Stay Ahead By Boosting Your Immunity
How are you holding up? This year has started with a chain of unexpected calamities starting with the death of Kobe Bryant and the global pandemic that is bringing the world to its knees, Covid- 19. With everything happening, it’s difficult to stay calm because we are all forced to limit our movement through social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. Consequently, this has led to businesses closing and others are being sent away on unpaid leave exposing many to stress. While the concern comes in two folds; health and financial stability, it's crucial to remember to take all necessary steps to take care of your body while in isolation.
Through this difficult time, we will be sharing tips through a special series where we’ll be talking about diet, workouts you can do at home and how to avoid anxiety. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletters at the end of this article because now more than ever, any positive content will go a long way in uplifting us all. Although we live in a coronavirus- induced world, some personal health facts remain unchanged. Let’s start by diving into foods that boost your immunity. If you’re going grocery shopping, these are the key ingredients you need to stock up on.
Spinach is at the top of the list because its full of antioxidants that increase the infection- fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. Alternatively, you can also eat it raw by blending it with other fruits into a smoothie.
Who else loves broccoli? One cup of broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange. It’s also packed with many other antioxidants and fiber making it one of the healthiest vegetables you can put in your meal. Just like spinach, the key to retaining its superpower is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
3. Citrus Fruits
Most people turn to vitamin C after they've caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells which is key to fighting infections. The popular citrus fruits are grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and clementine.
4. Red Bell Peppers
If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Did you know that red bell peppers contain three times as much vitamin C as citrus fruits? Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin. So it’s a two in one deal and we are here for it!
5. Garlic (a.k.a ‘the stinky rose’)
Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Eating garlic can boost the number of virus-fighting cells in our bloodstream which is crucial because colds and the flu are caused by viruses. Since we use garlic to primarily season dishes, we consume it in small amounts which doesn’t contribute significantly to our nutritional requirements.
First off, ginger is antibacterial so it helps support the immune system and it can help decrease inflammation which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses.
Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are preflavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead. Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.
We know almonds are not cheap…but researchers have found that almond skins have numerous health properties such as stimulating increased white blood cell production, which is the body’s main response to fighting off viral infections that cause illnesses such as the flu and the common cold.
9. Green Tea
Green tea has been considered to be one of the healthiest drinks out there for years, and for good reason. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) a powerful antioxidant which has been shown to enhance immune function. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid which aids in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your cells.
10. Papaya Anyone?
As an excellent source of vitamin C, eating papaya can boost your immune system and protect your body from a variety of illnesses and infections. They also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.
One large kiwi fruit has more vitamin C than a cup of strawberries, medium-seized orange, or half a grape fruit. This vitamin is essential in boosting our immune system to ward off disease.
As you continue to take steps to boost your immunity, remember to keep hydrating, engage in moderate exercise and get enough rest. Our bodies require all these key elements to be at our optimum health. What steps are you taking to boost your immunity? Let us know!
Yours in Wellness,
Publisher: Loise Machira
Photocredits: Pexel, Strikingly
References: Health Line, Very Well Health, Everyday Health, Global Citizen, Wellness Encyclopedia (Published by University of California at Berkeley), Global Citizen, WHO
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