Eating Well for Super Immunity
A healthy immune system is vital for helping your body deal with infections caused by viruses, bacteria, candida, and environmental toxins. As the winter months approach, it becomes even more important to support your immune system by consistently eating a balanced diet, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices. But the real fuel for a strong immune system is using food as medicine.
An immunity-boosting diet includes light, easily digestible meals throughout the day, especially soup. A myriad of health benefits and flavors are derived from the herbs, vegetables, and broth. Soups also can help curtail the onset or ease the symptoms of colds and flu. Look for soups that include immunity-enhancing ingredients such as ginger, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and a variety of veggies and herbs in a broth-base. As always, food made from scratch is best!
Super-Immunity Diet Guidelines
- Include healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil.
- When it comes to seasoning your foods, incorporate a variety of herbs and spices for flavor.
- For veggies, choose steamed broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes.
- Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, kim chi (click for recipe) and yogurt help promote healthy intestinal flora and combat harmful bacteria in the GI tract.
- Limit red meat; instead, eat moderate amounts of fish and poultry.
- It’s also smart to limit sugar in your diet. Studies have shown excessive sugar intake can interfere with optimal immune system function.
- As far as beverages, the constituents in green tea have been shown to be both anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing.
More Immune Boosting Foods
- Cabbage (Vitamin U), cooked or raw. (Use cooked if you have hypo-thyroid issues).
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), especially as found in cold water, deep ocean fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines. Other sources of EFAs include fish oils; organic, clarified butter (Ghee), extra-virgin olive oil and organic virgin coconut oil.
- Garlic, raw or in supplement form.
- Fiber from fresh, organically grown vegetables and fruits. As you increase fiber in your diet, you need to increase your daily intake of pure water.
- Seaweeds such as kelp, Nori, Dulse, Kombu, Hijiki, etc.
- Sprouts from seeds, beans, peas, and grasses
- Freshly made Juices from organically grown vegetables, fruits, and grasses
- Mushrooms (Shiitake, Maitake, Rei-Shi, Ling-Zhi, etc.
Be sure and check out my “Better than Chicken Soup” immunity boosting soup recipe.
Cheers to your good health this winter!
What’s your favorite immunity-boosting food or soup? Share in the comments below!
- Eating Well. “Healthy Immunity Diet Guidelines.” Accessed July 2015. http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/immunity/healthy_immunity_diet_guidelines
- Harvard Health Publications. “How to Boost Your Immune System.” Accessed July 2015. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system
- Mars, B., and C. Fiedler. The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing. MA: Fair Winds Press, 2014. 129-144.
- Meydani, S.N., and K.L. Erickson. “Nutrients as Regulators of Immune Function: Introduction.” The FASEB Journal 15, no. 14 (December 2001): 2555. http://www.fasebj.org/content/15/14/2555.full
- Myles, I. A. “Fast Food Fever: Reviewing the Impacts of the Western Diet on Immunity.” Nutrition Journal 13 (2014): 61. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074336/
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