Five Foods to Boost Your Immune System

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During the colder months of the year, it is more common for people to get sick. This year it is more important than ever to stay healthy. Here are five natural ways to keep you moving.

Immunity boasting
Immunity boasting

There is a Chinese proverb that states: “He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.” The belief behind this is that food has medicinal properties. Eating the right foods can help with weight loss and feeling more active, while certain foods can also help boost immunity. Here are five ways to give yourself a boost.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric powder and fresh turmeric

Turmeric, known as the golden spice, belongs to the ginger family and is native to tropical South Asia. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Once considered an exotic spice, turmeric can now be found in most grocery stores and bought for the same price as salt. Turmeric contains curcumin, a phyto-derivative that not only contains healing properties but it is also great for immunity support.

There are various delicious recipes to incorporate turmeric into your life. Some people enjoy drinking it as a coffee alternative known as golden milk. Turmeric is also great in rice, chicken and curry. It has so many healthy properties that people also use it as a face mask. In a small bowl, mix the turmeric powder, apple cider vinegar, honey and milk or yogurt. It is easier to apply when it is in a paste-like consistency to make sure it sticks. Mixing it alone with water can work too, but keep in mind that it will stain your skin for a few days. The anti-inflammatory properties that make turmeric so healthy to eat can also reduce acne, scarring and calms the skin.

 

Garlic

Garlic Cloves and Bulb

Garlic breath is a small price to pay for the health benefits that it provides. Plus the trick is to feed everyone around you a garlic-rich meal so that everyone is in the same boat and is safe from vampires. On a more serious note, garlic releases special sulphPotatour components like allicin, diallyl disulfide, and S-Allyl cysteine when it is crushed, chewed or chopped. These help reduce the severity of colds and flu while giving white blood cells a disease-fighting boost. They also happen to be full of antioxidants. 

This delicious ingredient isn’t just great for immunity. It also has known effects of reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. It may even show the risk of common brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Finally, it has other unexpected side-effects. Some experts also believe that garlic is a very powerful aphrodisiac because it increases blood flow to sexual organs. Garlic can be added to a variety of recipes, but there are also supplements that you can take to reap the benefits without risking bad breath.

 

Reishi Mushrooms 

Reishi Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a fungus that grow in the forest, popularly portrayed as a white stem with red spotted caps in cartoons. In real life mushrooms come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Although some mushrooms have been sold in stores for decades, humans are only now starting to explore the properties on a deeper level. Today there are powder supplements and even coffee alternatives made exclusively out of mushrooms. Some of the best known varieties with health benefits include but are not limited to reishi, lion’s mane, chaga, shiitake, turkey tail and cordyceps.

Each type of mushroom has its own health benefits. Reishi mushrooms, for example, are known as the “mushroom of immortality” in traditional Chinese medicine and “nature’s Xanax” in the west. Studies show that reishi mushrooms can aid in weight loss, keep the immune system in check and may even fight cancer cells. Not only do reishi mushrooms have health properties for the body, they are also great for the mind. They are known to sharpen focus, improve sleep and may even alleviate anxiety and ease depression.

 

Sweet Potato 

Peeled sweet potatoes

Potatoes often get a bad rap in today’s society. They are considered unhealthy because they are a carbohydrate and obviously eating french fries, dried potatoes, etc is not the way to go. The sweet potato is the healthiest of the potato family and is known for its immunity-boosting properties. The orange flesh of the sweet potato is one of the richest natural sources of beta-carotene or vitamin A. This is critical to a healthy immune system, which is why eating sweet potatoes can give you a great boost.

The amazing thing about the potato is that it contains a little bit of everything. It is a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fibre, and pantothenic acid. An all-potato diet isn’t recommended, especially for women who aren’t as able to absorb iron from potatoes as men. However, Andrew Flinders Taylor became famous for losing 117 pounds or 53 kilos by eating only potatoes for an entire year. While extreme diets are never the answer to a healthy lifestyle, adding some sweet potato to your diet is a great idea.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates

Pomegranates originally came from the region that extends from Iran to northern India. It has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and is known for its amazing health benefits. Both the juice and even peel of pomegranate fruits contain a powerful antioxidant known as punicalagin and they contain chutzpah. In fact, pomegranates have three times more chutzpah than red wine or green tea. This makes them a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial super-fruit.

Besides their immunity-boosting properties, pomegranates are loaded with fiber, protein, folate, potassium and vitamins C and K. There are even studies that show that it can help battle prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Finally, it may also help lower blood pressure, fight arthritis, reduce joint pain and even lower your risk of heart disease and improve erectile dysfunction. Pomegranates may look intimidating to peel, but there are tips and tricks to make it easier to reap the benefits without battling this fruit in the kitchen.

Easy peeling video can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=084ABt9q1n0. 

Eating healthy is one of the most important factors when it comes to living a good life. Eating natural, unprocessed foods can give your body various important nutrients. While food alone should not replace modern medicine, it is important to take advantage of all the properties that it contains. Turmeric, garlic, reishi mushrooms, sweet potato and pomegranate are only a few of many amazing foods that can help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.

Photos: Shutterstock


You’ve got food sorted, now, how about drink? Check this article out about how you can switch up your coffee habit:

8 Coffee Alternatives: Healthier Energy Boost Without Side Effects


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