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Give Your Immune System a Boost with These 8 Superfoods

Your immune system is a complex network of biological processes that defend your body from infections, viruses, and other pathogens, allowing you to withstand various diseases. During the flu season, it is imperative to be able to support your immunity and give it an additional boost. And while taking dietary supplements can indeed be helpful, it is always recommended to start by enriching your diet and ensuring that it provides all the nutrients and minerals you need to stay healthy.

In this article, we will share a list of several highly beneficial superfoods you can introduce into your diet to boost your immune system. It includes but is not limited to citrus fruits, dark chocolate, ginger, turmeric, garlic, yogurt, nuts and seeds, and shellfish. Continue reading to learn more about supporting your immunity in a natural way.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infections and viruses. In addition, citrus fruits also contain flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help ease the symptoms of the common cold.

The best citrus fruits to consume during the cold season include lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the most popular treats during the holiday season. However, it is not just a delicious option for desserts – it is also rich in antioxidants and can be a great immune system booster.

Cocoa contains several antioxidants that can strengthen your immune system. It is also high in magnesium, which can be helpful for preventing stress and nervous tension. And yes, all the vegans will be happy to know that there is such a thing as vegan chocolate.

Ginger

Ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols, which have potent anti-inflammatory properties and can be beneficial for reducing inflammation. It is also rich in antioxidants, which can help maintain healthy cells and prevent free radical damage.

You can use fresh ginger or ginger powder to make tea or take it in capsule form.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a powerful herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, and it is also a potent immune booster that can help fight off infections and inflammations. According to research, consuming turmeric regularly may reduce a risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, it also promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and preventing platelets from sticking to blood vessel walls.

It is important to note that turmeric tastes pretty bitter, so if you are planning on using this herb in your cooking, you should make sure that the dish you are preparing has strong flavors (like curry) that cover the taste of turmeric. Otherwise, you can try adding it to dishes such as scrambled eggs or oatmeal porridge. You can also make tea with turmeric by adding one teaspoon of ground turmeric to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for at least 20 minutes to experience its health benefits.

The tea will taste better if you add black pepper or lemon juice to it – both ingredients will help improve the absorption of curcumin (turmeric’s active ingredient). Alternatively, you can take it in capsule form; however, it is important to note that whole turmeric root has more benefits than processed turmeric extract supplements.

Yogurt

Yogurt is regarded as one of the most beneficial probiotic foods out there. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote good gut health by improving digestion and protecting your body from harmful pathogens – thus boosting your immune system. You can find probiotics in dairy products such as yogurt, kefir, and cheese (especially those made from raw milk).

Additionally, fermented vegetables may also be beneficial for your gut health because they contain lactic acid bacteria – an important type of probiotics that can improve digestion and boost immunity. Try adding sauerkraut or kimchi to salads and soups to get more probiotics into your diet.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are other sources of probiotics, which can promote healthy digestion and boost your immune system. It is recommended to consume raw nuts and seeds rather than roasted ones, as roasting can damage their healthy fats and cause them to become rancid.

You should especially consider adding flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts to your diet because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Shellfish

Shellfish is an excellent source of zinc – an important mineral that can help bolster your immune system and protect you from bacterial infections. Zinc also helps fight off viruses and even prevents cancerous cells from growing.

Oysters are high in zinc; however, you can consume other types of shellfish such as crab, lobster, clams, and shrimp to get more zinc into your diet.

Garlic

Garlic is another potent anti-inflammatory food that can help reduce inflammation in the body and protect it against infections. It is also known for its high antioxidant content, which helps prevent free radical damage and reduce oxidative stress.

There are different ways of incorporating garlic into your diet to get more of its health benefits:

  • You can add it to soups or stews and let it simmer until the flavor of garlic is absorbed by the soup or stew.
  • If you are not a fan of garlic’s strong flavor, you can always try supplementing with garlic capsules.

Final Note

In order to promote optimal gut health, you should make sure you consume plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and probiotic foods on a daily basis. You can also take probiotic supplements if you do not eat enough probiotic foods every day.

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