Flu season is just around the corner, and no one wants to get stuck in bed with the sniffles. You can get a flu shot and take all the cold medicines under the sun, but nothing fights off sickness better than keeping up your overall health, and the best way to stay healthy is through a nutritious diet. Filling your body up with the right nutrients and minerals can make all the difference in the strength of your immune system.
The following ten foods are good for loading up on helpful vitamins and minerals and strengthening your immune system. As I am writing this post I am sipping on a golden turmeric milk, that tastes absolutely delicious and is also great for strengthening the immune system, as you will find out. I am including the recipe below in this post! Definitely give it a try!
Why? They contain selenium, which helps white blood cells produce cytokines that clear sickness, and beta glucan, an antimicrobial type of fiber, which helps activate “superhero” cells that find and destroy infections. Mushrooms contain some of the most powerful natural medicines on the planet, especially for boosting your immunity during cold and flu season, so eat them especially as they are now also in season.
- Fresh garlic
Garlic contains an antimicrobial compound – a phytochemical called allicin. As allicin in garlic digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals more effectively than any other known compound. To get the therapeutic benefits of garlic, be sure to crush the clove before you eat it; this stimulates the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin.
The digestive tract is one of your biggest immune organs, so keep disease-causing germs out with probiotics and prebiotics, found in naturally fermented foods like yogurt. Live and active cultures will enhance the immune function. Probiotics are known for their positive effects in the gastrointestinal tract. As the gut is directly connected to your immune system, keeping it healthy with probiotics can also enhance the immune functions. I will dedicate an entire blog post on probiotics soon.
Zinc is important to your body in many ways, including cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function. It is critical for the immune system – it helps the while blood cells to attack bacteria and viruses. Oysters contain a lot of zinc, as well as wheat germ, beef, cashews, seeds and cacao.
Rich in the immune –boosting vitamin E, consuming almonds can reduce your chance of catching colds and developing respiratory infections.
- Dark chocolate or raw cacao
Rich in antioxidants as polyphenols and zinc
- Carrots and sweet potatoes
Rich in beta-carotene, which is important to maintain a strong immune system and keeps our mucus membrane healthy (helps against runny nose and mucus)
The active substance in it – curcumin is an antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties. Being a powerful antioxidant cucrcumin can fight free radicals which damage the immune system. One cause of infections like flu is a weakened immune system more susceptible to infections.
Useful against gastrointestinal problems, and relieving symptoms of cold and flu as it helps soothe aches and pains. Because of its natural pain relieving effects, cinnamon is also a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal. This warming spice stimulates circulation and increases the elimination of toxins.
High in antioxidant quercetin that helps the body fight free radicals and boost the immune response.
And now here is my recipe for a golden turmeric milk. It is super easy to make, and as you will see it contains a lot of the anti flu ingredients you will need to strengthen your immune system.
Golden Turmeric Milk
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 500ml fresh almond milk (I use this one from Go Gusto)
- 4 cm cubed fresh ginger
- 3 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well until smooth.
- You can warm up the milk on a low heat, as this will further release the aromas of the spices.
Enjoy warm and if possible curl up under a blanket while you sip it. It is so relaxing! 🙂
Have a beautiful weekend!