Your immune system is your first defence and super ninja warrior to fight off viruses and bacteria. When its strong, healthy and supported it will perform its best (just like the rest us) and slay those germs that are trying to make you sick.
Getting good sleep, exercising daily (even just a walk), managing stress and eating a healthy diet rich in nourishing vitamins from lots of veggies and fruit all contribute to your immune system firing on all cylinders!
Although there's no one food that magically "boosts" your immune system, there are a few key nutrients that support it including vitamins A and C, zinc, allicin, antioxidants and probiotics.
Here are a few foods you probably already have in your kitchen that contain high amounts of those nutrients and tips to easily enjoy more of them...
- rich in zinc to help regulate your immune system and heal wounds
- sprinkle them on your oatmeal, salad, avocado toast, hummus
- add a tablespoon in your smoothie
Sweet Potatoes & Carrots
- high in vitamin A
- roast or steam them and add to your power bowl
- make a baked sweet potato topped with black beans, avocado and nutritional yeast
- dip raw carrots in hummus or spiralize them into "noodles"
- rich in vitamin C
- chop them into salads, bowls or soups
- cut in half and stuff with quinoa, black beans and other veggies
- cut them up raw and dip into hummus (ideally sprinkled with pumpkin seeds ;-)
- rich in vitamin C
- enjoy it as a snack or with breakfast
- slice it up into salad
- add it to your smoothie
- high in allicin (a compound that can help fight infection and bacteria)
- add to soups, salad dressings, sauces
- anti-inflammatory (chronic inflammation can weaken and disrupt the function of your immune system)
- add 1/4 tsp to your smoothie
- add a dash to tomato sauces and soups
- make turmeric milk or turmeric tea
- high in antioxidants & anti-inflammatory
- enjoy anytime - great as an after lunch energizing drink
- add 1/2 teaspoon of matcha to your smoothie
Dairy Free & Unsweetened Yogurt
- full of probiotics for healthy gut bacteria
- enjoy as a snack with seeds & berries
- add to sauces to make them creamy
- enjoy as a dip with fresh or dried herbs
Dark Leafy Greens
- high in ALL the vitamins!
- support our lungs, circulation and naturally detox the digestive tract to keep it free of disease causing germs
- add a handful to your smoothie, power bowl, soup or sauces
- make a salad
- sauté or steam
- make pesto
Two foods that aren't supporting your immune system are sugar and dairy. Both are highly acidic and inflammatory which further weakens your immune system. If you'd like to crowd out dairy, try my free 5 Day Ditch Dairy Challenge here- it gives you all the info, recipes, substitutions and inspiration to cut out dairy in a healthy way.
Oh, and of course, don't forget to wash your hands ;-)
Ps. Need a few, easy immune supporting recipes? Try this Immune Boost Smoothie, Healing Lentil Soup or Grounding Roasted Vegetable Salad