School is starting, bringing new routines and more reasons than ever to stay healthy and boost your immune system. As a nutritionist, I believe we should always try to live our healthiest life, but now more than ever we are aware of just how important our health is.
Did you know you can actually boost your immune system with food? Pretty cool, huh? Food is so powerful! Choosing the right foods to lower inflammation and boost your immune system will help you stay healthy and thrive. Plus, it will help lower stress and anxiety levels too!
5 immune-boosting foods to add to your diet
Turmeric: Turmeric has been shown to be the single most anti-inflammatory food. Consuming just a 1/2 tsp a day decreases inflammation and boosts your immune system.
I personally love making a turmeric latte to get my daily dose of turmeric. Just whisk ½-1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp pure maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk in a saucepan over the stove until warm and you’ve got yourself a comforting immune-boosting drink.
Cruciferous vegetables: We know eating our veggies are important, but did you know you can lower inflammation with cruciferous vegetables? It’s true! So load up on purple cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts to reap the benefits. Plus, those who eat more fruits and vegetables are least likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection like the common cold or influenza.
Nutritional yeast: If you haven’t tried nutritional yeast, now is the time. It’s a cheesy tasting yeast I love sprinkling on just about anything. It’s high in B vitamins and the yeast beta-glucans appear to have immune-strengthening effects and help lower physical and mental stress.
Dark chocolate: Good news for us chocolate lovers! The cacao found in dark chocolate and the phenolic compounds inside the cocoa actually strengthen the defenses of our immune system. On the flip side, sugar lowers our immune functions and makes us more susceptible to getting sick. So be sure to grab some dark chocolate because it tends to have less sugar.
Citrus Fruits: Vitamin C rich foods are an easy and cheap way to boost your immune system. Add an orange or grapefruit to your next meal or squeeze some lemon in your water for a delicious way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C.
When everything seems a bit out of control right now we still have control over our nutrition. Try to incorporate all of these foods daily into your nutrition to create a strong immune system.