Constant weather changes and serious illnesses can weaken our immune systems, making us more prone to sickness. And when we are under the weather or dealing with a major health concern, our first instinct is often to reach for medication. Yes, medicines and treatments are essential, but so are your lifestyle habits and diet. Everything works in harmony to aid in your recovery.
The good news is that there are plenty of immune-boosting foods we can add to our diets when sick, which can help us recover faster and get back to our healthy selves. Also, these foods are easily accessible and can be incorporated into everyday meals.
So, without further ado, here are the top immune-boosting foods to add to your diet when fighting an illness:
A rich source of lean protein, shellfish also contain selenium and zinc, two minerals that are essential for a healthy immune system. Shellfish are also a good source of omega-three fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the most popular shellfish are shrimp, crab, and lobster. Just be sure to cook shellfish thoroughly to avoid food poisoning.
Taking enough protein is important if you are sick, especially if you receive treatments like chemo, radiation, or even hard antibiotics. These small changes can significantly affect how your body deals with diseases like mesothelioma. But you must consult a doctor first if you plan to make any big dietary changes. Check out mesotheliomahope.com for more information.
The phytochemical sulforaphane, found in broccoli, is a powerful natural antibiotic that can help fight off infection. Broccoli is also rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which are all essential for a healthy immune system. Adding this green veggie to your diet is easy – you can steam it, sauté it, or eat it raw in a salad.
This pungent and flavorful ingredient is a powerhouse for boosting our immune systems. Garlic is loaded with antioxidants and contains compounds that help fight off infection. It’s also anti-inflammatory, so it can help reduce swelling and pain. Some ways to consume garlic are to add it to soups, stews, or pasta dishes. You can also roast whole cloves and eat them as a side dish. Research also supports that eating raw garlic on an empty stomach can be especially effective in warding off cholesterol and gastritis.
- Pumpkin Seeds
The flat, light-green seeds inside pumpkins are not only a delicious snack but also packed with sickness-preventing nutrients. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system. They’re also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. To enjoy the benefits of pumpkin seeds, you can add them to yogurt, oatmeal, or granola. You can also roast them and eat them as a standalone snack.
Pumpkin seeds can help improve conditions such as arthritis, kidney stones, and an enlarged prostate.
This probiotic food is chock-full of good bacteria that help keep our gut healthy. A healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system, as 70% of our immune cells are found in our gastrointestinal tract. Eating yogurt can help replenish the good bacteria in our gut, keeping us healthy and preventing infection. Choose yogurts labeled “live and active cultures” for the most benefit. You can add yogurt to smoothies, use it as a condiment, or eat it plain with some fruit for a healthy snack.
Name a vitamin or mineral, and spinach has it. This leafy green is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K and magnesium, iron, and folate. It’s also a good source of beta-carotene, a compound that helps our bodies fight off infection. Spinach can be eaten raw in salads, cooked as a side dish, or blended into a smoothie. Some research suggests that cooking spinach can increase nutrient availability, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different preparation methods.
- Citrus Fruits
There’s a common myth that we should avoid citrus fruits when sick because they’ll worsen our symptoms. But the opposite is true. There is a good amount of Vitamin C in citrus fruits, a powerful antioxidant that helps boost our immune systems. Vitamin C can also help shorten the duration of colds and flu. Among other significant health benefits, Vitamin C is also known to help protect against heart disease and stroke. Some splendid sources of Vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. You can add freshly squeezed citrus juice to teas or smoothies, or you can eat the fruits whole as a snack.
A bright yellow spice, turmeric, is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a slightly bitter, earthy flavor; people often use it as a colorant in food. Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It’s also been shown to boost immune function. You can add turmeric to savory dishes like curries and rice dishes or mix it into smoothies or juices. You can also find turmeric supplements at most health food stores.
Not only are tomatoes a delicious source of antioxidants, but they also contain an immunity-boosting compound called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties. Tomatoes are also a good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
Tomatoes are highly effective against diseases like prostrate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer. So, make sure to add them to your diet. Tomatoes are versatile, and you can use them in various dishes.
Besides adding essential foods to our diet, we should also keep our bodies hydrated. Water helps flush out toxins and keeps our skin looking healthy. Drinking herbal teas is also a great way to stay hydrated and get an extra immunity boost.
You can also make some lifestyle changes to boost your immunity. Some simple tips are to get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and manage stress levels. Remember, your health is your biggest asset! So, take care of yourself.
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