Finding ways to boost your immune system naturally does not have to be that difficult, in fact, it is as easy as beginning with what is on your plate.
What you EAT is probably the single most important element of maintaining a strong immune system. While maintaining a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins are ideal, here are 5 foods and supplements to ensure you are keeping your immune system in high gear.
Red Bell Peppers
Most people are surprised to hear that red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits, including oranges. Make eating raw red bell peppers a part of your daily routine and you will know you are getting plenty of vitamin C.
Red bell peppers also contain a substantial amount of vitamin A, and when it is combined with vitamin C, it becomes a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants act as a barrier to unwanted bacteria and microbes and prevent them from invading our bodies. This makes it very beneficial to keep our bodies loaded up with these natural defenders.
Beta carotene is essential for our immune system as research has shown that a regular dose of at least 30 mg per day can dramatically benefit your immune system. Other foods that are high in beta carotene are sweet potatoes, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, peas, cantaloupe, romaine lettuce, squash, dried apricots, and broccoli.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods you can put on your table. Try to make it a part of your diet at least 3-4 days a week and your immune system will benefit.
Broccoli is packed with nutritional benefits and antioxidant properties because of its high doses of vitamin C, A, and E. We have talked about the antioxidant benefits in vitamin C and A, but vitamin E also contains important antioxidant properties.
The best way to keep broccoli in tact with the highest nutrition is to cook it as little as possible or better yet, eat it raw.
Ensuring you are getting lean poultry in your diet is essential to ensuring vitamin B6 is supplied to your cells. Vitamin B6, such as the kind found in lean turkey and chicken, will help your body with the formation of new red blood cells, a key component in maintaining a strong immune system.
Another way to get a good dose of vitamin B6 is to make bone broth out of turkey or chicken bones. Bone broth contains gelatin and essential nutrients that are known for building immunity (as you may remember from being a young child and having heard that chicken soup is healing).
For more information on the many wonderful benefits of bone broth, see my previous article here.
A cup of green tea can be a simple solution to add to your daily diet if you are looking to boost your immune system. Green tea contains very potent plant antioxidants called Polyphenols, which are responsible for giving the green tea it’s amazing immune boosting properties.
When shopping, get yourself a nice big package of tea (like this one) as you will be using one bag every day! This will help you get into a good routine.
Bonus: for an extra nutrient packed solution, you may want to try organic matcha green tea. This tea, native to China, has more benefits because it uses the whole leaf during the processing. It comes in a powder form so you will want to purchase a small hand held milk frother or a bamboo whisk to make it.
This video below will explain how matcha tea is made.
Another key to a strong immune system is maintaining healthy and balanced gut bacteria. This can be achieved by making sure you are getting plenty of probiotics to help to put everything in balance.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts – the good ones. It is essential to keep the good bacteria regulating in your digestive system for optimal health as they help move food through your gut. The good bacteria can also be destroyed by the use of antibiotics so it is especially important to ensure they are replaced while taking these drugs.
Probiotics are found in many foods but some of the highest amounts can be found in some yogurts, raw cheese, kefir, and cultured vegetables (such as sauerkraut or kimchi).
You may want to look into getting this supplement for you daily dose of probiotics so that you know you are getting the proper amounts. Also, a great probiotic for children is this one called BioGaia drops. I used this one and swear by it for infant colic.
Follow these 5 simple solutions and your immune system will hugely benefit. Come back and share your experiences with our readers by commenting below.