5 Immune Boosting Foods

Over on this side of the world in the UK, it’s time to seriously support our immune systems because the colder weather is on its way.
But how and where can we begin to boost immunity? Might there be a special supplement we should take?

Well, let’s leave supplements aside for now and focus on REAL food.

Therefore our immune-boosting shopping spree should start in the fruit and vegetable aisles at the supermarket or local grocery stores.

Because fruit and vegetables are natural powerhouses that can assist us with this goal.  

And although everywhere you turn health and wellness experts are telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables, …when the weather gets colder, many turn to carb-rich comfort foods instead.

I totally get it.
But those aren’t going to necessarily prevent the seasonal colds and flu.

However, the good news is, you do not have to totally omit comfort foods from your diet!
Simply reduce their serving sizes and team them with generous servings of colorful vegetables, salads, and fresh fruit. 🥗🍈🍎🍏🍒🥑🍓🥝🥦

And here are 5 foods that could give you the ‘biggest bang for your buck’. Plus some tips on how to sneak them into your daily meals.

Eat blueberries for their high antioxidant capacity

1) Blueberries
They contain special flavonoids that are needed for your respiratory tract’s immune defense system.
Studies show that those who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection or a common cold.
Add them to protein smoothies, your breakfast cereals, or into fresh salads. (I purposely avoided recommending blueberry pancakes or muffins! I know you were thinking of those. 😂)

Spinach can be added to your diet both raw and cooked

2) Raw and cooked spinach.
Spinach is rich in flavonoids, plus Vit E and C, both well-known immunity boosters.
Eat only modest amounts of raw spinach because its oxalate content hampers mineral absorption.
Add a small handful of raw spinach into protein smoothies, soups, and stews. Eat a half-cup to 1 cup cooked spinach that has had the cooking water discarded [and with it the oxalates]

3) Red Bell Peppers
When we think of Vit C, which is a popular immunity booster, most of us think of citrus fruit. But red bell peppers actually contain up to 3x as much Vit C per ounce as most citrus fruit.
To enjoy most of the Vit C, eat them raw! Chop them raw onto your salads, soups, and stews. You can also use them to scoop up hummus.  YUM.
Or use them lightly cooked. Team them with some good fat like avocado or nuts. They will help you to absorb more Vit A, an anti-inflammation vitamin.
 👉 Vit A plays a critical role in enhancing immune function.

Broccoli is one of the healthiest green vegetables.

4) Broccoli
It’s one of the healthiest veggies you can eat. It is full of vitamins A, C, and E and many other important anti-oxidants.
Cook them very lightly. Research tells us that steaming them only for a few minutes might be the best cooking method.
Dr. Greger from Nutritionfacts has some excellent suggestions on how you can naturally increase the antioxidant properties of broccoli.

Citrus fruit is one of our favourite sources for Vit C.

5) Citrus fruit and kiwi fruit.
These fruits are both high in Vit C. Because this vitamin can’t be stored by the body you need to consume it every day.
It’s known to both prevent and treat respiratory infections depending on how big the viral dose was [I’m not referring to Covid-19]
And although researchers are not quite sure why Vit C is so helpful in reducing the duration of common colds, it appears to work!

One study into our immune system concluded:
“Ensuring adequate intake of vitamin C through a healthy diet or via supplementation, especially in groups such as the elderly or in individuals exposed to risk factors for vitamin C insufficiency, is required for proper immune function and resistance to infections.”

I’ve been focusing on eating a Vit C rich diet for the past 50 years and [I know I did not wish to talk about supplements! LOL] take it as part of my regular supplementation. I’m convinced it’s helped me to avoid most colds and flu over the years. I can’t even remember when I had the last one….

WARNING: Vit C supplements may cause kidney stones and digestive upset. In addition, Vit C can hinder the uptake of B12 when you take both at the same time.
This supplement might not be suitable for everyone.

Please visit our Facebook group to see some more immune-boosting tips. Use #immuneboosters and see what comes up.

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