Washing hands and social distancing may be key to stop the spread of infectious diseases like Covid-19, but it’s time to pay a little extra attention to your immune system! Here are six immunity-boosting foods that can provide key nutrients for your body’s defense.
What do you give a sick lemon? Lemon aid. Jokes aside, citrus fruits like lemon, orange, grapefruit are an excellent source of Vitamin C. It’s involved with tissue growth and repair, and encourages the production of white blood cells, which help protect your body against infection.
Try it out: Wholesome citrus-infused water ideas to inject more fun and flavours into your daily hydration routine!
Myth No. 1: Garlic keeps vampires away; Myth No. 2: Garlic will protect you from the coronavirus. While neither are proven to be true, this pungent bulb boosts the number of virus-fighting T-cells in your bloodstream that causes flu. The best part? It also affects your adrenal glands’ response to stress by producing fewer stress hormones, thus reducing your level of fatigue.
3. Dark chocolate
Turns out, a guilty pleasure isn’t what chocolate’s all cut out to be. The phenolic compounds inside the cocoa of dark chocolate can strengthen the defense of your immune system by exerting anti-inflammatory activities. Resveratrol, a natural antioxidant found in chocolate also increases the release of serotonin — the hormone of happiness!
Try it out: Next time you have a craving for chocolate, go for the darkest possible type of chocolate you can find on the shelf. A bite of dark chocolate a day could not only be good for your heart, but may also improve brain function, alleviate stress, and lower the risk of diabetes. Take into account your tolerance for bitter-tasting food though!
4. Sweet potato
Delicious baked whole or cut into fries, orange sweet potatoes are a wonder vegetable. It’s an easy and yummy way to add both soluble and insoluble fibre into your diet in a meal. What’s the big deal? Fibre is needed to feed beneficial gut bacteria so they can multiply and improve overall gut health. Did you know: 80% of the immune system lies in the gut and is heavily influenced by what happens there!
Try it out: 6 delicious sweet potato recipes
Haven’t we all heard that big things often come in small packages? A 1 oz.or 28.3g serving of almonds takes care of 37% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E to build up the antioxidant army in your cell membranes. If that wasn’t enough, the polyphenol compound inside almond skins is able to stimulate the immune response, and contribute to antiviral immune defense in your body.
Try it out: The healthiest version is raw almonds that come with no added ingredients. Make a homemade trail mix with almonds, dried fruits, and dark chocolate, or simply use them as salad toppers!
Things mothers always say, “eat your vegetables.”, and they’re probably right. Broccoli contains the highest level of sulforaphane, an invaluable compound that switches on a set of antioxidant genes in your immune cells. It rids your body of free radicals, byproducts of our normal body processes, which can cause tissue damage and lead to disease.
Pro-tip: Avoid overcooking broccoli by steaming it for only two to four minutes to retain its anti-carcinogenic properties!
When it comes to fighting aging and disease, you have a lot of weapons in your arsenal. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is just one way to support your immune health; it’s also essential to be mindful of your other lifestyle factors. Try incorporating these 20-minute equipment-free exercises into your daily routine to further strengthen your immunity!
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