Here are our top 5 immune-boosting foods, which are not only economical but also practical and easy to source.
High in Vitamin C
Including sufficient vitamin C in your diet may help to reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections and shorten the duration of illnesses like the common cold and viruses.
Top vitamin C foods to add for a strong immune system include:
- Lemons and other citrus fruits such as limes and oranges
- Brussel sprouts
- Capsicums (yellow ones specifically)
The health benefits of ginger are well-documented - it has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years due to its medicinal properties. Ginger is a strong antioxidant and antimicrobial (kills bacteria - including salmonella). You may also be surprised to hear that the scientific community also recognises ginger as a natural antibiotic.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful all-natural, anti-inflammatory. Adding turmeric to your daily diet may improve healthy immune function which helps ward off nasty bugs and viruses. Curcumin has also been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative stress to protect against disease.
Garlic is a triple threat to colds and viruses - Antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal, especially when consumed raw - if your digestion can handle it.
Ferments & Prebiotics
Imbalances in the gut microbiota have been shown to disrupt immune responses so it's important to eat a variety of fermented and prebiotic foods regularly. You can find these benefits in a store-bought probiotic but there are lots of unknowns with these, so we recommend a food first approach. Great choices are sauerkraut, kimchis, fermented miso and kefirs.
No surprises here but bone broth is the must-have immune system booster. Bone broth supports immune function by promoting the health of your gut and reducing inflammation in the digestive system. The collagen and specific amino acids like glycine, lysine and proline that are abundant in broth may reduce inflammation and help seal openings in the gut that lead to an overactive and eventually weakened immune system. In other words, a healthy, intact gut equals a strong and healthy immune system. This is because 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut!
Broth also has the added advantage of being cooked gently for a prolonged period which makes it very easy to absorb, putting no pressure on the digestive system while allowing your immune system to function optimally. So why not stack the advice from the last email, pour yourself a cup of hot broth, put your feet up, relax and let your immune system do its thing.