Taking care of our bodies is an important part of staying healthy, and the foods we eat matter! Your mom likely knew that chicken soup could help keep you feeling better when your energy was low. But she may not have realized just how much a balanced diet packed with veggies can contribute to enhanced immunity – something even doctors endorse!
It's no secret that eating healthy has many benefits, and having a healthy diet is an important part of the equation. That's according to Seema Bonney, MD., founder of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center in Philadelphia - who assures us our immune systems will be stronger when we make nutritious choices!
Eating healthy isn't just important for maintaining a fit and trim waistline - it can also have an incredible impact on your overall health! According to Anna Taylor, lead outpatient clinical dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Human Nutrition, up to 30% of cancers are linked directly with poor dietary habits.
Eating healthy foods has been shown to support our immune system during cold and flu season as well as promoting diversity in gut microbiome. So don’t delay - start making some smart decisions about what you put into your body today!
Superfood 1: Yogurt
A well-functioning gut microbiome is the key to a healthy immune system—and yogurt can play an important part in that. According to research, probiotics have been shown to reduce common colds and this makes perfect sense since much of our bodies' immunity lies within the health of our digestive tract! Eating yogurt daily supports these beneficial bacteria by stocking your tummy with live cultures.
Start your day off on the right foot with a big boost of flavor and nutrition. Plain Greek yogurt is an easy way to add creaminess, protein and probiotics into any dish – from smoothies for breakfast to chili or tacos. Skip out on regular store-bought yogurts loaded with added sugars for maximum benefit!
Superfood 2: Garlic
Looking for a way to naturally support your gut health? Try prebiotics! They're not the same as probiotic bacteria in yogurt, but these non-digestible compounds can help feed friendly microorganisms.
Prebiotics are often fiber-rich foods that get metabolized by those good bugs and build them up - meaning they could make our beloved probiotics even more effective. And here's one you might know: garlic is an incredibly powerful form of prebiotic powerhouse!
Garlic is so much more than a delicious addition to your favorite dishes - it's packed with immune-boosting benefits! Allicin, found in garlic, has been proven to increase the number of t cells and natural killer cells that strengthen our immunity.
Studies from the University of Florida suggest taking aged garlic extract supplements are effective for reducing colds and flu symptoms. Who knew this spicy seasoning holds such powerful protective properties?
Prebiotics can do wonders for your health! Indulge in fiber-rich foods, like whole grains and onions or grab a banana or asparagus. And don't forget ginger – research suggests it's very helpful in reducing nausea caused by various sources!
Superfood 3: Blueberries
Blueberries are an excellent choice if you're looking to up your intake of superfoods: these small fruits have a compound called anthocyanin that's packed with immune-boosting powers!
According to researchers at Appalachian State University, the University of Montana, Texas Woman’s University and Vanderbilt University – eating blueberries can increase natural killer cells in circulation by almost double. And they don't stop there - some studies suggest flavonoids found naturally in blueberries could help ward off upper respiratory tract infections due their antiviral properties. Tasty AND nutritious? Sign us up!
Superfood 5: Mushrooms
If you haven't been giving mushrooms the attention they deserve, now might be a good time to start! Not only are these humble fungi great as pizza toppings; recent research has revealed that their soluble fiber beta-glucan helps stimulate your immune system.
A study by the University of Western Sydney showed eating white button mushrooms can boost protective antibodies in saliva – so try adding them regularly into salads or stir fries for an extra immunity boost. Oats and barley are also high in this nutritious dietary component.
Superfood 6: Salmon
Enjoying fatty fish like salmon is not only good for your heart - it may also help to ward off colds! Studies suggest consuming foods rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, could play an important role in supporting a healthy immune system and reducing the incidence of upper respiratory infections.
Looking for an extra source of vitamin D? You may have some surprising options! Try adding tuna, cheese and especially egg yolks to your diet. But remember - it's important to get the right amount of sun through UV rays. So grab a hat and sunglasses then head outdoors for a primo dose of Vitamin D!
Superfood 7: Beans and lentils
Is living to 100 really possible? Well, research shows that the secret may just be beans! Those residing in so-called "blue zones" live amazingly long lives — and they all have something very important in common: their diets are rich with beans.
Studies reveal that adding a tablespoon of tasty fiber-filled lentils or other beans into your daily routine can actually drop mortality rates for adults over 70! So grab a bowl -- it's time to reap the benefits of this superfood.
Packed with mineral goodness, legumes are a great way to give your immune system the boost it needs. Zinc is thought to ramp up the production of white blood cells which protect us against infection and keep us healthy - not getting enough can make our immunity suffer!
If you think you might be coming down with something, supplementation early on may help reduce cold symptoms or even shorten their duration! Other sources worth checking out for zinc? Lean beef, fortified cereal, pumpkin seeds and oysters.
Superfood 8: Tea
Unwind the day away in comforting fashion with a hot cup of tea - it's not only great for relaxation, but can also give your body an immune system boost! According to one study, regularly consuming 5-6 cups daily stimulated immunity.
If that wasn't enough, another set of research has connected coffee drinking with varied health benefits such as staving off Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. So whether you're sipping on some warm tea or savoring a cup o' joe – these beverages have something wonderful to offer!
Add a little sweetness to your health routine with a scoop of honey in your mug! Its antimicrobial properties may help diminish cold or flu symptoms, and studies suggest it might even be more effective than common over-the-counter medications for relieving nighttime coughs. Get the sweet relief you need - try adding some honey today.
The key to a healthy and strong immune system is eating a balanced diet full of nutritious, immunity-boosting superfoods. By incorporating delicious immune-strengthening ingredients into your daily routine you can help ensure that your body is equipped with the nutrients it needs to fight off infection and keep you feeling your best.