WRITTEN BY: CASSIDY ARMBRUSTER
Although no proven evidence exists claiming that lifestyle and diet have a direct impact on immune system function, scientists have agreed that nurturing your body to give it the upper hand so that your immune system can perform at its best goes without saying.
Before worrying, remember that your body is a system and it typically does a great job at fighting off diseases, infections, and viruses all on its own. A conscious diet and a healthy lifestyle cannot promise immunity to all diseases and viruses, but certain efforts can help get your immune system strong and healthy, naturally.
What foods boost my immune system?
1. Citrus Fruits
Get your Vitamin C from citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. This will keep your immune system strong! Why? Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells.
Important note: Your body does not store Vitamin C, meaning you should incorporate it into your diet on a regular basis.
Some citrus fruits to incorporate into your diet:
- Grapefruit (Think it’s too sour? Add cinnamon!)
2. Red Bell Peppers
Fun fact- red bell peppers have more Vitamin C than many citrus fruits. On top of that, red bell peppers keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Don’t like red bell peppers? When in doubt, remind yourself to eat the rainbow. As long as you are getting a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables into your system, your body will be better off.
3. Spice up your diet!
Turmeric is a natural supplement that does wonders for your body and your brain. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. You can mix curcumin into your diet by making foods such as turmeric scrambled eggs, curry or by trying ZYN’s all-natural, clean ingredient drinks.
Cinnamon is a delicious spice that spruces up certain beverages and snacks like coffee, tea, grapefruit, apples, etc. Even better, cinnamon is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and proanthocyanidins.
It’s great in tea and desserts!
4. Green Tea
Speaking of tea, why not indulge in a cup of green tea? This herbal remedy is great for the immune system and contains only a very small amount of caffeine.
More herbs for the immune system:
- Ginseng (great in smoothies and chicken soup!)
- Astragalus (great in miso soup!)
- Black cumin (great in steamed or stir-fried vegetables)
Garlic is integrated into most cuisine, meaning you probably already have it in your diet. In terms of your health, garlic is great for fighting infections. Most importantly during these times, garlic helps the immune system fight germs.
You are probably aware that natural yogurt contains live and active cultures that are great for your body! These probiotics help your gut and fight off disease. Further, as many of us are inside most of the day due to quarantine, yogurt is great because it provides your body Vitamin D.
Important tip: Not a fan of yogurt? Get your probiotics from pickles or kimchi.
7. Dark Chocolate
Who said all immune boosting foods were gross? Dark chocolate is full of the theobromine antioxidant, which boosts your immune system. On top of that, it’s delicious! As long as you consume dark chocolate in moderation, it does your body wonders!
It may not be as good as dark chocolate, but it’s equally rich in antioxidants. This is a great vegetable to eat regularly to support your immune system.
Trade that sugary snack for a handful of almonds. They are great for your body due to their richness in Vitamin E and antioxidants.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are delicious. Sweet potato fries are a great replacement for your french fries! The orange color of sweet potatoes comes from beta carotene, which is a type of antioxidant.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.