Let’s KISS. That means Keep It Super Simple. What you eat matters and not in an existential, this will affect me when I get old kind of way. Your diet has an effect on you every single second of each day. This includes the way food can strengthen or weaken your vehicle. No, I don’t mean your actual car. I’m talking about your immune system vehicle. So who likes grapefruit? Don’t try to figure out the connection, just read below as I highlight the importance of being aware of what you put in your mouth on a regular basis.
Before anything else, I make no claim that one food or supplement will boost your immune system. There is no quicker fixer upper (unlike Bounty) when it comes to the body. While I will focus on individual foods you can consume to boost your immune system, know that only in coordination with one another will you experience improved health. Teamwork makes the dream work so let’s assemble the ‘Put It In Your Mouth’ team.
Player 1-Citrus Fruits
The citrus family is a good starting player as most people recognize these fruits. They include oranges, tangerines, clementines, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. That’s right the next time you visit the grocery store push your cart all the way to the produce section. It is here where you will find these citrus fruits known for having vitamin C, which are extremely helpful for building up your immune system. Vitamin C consumption can lead to the increased production of white blood cells, which is helpful for fighting infections. This is why people take Vitamin C for colds. Here’s a little fun fact for your next cocktail party—your body does not naturally create nor store Vitamin C so you need to get it from outside sources. This is one of the reasons Orange Juices display a bright label indicating that they have Vitamin C. Yep, this little detail will make you the life of the party.
Vitamin C isn’t only present in citrus fruits. This delicious fruit known as a papaya has lots of Vitamin C as well. Also, it contains vitamins such as your B-Vitamins, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, & Folate. Papayas contain an enzyme known as papain which has anti-inflammatory properties. Less inflammation means less work needed to be done by your immune system.
In recent years, there has been almost a scientific consensus, that eating more fruits and vegetables, that have vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc can improve immune health. Since we covered some of the top fruits, time to talk about some of those great veggies you should either add to your diet or consume more.
What type of vegetable is garlic? You’re thinking hard about it. I can feel your frustration through the screen. Do you give up? It’s part of the onion family! You can also add this to your knowledge bank. So it turns out that garlic is useful for more than warding off vampires. Garlic has a high concentration of allicin, a compound with lots of sulfur. This allicin compound in the garlic helps boost your immune system. An added benefit of garlic is its ability to lower blood pressure and reducing atherosclerosis.
If it’s good enough for Popeye, then it should be good enough for you. What do you know, spinach contains lots of Vitamin C as well. Are you starting to see a trend? This veggie is also jam packed with antioxidants and beta carotene, which can improve our immune systems’ ability to fight off infections. Remember to wash your spinach properly and look at the news. The amount of recalls lately is alarming but that’s a topic for another day.
Player 5-Bell Peppers
Red Peppers as you can probably tell has lots of Vitamin C, in fact it contains double the amount of the vitamin compared to citrus fruits. Working with Vitamin A, these two vitamins can help reduce cell damage and diseases linked to aging. Bell peppers also have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Tidbit: Bell Peppers with Steak is delicious. You’re welcome for the dinner idea.
I can write a whole book worth of what you could put in your mouth but that would be excessive. For now, this is a good starting team of players. Hopefully, this list will help get you started on the right path. And if you’re already on the path, let’s continue the conversation below. What other healthy foods would you recommend to not only improve your immune system but overall health?
(n.d). EatingWell Editors. Healthy Immunity Diet Guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.eatingwell.com/article/8762/healthy-immunity-diet-guidelines/
(March 21, 2018). How Your Immune System is Affected by Diet, Stress and Exercise with Dr. Leonard Calabrese. Health Essentials. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/podcasts/health-essentials/how-your-immune-system-is-affected-by-diet-stress-and-exercise-with-dr-leonard-calabrese
Marengo, K. & Schend, J. (January 16, 2019). 15 Foods That Boost the Immune System. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-systemPosted by