COVID-19 has arrived and the whole world is practicing social distancing. While drinking plenty of water and washing your hands are super important at this time, you can also be consuming plenty of healthy foods to keep your immune system in tip top sickness-fighting shape!
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite immune boosting foods to keep you feeling strong. Let’s dive right in!
Described as nature’s superfruit, dates come in all shapes and sizes. They are rich in nutrients, such as calcium, that promote a resilient immune system. Medjool dates are a juicy and delicious date option that are caramel-like in taste and texture.
Dates are jam-packed with antioxidants that help fight illness and disease by combatting the free radicals in our everyday diets. There are three main antioxidants that contribute to this amazing fruit’s super powers.
Flavonoids have inflammation reducing abilities lower your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and certain cancers. Carotenoids turn into vitamin A helps boost our immunity to protect us from sickness and life-threatening disease. They can also improve eye health. And lastly, phenolic acid is absorbed through the walls of your intestines and reduces free radicals to prevent cancer and other diseases.
Ginger has been used since ancient times for its immune boosting properties. Today, it’s commonly used in juice shots, either on its own or combined with other healthy elements as a way to fight illness.
Whether it’s concentrated into a juice shot, or brewed in a nice, hot cup of tea, ginger is full of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, such as ingerols, paradores, sesquiterpenes, shogaols, and zingerone.
Studies have shown that ginger has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. It helps to prevent and ease the discomfort of respiratory infections. It’s even more beneficial blended with other immune boosting foods like lemon juice and/or honey.
A popular flavor choice to add to your pasta or if you’re like me...everything... garlic is another favorite on our list to boost your immune system and fight against illness. Its health and medicinal powers have been documented throughout history, with its roots (pun intended) tracing back to ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, China and other civilizations.
Garlic releases sulfur compounds that are responsible for its health benefits. One of the most potent compounds is allicin. However, it is only briefly present in garlic when you crush or cut it.
Diallyl sulfide and s-allyl cysteine are two other powerful components in garlic that are beneficial to your health and immunity. These nutrients travel throughout the body when ingested and deliver their helpful effects.
Lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits and any other citrus you can think of are also powerful immune boosting foods. These sweet and sour fruits are loaded with vitamin C and plant compounds to ward off colds and flus and benefit your health in several other ways too.
Vitamin C isn’t the only nutrient in citrus (it’s just the one that has an awesome 90’s band named after it). Citrus fruits are also rich in B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, copper and magnesium. These nutrients combined with the plant compounds, including over 60 different kinds of flavonoids and carotenoids, have vigorous antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric has been said to be one of nature’s most powerful supplements with health and medicinal benefits. This yellow spice is a delicious addition to your favorite rice, chicken, or other hardy meal. Mix it into a juice shot with ginger and you have double the boost for a resilient immune system.
A long-time favorite of Indian culture in their cuisine and as a medicinal herb, today studies have shown that turmeric is indeed rich in plant compounds that are incredibly beneficial to our health. These compounds are called curcuminoids, which contain curcumin.
Curcumin is high in antioxidants. It boosts the strength and effectiveness of the body’s natural antioxidants, which helps fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress.
Often referred to as the divine fruit, pomegranates are one of the earth’s healthiest fruits and the most mentioned in theological books. It is incredibly high in antioxidants and antiviral properties to help boost your immune system.
Pomegranates are also a great source of vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and folic acid. These ruby-red fruits also help pump the level of oxygen in your blood.
The elderberry tree is versatile and comes in over 30 different varieties. Dating back to ancient times, elderberries have been thought of as one of the world’s most healing plants.
Elderberries are rich in antioxidants, and vitamins to help boost your immune system to fight off illness. They also benefit the body in several other ways. They can soothe headaches, breathing issues, and fevers.
Don’t forget your greens! Kale is known as a powerful immunity booster, as it is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s nutrient-dense content is known to prevent illness and help fight disease.
Kale contains vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium… I think you get the point! If you are looking to maintain your health and avoid getting sick this cold and flu season, kale should definitely be number one on your grocery list.
Mushrooms, though not for everyone, are another delicious food immune boosting. They help fight illness by stimulating T-cell production in the bloodstream and they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals and beneficial enzymes.
#10 Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes baked in the oven with a splash of salt and pepper are a delicious combination of sweet and savory to add to your dinner table. They are also incredibly nutritious!
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, sweet potatoes fight against free radicals in the system to prevent illness and oxidative stress. They are also high in fiber to promote gut health and help you digest.
Keep your family and yourself healthy by stocking your pantry and refrigerator with these immune-boosting superfoods! And remember to stay home, drink plenty of water and you guessed it - wash your hands.