When our immune systems are fatigued by stress, inflammation, and poor nutrition, we feel tired and sluggish on a daily basis. It’s hard to get out of bed even when we aren’t fighting a bug. Conversely, when our immune systems have the proper dietary support, they can fight off invading pathogens and help us recover more quickly.
What can you really do to boost your immunity? Nourish your body with healthy vitamins and foods.
Yes, that’s all there is to it. When your body has the chemical compounds, it needs to synthesize white blood cells, repair cellular damage, and bounce back, your immune system is in peak form.
Below, we’ll share our ten favorite foods and vitamins for improving immunity.
Fragrant orange turmeric is a staple of many healthy world cuisines.
Turmeric is powerfully anti-inflammatory thanks to the compound curcumin. What does that mean?
When your body responds to illness or stress by creating inflammation, your stress hormone levels rise, and your immune system goes on high alert. Soothing turmeric can help with chronic inflammation caused by insomnia, poor diet, and other factors.
It’s also a great addition to curries, stews, and even grains.
#2: Vitamin C
When you lack Vitamin C, you get scurvy. What happens next? Your gums bleed, and your wounds don’t heal. It’s unpleasant, to say the least.
Vitamin C is crucial for cell repair and tissue healing. It can help with everything from post-exercise fatigue to the common cold.
How can you get it?
Garlic is a common folkloric cure for colds. Highly antibacterial and antifungal, it’s not just a great seasoning, but also a potent aid to your immune system. Try using the following in cooking:
- Garlic powder
- Whole garlic cloves
- Black garlic
Alternately, you can dip garlic cloves in honey and eat them raw. It may give you garlic breath, but we think it’s worth it.
#4: Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps your body synthesize red blood cells and neurotransmitters. It’s most often found in:
- Whole grains
You can also take it in a supplement.
#5: Shiitake Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms are perhaps the next frontier of health. Long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to promote longevity, shiitakes may also help your immune system to function well. These mushrooms are available at many grocery stores, or you can grow your own.
Bright, spicy ginger is a great addition to recipes from curry to ceviche. Better yet, it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Ginger is also a traditional remedy for:
- Upset stomach
#7: Pearl Powder
However, pearl powder is full of:
- Amino acids
These qualities make it the latest entrant to the hall of superfood fame.
#8: Vitamin E
You’ve probably applied topical Vitamin E to cuts and scrapes. You also need plenty in your diet to support healthy immunity. It’s vital for preventing the healthy flow of blood throughout the body, and your immune system’s white blood cells need fast passage via the bloodstream to the site of any infection.
Find Vitamin E in:
- Nuts and nut butter
- Leafy greens
Rich in antioxidants, elderberry syrup is a popular supplement for promoting immunity and heart health. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world!
You can also take it in a capsule, or find it in teas, gummies, and even lollipops.
While less exotic than some of the entrants on this list, green, leafy spinach is packed with beneficial nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
Don’t like to eat your greens? Throw it in the blender with some fruit and pretend it’s not there!
Spread the Love
If you need more motivation to incorporate these healthy foods into your cooking repertoire, consider putting together a meal for friends and family. After all, healthy relationships actually help boost your immunity and overall health, too.
When it comes to supplements, make sure to use them daily to experience improved results over time.
Hopefully, your new routine helps you feel stronger and more ready for whatever comes your way.