7 Foods To Boost Your Immunity

When you’re feeling under the weather, there is nothing better than a bowl of chicken noodle soup or a cup of hot tea to help you start feeling more like yourself. While food may not be the magic cure to helping you get back to feeling your best, there is definitely something to leaning on your diet to help give your body’s natural defenses a boost. Why? because the foods you use to fuel your body are one of the main factors you can control when it comes to keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. 

The Link Between Nutrition And Immunity

Your immune system is just that—a system. It consists of a number of different cells and organs that work together to protect your body. This complex, vital system is influenced by a number of genetic and lifestyle factors, and your diet is one of the most impactful and controllable ones. 

Research shows that proper nutrition is a must when it comes to keeping all of your cells functioning at optimal levels, and that includes your immune cells. This is because the nutrients found in food are what provide cells with the energy they need to perform their daily functions.

What’s more? When your immune system is activated, your immune cells require more energy than usual to fight off the harmful pathogens that have made their way into your body, which means the foods you eat while you are feeling out of sorts play an important role in helping you feel better.  

Another important thing to remember here is that your immune system and gut are closely connected, so much so that your gut health plays a key role in your immunity. Because of this, keeping your gut healthy by nourishing it with plenty of whole food goodness can go a long way when it comes to supporting your immune system.  

Top 7 Foods For Boosting Your Immune System

With all of that in mind, there’s no doubt that there is a clear link between your diet and your immune system. But that begs the question—which foods are best for boosting immunity? While no single food will make or break your body’s natural defenses, there are some out there that can give your body an upper hand. 

1. Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
We all know by now that foods rich in trans fats or saturated fats aren’t great for our overall health, and they aren’t great for your immune system either. Instead of filling your diet with baked goods, full-fat dairy, fatty red meat, and other foods that contain these unhealthy fats, consider nourishing your immune system with foods that are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the best options include fatty fish like salmon and trout as well as chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.  

2. Citrus Fruits
We all know that vitamin C is an important immune-boosting nutrient because it encourages your body to produce more white blood cells, which are essential to keeping your immune functions running properly. Citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and limes are particularly rich in this important vitamin, so including them as part of your regular diet is a great way to nourish your immune system. 

3. Probiotic Foods
Remember how we said your gut health impacts your immune system? Well, there are many ways you can support a healthy gut through the foods you choose to eat, but one of the most powerful choices you can make is to enjoy foods that are rich in probiotics. Since probiotics are living good bacteria, these foods can help you seed your gut microbiome with beneficial microbes to help keep it in balance. Some of the best probiotic-rich foods available today include yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and tempeh. 

4. Apples
This list would be incomplete without apples—after all, there is a reason they say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples have multiple health benefits for your immune system. For starters, the skin of an apple contains a flavonoid known as quercetin, which is known to boost your body’s natural defenses. On top of that, apples are also rich in pectin, which is a type of dietary fiber. Since dietary fiber can’t be digested, it is able to travel through your immune system to your gut, where it serves as a prebiotic and promotes the growth of good gut flora.  

5. Spinach
We all know the story of Popeye, the sailor who would get all his strength from a can of spinach. While eating spinach may not immediately make you stronger, Popeye may have been onto something. This leafy green vegetable is rich in a variety of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E which are vital for immune function. Spinach also has minerals like magnesium and potassium as well as antioxidants like beta carotene that are known to support healthy immune function. 

6. Garlic
Have you ever noticed that the most common homemade immunity drinks shared online today often contain ingredients like lemon and garlic? With lemon being a citrus fruit, it’s understandable why it’s often included in these recipes, but is garlic good for your immune system too? Actually, yes! Crushed garlic contains a compound known as allicin which not only helps your body absorb minerals like zinc but also contains many of its own immune-supporting compounds.   

7. Beans
Whether black, red, or lentils, beans of all kinds are great for your immune system. This is because they contain L-glutamine which is an essential amino acid that fuels your body’s white blood cells.

Live The #NewEarthLife

At the end of the day, following a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet is one of the best things you can do to nourish and support your immune system, which is why we consider a whole foods diet an important part of living the #NewEarthLife. So go ahead. Give your immune system a helping hand by adding some of these immune-boosting foods to your grocery list. 

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