Supercharge Your Immune System
By Contributing Author, Kate Harveston
People today want to improve their immune systems so that they are better prepared to resist the novel coronavirus. One of the easiest ways is to elevate your diet. While this can prove challenging when food shelves remain bare, you can still find ample supplies of the products below in many locations.
While you can take supplements, you absorb nutrients more efficiently through foods, though scientists remain unsure exactly why. Incorporate more of the following good stuff into your diet to help your body battle COVID-19 or any other bug:
1. Dark, Leafy Greens
Did you know 70% to 80% of your immune cells set up housekeeping in your gut?
Dark, leafy greens like Swiss chard and kale release a bioactive compound that sends chemical signals to the intestines. These optimize your immunity and help you fight off invaders.
Additionally, green vegetables contain anti-inflammatory nutrients and a healthy dose of vitamins A and C.
If you don’t like the flavor of raw veggies in a salad, you can add a bit of spinach to your soup or layer it in a lasagna.
2. Citrus Fruits
Did your mom tell you you should drink your orange juice when you get sick? She was on the right track with that advice.
Oranges and grapefruits provide a ton of vitamin C, which boosts immune function.
That said, you shouldn’t sit down and scarf your way through an entire bag of Cuties. These products also contain a ton of acid, which can eat at your teeth’s enamel. Like most things, indulge in moderation.
3. Red Peppers
Red peppers may rule the nutritional road when it comes to levels of vitamin C.
One medium red bell pepper contains over 160% of your recommended daily intake. All that for 31 tiny calories per pepper.
Add red pepper to salads, or use it to spice up soups. You can also add slices to sandwiches or wraps for crunch and flavor.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of the best food sources of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. If you add a drizzle of olive oil over your spud before consuming it, you can enhance your absorption of this critical nutrient.
Sweet potatoes count as one of your daily five servings of vegetables, unlike their white cousins, which provide carbohydrates primarily. Try making sweet potato fries as a side to your lunchtime sandwich instead of the fast-food versions.
Did you know that a single Brazil nut contains your total recommended daily intake of selenium?
Selenium plays a critical role in overall immune function, and it also helps with reproduction and metabolism.
These properties make them useful additions to folks who are trying to conceive or lose weight.
Seeds like hemp and pumpkin seeds contain high levels of zinc, a crucial mineral for immune function.
If you buy many over-the-counter cold and flu remedies, you will find they contain this substance.
It has proven effective in reducing the duration of symptoms and speeding relief.
Other seeds you might try include chia or flax seeds.
You can snack on these plain, or you can make small cakes with honey — another potent antimicrobial agent.
Garlic contains over 100 sulfuric compounds that are powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and germs. It’s so potent that people used it to prevent gangrene during the two World Wars.
Raw garlic is best for the immunity benefits — and during social distancing, you don’t have to worry about bad breath keeping you from gobbling the healing stuff.
8. Tomatoes and Onions
Sometimes, the nutrients in one food help you absorb others more effectively. Plants in the allium family, like onions, help you absorb the lycopene in tomatoes more efficiently. This substance enhances the activity of antioxidant enzymes, which may make your body fight infections more vigorously.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances on the planet.
Inflammation occurs when you get an infection or experience prolonged stress, but when it runs out of control, you risk experiencing adverse health issues.
Researchers have long suspected a link between excessive levels of tension and chronic diseases like heart disease.
Eating for a Stronger Immune System
If you want to supercharge your immune system, you can do so with these incredible foods. With the help of a healthier diet, you can do everything possible to safeguard your wellbeing during uncertain times.