Since the beginning of the pandemic, most of us only searched for “immune-boosting foods” around this time of year when the seasons started to shift. Nowadays, I bet if we look at the search engine analytics, all searches around “immunity” have surely sky-rocketed. With this in mind, I can imagine most of you are quite familiar with specific foods, beverages, herbs, etc. that aid in immune system health, so I will do my best to throw a couple of items on this list that maybe you didn’t expect to see — accompanied, of course, by some of the obvious choices.
Because all the bodily systems work together, a lot of the benefits I briefly note under each item correlate to different aspects of your overall health, and not just one exclusive body system. With that said, let’s dive in
- Ginger — stimulates digestion, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-cancer, helps to eliminate congestion, dissolves parasites + their eggs in the body, great for circulation, and sooooo much more.
- Probiotic foods (such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir ((coconut kefir if you don’t dig dairy)), apple cider vinegar, tempeh, miso, kimchi, etc.) — AMAZING for gut health, and since good gut health is crucial to the immune system, including probiotic foods in your diet is key.
- Turmeric — massively anti-inflammatory and contains compounds that enhance your immune system’s ability to work more effectively.
- Goji berries — rich in antioxidants, and contain quality amounts of amino acids, vitamin C and E, fatty acids, and B vitamins.
- Bell peppers — containing ~3x as much vitamin C as your standard orange, these colorful veggies pack a mean punch!
- Sweet potatoes — great source of beta-carotene, which is a powerful cold/flu-fighting antioxidant.
- Carrots — also rich in beta-carotene, in addition to vitamins A, C, E, and B vitamins.
- Cruciferous veggies (such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, arugula, cauliflower, collard greens, radishes, bok choy, etc.) — rich in all kinds of immune-boosting vitamins and minerals! If you want to learn how to keep an amazing nutrient (sulforaphane) in the veggies when you cook them, CLICK HERE to read how!
- Garlic — contains compounds that help the fight against yucky germs, is proven to help prevent getting the cold/flu, and can reduce symptoms if you end up getting sick. Heck yeah, garlic!
TEAS + HERBS
- Matcha — the EGCG in matcha increases the production of T-cells, which reduce inflammation and fight pathogens. It also is an incredible detoxifier of chemicals, toxins from foods and our day-to-day environments, and from nasty heavy metals. Matcha is anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, pro-liver health, pro-heart health, a master at reducing oxidative stress and strengthening blood vessels, and is insanely high in catechins (which are “super-antioxidants). Want to find out even more benefits of matcha? CLICK HERE!
- Chaga mushroom — anti-inflammatory and encourages cytokine formation, which provokes white blood cells to fight off pathogens and to strengthen immune responses when presented with an illness.
- Elderberries — powerful antioxidant that is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and immune-modulating.
- Reishi mushroom — in traditional Chinese medicine, reishi is used to treat cough, shortness of breath, weakness, and stress.
- Hibiscus — free-radical fighting, high in vitamin C, antiviral, treats infections, great for the respiratory system, not to mention is fever-reducing, pain-relieving, and antioxidant-rich.
- Tulsi (Holy Basil) — amazing for overall health! This herb works wonders in the realms of stress-reduction, respiratory health, immune system strength, antivirus control, and so much more. We loooooove.
Of course there are SO many more foods, beverages, herbs, etc. that can be used to boost the immune system and to benefit your overall health. I could write a friggin’ 20 page essay, but instead, let’s start here. Pick a couple (or as many as possible) to incorporate into your daily life, and then keep adding to your own immune-boosting list!
Sending you all health, strength, and vibrancy this season 🙂