7 Superfoods to Support Your Immune System
It’s the start of sniffle season, so what can you do to keep yourself healthy? Besides getting plenty of sleep and washing your hands regularly, your diet also influences your immunity. Here are 7 superfoods to help support your immune system1.
Not only does garlic give food an extra level of flavor, but it is also one of the best foods for your immune system. Studies have shown2 that regular consumption of garlic can have a positive effect on blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. In addition, garlic is full of antioxidants, which strengthen your body’s immune system. Totally worth the bad breath, right?
The spicy, aromatic ginger root can be used to make teas or flavor Asian dishes. It is also a real superfood, as it helps balance inflammation3 and is a powerful antioxidant. It is also good for digestive health and great for reducing nausea.
Goji berries are also known as wolfberries. They contain vitamin C, B vitamins, essential fatty acids, amino acids, plus minerals and trace elements. You can easily mix them into a smoothie or sprinkle them on top of some oatmeal or a smoothie bowl. Plus, you can just eat them like that for an extra immune boost.
Chia seeds originate in Mexico, where they were used by the ancient Aztecs and Mayas. Now, they’ve made a comeback, and you can see why. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can provide twice as much vegetable protein as other seeds. Plus, when they’re mixed into liquid, they can expand to 10 times their original size, meaning that they can be used to make a nice pudding. But they also taste great sprinkled over salad or yogurt.
This popular coffee substitute is basically just powdered green tea. This means that matcha is a free radical scavenger and contains vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. The most popular way to serve matcha is in latte form. The green powder can also be a great addition to baking.
Kale is a common winter vegetable and a star superfood. It's high in antioxidants and nutrients to help strengthen your immune system. Kale is very versatile to prepare; it goes well raw in a salad, makes great baked chip alternatives, or mixes into green smoothies with other items such apple, kiwi, avocado, and ginger to make a green smoothie.
Blueberries are a great superfood. These small berries are packed full of vitamin C and potassium, as well as other vitamins. You can eat blueberries during the cold season in a variety of ways. They can be added into fruit smoothies, or baked into delicious holiday treats. They make a great addition to your morning oatmeal. Also, blueberries make a fantastic snack. The little purple berries are known for being full of anti-inflammatory vitamins and antioxidants. In case you’re curious, it’s the flavonoids that give these berries their color.
Combine the healthy superfoods above with immune system supplements and vitamins to help strengthen your immunity even more.
3. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence, 2013 Apr; 4(Suppl 1): S36–S42.
4. Memory Boosting Superfoods That Fight Alzheimer’s, October 15, 2013