Health And Wellness

6 Foods That Boost The Immune System & Keep You Healthier Naturally

Foods That Boost Immune System Stay Healthy

In the midst of flu season and COVID-19 pandemic, I can only imagine how many people are scrambling to figure out what they should be consuming on a daily basis to stay healthy and boost their immune systems to help fight these illnesses.

Our bodies are machines and what we put into it will certainly affect our day-to-day life. Everyone is familiar with the expression, "You are what you eat, " and that, my friends, is the truest quote I've ever read in my life. Now, more than ever, it's important to learn how to take care of your body inside and out. And knowing what foods to eat to boost your immune system is one of the ways to ensure you stay healthy for longer.

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I know maintaining a well-balanced diet can be a struggle for a lot of people. For example, I work two days out of the week at a seafood restaurant, but doing my own food shopping every week saves me a ton of money. I started to cut down the amount of outside food I purchased and started to go food shopping at the beginning of each week. I used to eat out (especially fast food) at least twice a week, but I felt sluggish and severely depressed almost all the time.

Now, when I make my own breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I love how reassured I feel knowing exactly what ingredients I am adding to my meals. There are foods that you can incorporate into your daily routines that can not only boost your immune system, but also help you feel less inflamed or puffy, and also things that can help you feel more energized throughout the day (without having to drink coffee or soda).

You will definitely feel a sudden mood boost if you start making all your own food from whole ingredients and a positive shift in your life once you begin to eat healthier, especially if you're eating foods that can help you stay healthy, no matter what virus or illness comes next.

If you need a helping hand in knowing what to eat and drink throughout the week, we've got you covered with a list of 6 immune-boosting foods and drinks to help you stay healthy. Use this list of healthy foods to give you some new ideas for how to take care of yourself and your immune system naturally so that you're prepared for any sickness that comes your way.

1. Citrus fruits

Our bodies do not provide or store us with vitamin C. This means it is essential to have a daily dose of vitamin C. If you've caught a cold, your grandparents probably told you to drink lots of orange juice. And they're right! Vitamin C has been said to increase the number of white blood cells which is essential in fighting harmful infections. Some citrus fruits you should consider buying are grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and clementines.

2. Garlic

Garlic is my favorite part of any meal I make. All of the best chefs in the world would probably agree with me! Not only is this ingredient a sure way to make your meal tasty, but it is essential for your health. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, garlic can help lower high blood pressure and prevents the common cold from worsening. Plus, garlic tastes good in almost anything. You can incorporate it into all of your Italian meals for that extra punch that will make you want to keep eating more and more of it.

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3. Shellfish

I know, this isn't the superfood you would've expected on this list. However, shellfish are packed with zinc, a mineral that helps combat infections. It also plays a vital role in protein synthesis, cell division, and cardiomyopathy. Studies have found that good heart function relates to the amount of zinc someone has.

Just make sure that your body handles shellfish well — unfortunately a shellfish allergy is a fairly common one (and can be deadly). So if you find yourself having adverse reactions to eating shellfish, avoid this food completely. 

4. Apple, Carrot and Orange Juice

This dynamic trio is sure to help boost your immune system! It is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B-6, and C. It is also rich in folic acid and potassium. Vitamin A and folic acid are found in apples and it helps fight off nasty diseases.

Apples, carrots and oranges make the perfect juices you can sip on, but if you wanted to give yourself even more of a boost each morning, you should consider making yourself a smoothie to start your day off right. You can include greens like spinach or kale, along with bananas, blueberries or almonds, for a well-rounded meal full of antioxidants. 

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5. Kale, Tomato and Celery Juice

Green vegetables are essential to put into your juice because of their vitamins and minerals. This trio has a ton of vitamin A and is an anti-inflammatory recipe. The most notable ingredients in this recipe are vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium and iron.

Eat these ingredients in a salad for lunch, or juice everything if you want to drink it.

6. Beet, Carrot, Ginger and Turmeric Juice

These vegetables will lessen your chances of inflammatory symptoms. This is the best juice to drink during the flu and cold season! Turmeric and garlic are both extraordinary in their anti-inflammatory effects. The most notable ingredients are vitamin A, C and E, iron and calcium.

You can make a popular anti-inflammatory "golden paste", which is made with ground turmeric spice, ginger, cinnamon, coconut oil, and black pepper, which is delicious to stir into warm water to make a tea each morning before you head to work. 

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Destiny Duprey is a writer who covers music, self-care, and spirituality.