With the arrival of fall and cooler temperatures, comes the onset of the dreaded cold and flu season. Cold weather means spending more time indoors with people – which means spending more time with germs. But have no fear you can build up your body’s immunity through choosing the right kind of immune boosting foods using these 6 powerful super food boosters:
Chicken soup isn’t just comfort food- It helps improve symptoms from a cold and can also protect you from getting sick in the first place. Chicken soup contains gelatine, chondroitin and other nutrients beneficial for gut healing and boosting your immunity (i).
Green Tea is packed with antioxidants such as flavanoids, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that have been shown to boost immune function. It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in T-cells (ii) (iii).
Ginger has been used across the globe as a natural remedy due to its medicinal properties. Ginger is antibacterial which supports the immune system. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory thanks to gingerol- a phenolic compound (iii) (iv).
Garlic contains several compounds, including allicin, that have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that can fight infections (iii) (v).
Onions are filled with immune boosting vitamins and minerals such as selenium, zinc, and vitamin C. They also have antioxidant and antiviral properties thanks to their abundant plant compounds including sulfur, quercetin, and anthocyanins (vi).
Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and It is rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties (vii).
As well, follow these other tips to keep your immune system in top shape:
This really cannot be stated enough! Practicing good hygiene goes a long way when it comes to preventing colds and the flu. When soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer to help reduce the number of germs on your hands.
Drinking water helps keep the mucous membranes in your nose and eyes moist so they are more effective at catching and sweeping viruses out of the body. It also helps in the production of lymph in the body. Lymph carries white blood cells and other cells that are part of the immune system.
Lack of sleep compromises your immune system. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep and take naps if necessary.
Get your heart rate going and blood pumping. Exercise not only gets you in shape and keeps your body strong, it also improves the body’s circulation and boosts your immune system.
Include whole, nutrient dense foods high in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables to boost your overall health and strengthen your immunity. Avoid sugar which can cause inflammation and actually depress your immune system by decreasing the ability of white blood cells to fight infection.
GOLDEN MILK RECIPE
Try this creamy anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant rich drink to give your immune system a boost!
- 2 cups coconut milk (can sub part or all with almond or other milks)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tsp raw honey, maple syrup or stevia to taste (optional)
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
- Drink immediately and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from wellnessmama.com
i. Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro Rennard, Barbara O. et al. CHEST , Volume 118 , Issue 4 ii. Alexopoulos, N., Vlachopoulos, C., Aznaouridis, K., Baou, K., Vasiliadou, C., Pietri, P. … Stefanadis, C. (2008, June). The acute effect of green tea consumption on endothelial function in health individuals. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 15(3), 300-305 iii. Immunity: plants as effective mediators. iv. Ginger–an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. v. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. vi. Onions–a global benefit to health. vii. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview
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