6 Foods That Boost the Immune System
Obviously, the subject of immune health is something that’s not going to leave the news cycle anytime soon.
And for that, I’m glad.
I’ve been an advocate for supporting the immune system for years.
All you have to do is go back through my blog and you’ll see that I’ve been writing publicly about the topic for almost 6 years, which is about the time I started my blog.
I want everyone to understand that supporting the immune system via supplements is extremely helpful.
However, it is not the only way to support immune function.
At the end of the day, what you eat influences your health more than supplements.
That’s actually why supplements are called “supplements”. They simply supplement where your diet is deficient.
And this is why I want to write about what foods you can eat to help boost your immune health.
Food is medicine. This is 100% true.
And today you’re going to see, some of the best medicine is also the tastiest and most nutritious kinds of foods you could ever eat.
Eat These 6 Foods To Boost Your Immune Health
1 - Broccoli:
I love broccoli, and I’ve written about its many benefits before.
It turns out that broccoli is great for immune health too!
In addition to being loaded with fiber, and other phytonutrients, broccoli has some of the best nutrients for immune health. These include vitamins A, C, and E.
And if you really want to turbocharge the immune-boosting powers of broccoli, consider trying out broccoli sprouts. Study after study shows broccoli sprouts are one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world that can shield your cells from dangerous free radicals.
2 - Garlic:
Yup, I’ve written about garlic before, and in my many blog posts about it, I showed you how potent it is at an immune booster.
Even Time Magazine admits this.
“Garlic’s scent tips you off to its many health benefits. The pungent aroma comes from sulfur compounds, including allicin.
Scientists believe that allicin may block enzymes involved in infections; some studies suggest that swallowing garlic may ward off colds. (It can be easiest to eat garlic cooked with other foods, although some people can stomach eating a bit like a pill, followed by milk or water.)
Research has also linked garlic intake to a lower risk of stomach, colon and esophagus cancers.”
3 - Citrus Fruits:
Citrus is known specifically for its vitamin C content. And vitamin C is incredibly important for helping to boost immune function.
But, in addition to vitamin C, citrus fruits contain layers of nutrients that will positively augment your immune system.
Plus, citrus fruits help to balance blood sugar… which is a HUGE benefit for immune health.
Studies show that citrus fruits can help to balance blood sugar significantly:
“Citrus fruits have relatively low glycemic index scores on the 100-point scale, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar as much as some other foods. An orange, for example, has a score of 45, and a grapefruit 25. (For comparison, raisins have a score of 64, a white bagel 72, and Gatorade 89.) This means the glucose in citrus fruit is released into your bloodstream slowly, offering you a steady feeling of energy—without a crash later on.”
4 - Bone Broth:
The health of your immune system originates in your gut.
And the health of your gut depends greatly on the foods you eat.
Bone broth is particularly helpful at helping to keep your gut in tip-top shape so that you can properly absorb nutrients while also preventing inflammation.
The key nutrient in bone broth is a protein matrix called collagen. Collagen contains the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine which are needed to seal openings in the gut lining to keep the lining of the gut intact so that toxins don’t leak into your body and cause chronic inflammation.
You can see one of my articles on how collagen helps heal the gut here.
By eating bone broth you create an environment which allows for healthy gut bacteria called probiotics to proliferate and support the health and function of your immune system.
5 - Sauerkraut:
Fermented foods are tremendous for the immune system.
They’re rich in gut-healthy bacteria called probiotics that serve as the basis of a healthy immune system.
As Dr. Axe writes “Research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition suggests that probiotic organisms may induce different cytokine responses. Supplementation of probiotics in infancy could help prevent immune-mediated diseases in childhood by improving the gut mucosal immune system and increasing the number of immunoglobulin cells and cytokine-producing cells in the intestines.”.
6 - Ginger:
I believe ginger is one of the better foods for improving immune function.
That’s why I’ve written about it so many times (Just search my blog for ginger).
What does ginger offer to help boost the immune system?
Research suggests that a compound in ginger called gingerol may help to break down the accumulation of toxins in our organs due to its warming effects.
Christine Ruggeri, CHHC writes this about ginger: “It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.
Ginger root and ginger essential oil can treat a wide range of diseases with its immunonutrition and anti-inflammatory responses. Research shows that ginger has antimicrobial potential, which helps in treating infectious diseases.
It’s also known for its ability to treat inflammatory disorders that are caused by infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria and parasites, as well as physical and chemical agents like heat, acid and cigarette smoke.”
This Is Not a Complete List
Obviously there are hundreds of other foods that help boost immune function, but these are some of the best.
I invite you to search our blog for other healthy foods to incorporate into your diet.
I’ve written about hundreds of them and all will help to boost various factors of health.