochemicals important for normal immunity. The best berries for optimal immunity are blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Finally, don’t forget to have a positive frame of mind and to follow a healthy lifestyle by sleeping well, having a varied diet, exercising and not smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating processed foods.
I hope that you found this post helpful and happy immunity boosting! If you would like further assistance contact me here.