12 Superfoods To Enhance Your Immune System
Changing what you put into your body is not easy, but your immune system depends on it to maintain wellness and fight against harmful bacteria and viruses.
It is good to eat less of the foods that do not support your immune system and eat more superfoods that help your immune system work efficiently.
Several immune-boosting superfoods are loaded with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, vital in building a resilient and fully functioning immune system and response.
Consider adding a few of these superfood favorites to your list.
Ginger is a well-known (and widely used) immune booster loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown it to be as effective as ibuprofen for reducing pain and inflammation. It is also thought to have potent antiviral and anti-bacterial properties helpful for relieving discomforts associated with respiratory conditions (like influenza) and upset stomach.
Ginger's potency can be credited to one of its main constituents, gingerol. Gingerol and other active constituents in ginger, such as ginger-dione, shogaol, and volatile oils, promote an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant effect.
2. Citrus Fruit
You may know that vitamin C is essential for producing white blood cells and fighting infections. Most individuals understand to increase their vitamin C intake during a cold or flu. However, a daily dose of vitamin C may help boost your immune system and possibly even reduce the risk of severe respiratory illness.
Our bodies do not naturally produce vitamin C, and we cannot store that vitamin for extended periods. Therefore, we must continuously introduce it into our daily nutrition consumption to maintain intake. Citrus fruit is an excellent food because it contains high levels of vitamin C. Some of the most popular citrus fruit sources include:
3. Acerola Powder
Acerola is a West Indies cherry that is considered an essential immune-boosting food. It has one of the highest contents of vitamin C. 1 scoop of pure dried acerola powder can have over 700 mg of vitamin C, at least 700% of the recommended daily value.
Acerola contains numerous minerals and other vitamins, including beta-carotene, lutein, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. These super nutrients have been historically used to normalize blood sugar, reduce bacterial activity, and provide the body with antioxidants to fight off inflammation from bacteria and viruses.
4. Camu Camu
Camu Camu is a fruit that contains an impressive amount of vitamin C. The fruit contains up to 3 grams of vitamin C per just 3.5 ounces. The taste is strong, so it is rarely consumed in its freshest form. Most individuals enjoy it in powder form, which can deliver up to 750% of the recommended daily intake per teaspoon. That's a whole lot of vitamin C!
Camu Camu contains several different flavonoids, minerals, and vitamins that reduce oxidative stress within the cells and potentiate an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect.
5. Sea Moss
Sea moss contains over 90 of the body's minerals, making it a powerhouse in restoring cell health. Sea moss contains beta-carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C, sulfur, and minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. These nutrients are necessary for proper immune function and protection against invasive bacteria and viruses.
Studies have shown that supplementing with seaweed equivalents may improve immune modulation and response, so it is worth trying and necessary to include in your regimen.
6. Oil of Oregano
The oil of oregano is one item that does not get enough credit. Oregano and its oil are strong anti-septics with potent activity against many bacteria and fungi. It may aid in improving infections of the respiratory tract, including bronchitis.
Oregano contains the compounds phenols, terpenes, and terpenoids, which have powerful antioxidant properties and are responsible for its fragrance. It contains Carvacrol, the most abundant phenol in oregano, which may stop the growth of several different types of bacteria. It also contains rosmarinic acid, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against damage caused by free radicals. Oregano oil contributes as an anti-bacterial and antioxidant.
Turmeric is a prevalent spice that is a key ingredient in curry dishes. It is a bright yellow-colored, bitter spice that is excellent for inflammatory conditions. Turmeric gets its unique coloring from the high levels of curcumin. Curcumin in turmeric plays an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, analgesic, antimicrobial, and immunomodulator.
Most people already know about the beautiful effects of elderberry, and it is even used in several over-the-counter medicinal products.
It contains nutrients such as flavonoids, tannin, vitamin C, anthocyanin pigments, and volatile oil that contribute to its medicinal effects in improving and strengthening the function of the immune system. Traditionally, elderberry has helped fight the common cold and the flu. Many studies have supported this use as it has been shown to shorten the duration of sickness and even reduce the severity of symptoms associated with respiratory infections.
Blueberries are an easily accessible fruit suitable for everyday consumption. It may effectively boost the immune system due to its antioxidant property. They contain anthocyanin, a flavonoid that plays a critical role in the defense of the respiratory tract.
Research studies revealed that people who had a diet rich in flavonoids were less likely to suffer from an infection of the respiratory tract, such as the common cold. So be sure to add blueberries to your diet each day. You can enjoy them fresh or frozen to gain the benefit.
Baobab is a tree native to Africa that produces a fruit widely used as medicine. Although it is not commonly known in Eastern Medicine, its medicinal value and historical use should not be taken for granted.
Historically, baobab fruit has been used as a delicate superfood due to its nutrient-rich properties. Baobab fruit contains essential fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Not to mention, it is an excellent source of vitamin C, making it an ideal food to include as an immune booster and antioxidant. Getting your hands on the authentic fruit of the baobab is nearly impossible. However, you can find dried fruit in powder form, which delivers many of the same benefits.
Whenever we speak about superfoods, there is almost always a reason to make this green sea vegetable a part of the conversation. Spirulina is also known as blue-green algae, and it is a hard hitter in restoring wellness, so don't let that name scare you away.
It is a steward for the immune system, primarily due to its high capacity of nutrients, including protein, vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin), antioxidants, and minerals (copper and iron). It is a low-calorie food compared to its nutrient content.
Spirulina has fantastic anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative damage that hinder the immune system.
Make sure to choose the best quality spirulina from a reputable source to prevent heavy metal infiltration.
Garlic is an ultimate hard hitter. Chew garlic cloves if you have the flu, a cold, or covid. I know the pungent taste is sometimes too tough to handle, but it has many benefits.
Many of the pharmacological effects of garlic are attributed to the allicin, ajoene, and other alliin, also known as S-allyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide. These are probably names you are unfamiliar with but are necessary to intake for optimal health. One of the main components of garlic, allicin, is a compound that gives the garlic a pungent odor when crushed. This compound is easily converted into antioxidant compounds that protect the cells from inflammation and reduce harmful bacteria and viruses.
If you are really about that healthy life, GET SOME GARLIC. I recommend aged black garlic because it is even more beneficial. You don't have to chew it if you can't tolerate it. At least consider using it in cooking or taking them in a capsule supplement form.
The Bottom Line These are only a few immune-boosting superfoods that are highly recommended to improve your immune system and reduce the risk of severe sickness from bacteria and viruses.
With whatever foods you choose to intake, make it a habit to focus on how they can contribute to protecting and building your systems so that it is equipped to maintain longevity.
What is your favorite immune-boosting superfood? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments!