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Carola Pickenhan - Independent Lifeplus Associate


How to eat for your immune system

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Every time you eat, you have a choice. 

Do you choose to eat something that is nutritious and healthy for you?

Or do you opt for what tastes good and is convenient?

We all have moments where we indulge in less-than-ideal meals, but on an average daily basis, what are the choices you make when it comes to food?

This is an important question to consider as what we consume plays a vital role in our health, particularly with our immune system, which is a top priority now more than ever.

Protecting and healing us from illness and disease, our immune system is an essential component of our health. As diet-related illness spikes throughout the world, it’s imperative we take care of it as much as it takes care of us.

How can we do that?

Making good decisions about what we choose to consume and how we flavor it makes all the difference in supporting a strong immune system and defending ourselves against harmful bacteria and viruses.

To boost and maintain healthy immune function:

Enjoy vegetables. If you haven’t already, add nutrient-dense produce to your daily diet, such as spinach, broccoli, peppers, and kale. Or consider using a superfood powder to boost your daily intake of these powerhouse foods. 

Eat berries. Berries are loaded with vitamin C. For the greatest impact, choose darkly pigmented ones such as blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries.

Consume pungent foods. Onions, garlic, and leeks are all highly beneficial immune-boosting foods. Use them as a flavor base for meals and recipes.

Eat citrus. Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes all provide an abundance of the immune system booster vitamin C. 

Add spice and herbs. Spices in general have anti-microbial properties. They add flavor, provide a lot of versatility when added to dishes as well as teas (try adding spices or herbs to tea with a touch of Manuka honey), and provide the potential for great protection. In particular, reach for such spices and herbs as turmeric, horseradish, thyme, oregano, basil, and cinnamon.

Sip soups and broths. Chock full of nutrients, a warm bowl of broth-based soup, or plain bone broth itself, can be beneficial to the gut and in turn supports immunity.

Drink plenty of water. Hydration keeps our oral microbiome defenses up, so try to drink at least ½ your weight in ounces of clean water each day.

Avoid empty calories. Say no to refined sugars and carbohydrates like biscuits, cakes, sugary drinks, and processed foods that don’t provide nutritional value and can suppress your immune system.

When eating out, order something cooked. If eating out, opt for cooked foods versus non-cooked cold foods. Heat rather than cold is more likely to kill unwanted bacteria harmful to the immune system.

Keep these tips in mind when it comes to what you shop for, how you cook or order, and what you consume. 

And remember, whether consciously or unconsciously, you make a variety of choices every day when it comes to taking care of your immune system. You can choose to support it, or you can select options that hinder it. 

What will you choose today to keep yourself healthy?

REFERENCES

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/
https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/foods-boost-immune-system