We’re declaring March 2020 the month of self care. A global outbreak is no reason to panic, and since we’re all most likely going to be working from home for a while, we can actually spend time focusing on our diet.
Since we care about you, we made a list of some superfoods to add to your diet and boost your immune system
These humble little fruits are also immune-boosting superfoods. Blueberries contain flavonoids—a type of antioxidant that can help reduce damage to cells and boost your immune system. These almost pebble-sized fruits are great to snack on, they have plenty of vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and manganese. Have them in a fruit salad, toss them with some yogurt and honey, or just snack on them while you binge-watch the latest true crime series.
Dark chocolate has always been considered a superfood because of its many benefits. Many diet and fitness experts suggest that people should incorporate dark chocolate into their regimen. It is much healthier than milk chocolate because the higher the concentration of cacao has positive impact on cognition, memory, mood, and most importantly, immunity. Generally speaking, the darker the chocolate, the greater the health benefits: dark chocolate has higher levels of the flavonoids we mentioned above, which protect our cells from damage and reduce inflammation.
Fatty fish high in omega 3
Fish that are high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids (such as Tuna and Salmon) have been proven to boost the immune system. This study proved that fish with fatty acids have immune enhancing properties that could benefit immunocompromised individuals—now more than ever, people whose immune systems are compromised have to take extra measures to stay safe, so fish with fatty acids are highly recommended to be included in diets. If you’ve been craving that sushi meal for a while, now’s the perfect time to actually have some fish!
Ginger is the OG of medicine: it has anti-inflammatory qualities, supports digestion (basically the best thing to have after a big meal), helps with motion sickness, reduces pain, is rich in antioxidants, and boosts your immune system. We should all be stocking this root vegetable in our pantries all year round. Brew it in hot water and have it as a tea, put some in your soup or salad, or simply mix the paste with a spoon of honey for a burst of vitamins.
Greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are immune-boosting foods that contain high levels of vitamin C, which not only packs a powerful antioxidant punch, but also helps fight off infection and regenerate other antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E. Spinach also contains folate, another immune booster. Use fresh spinach to make a nutrient-rich salad — top it with fresh mushrooms to pack an extra immune-boosting punch.
Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are one of the richest natural sources of beta-carotene, a plant-based compound that is converted to vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is critical to a healthy immune system, and low blood levels have been linked to reduced immunity. Basically, these potatoes can fill your carb craving and provide you with an immune boost at once. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?
Love it or hate it, but your parents knew what was up when they told you to eat your broccoli. Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients that benefits digestion, the cardiovascular system and the immune system. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory and even cancer-preventing properties. It is high in fiber, very high in vitamin C and has potassium, B6 and vitamin A—all very very important for your health and your immune system. While it is better to eat the vegetable in its raw form, you can still boil it, puree it, make yourself a hearty broccoli soup, or just include it in your salad. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
Sunflower seeds are not only a great snack (and an excellent replacement for chips) but they are also rich in selenium which helps your body fight against certain cancers, while also helping your immune system control cell damage. Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin, hair and nails. It is a remedy for both the inside and the outside. Toss them with your favorite sea salt or spices, or slightly sautee them for a smokier aftertaste, and enjoy.
Garlic is also known as the Immunity Boosting Superstar. One clove contains 5mg of calcium, 12mg of potassium, and more than 100 sulfuric compounds—this little close is powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infection. Raw garlic, not cooked or dried, is most beneficial for health, since heat and water inactivate sulfur enzymes, which can diminish garlic’s antibiotic effects. The toxin-fighting staple seems to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and kill parasites in the body. Include it in basically everything that you eat.
They’re perfect as a healthy snack and can be added to salads and yogurt. Almonds are high in vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant in your body and helps immune system function. Almonds are also high in iron and protein that are also essential for your immune system.