Got the sniffles? Feeling achy and miserable? Prone to getting sick every winter? Or just wanting to strengthen the all-important immune system?
The ECS plays an important role in modulating the immune system, suppressing and stimulating the immune system when required.
In times of stress and/or illness, our immune system can really take a pounding. Leading to minor and even serious health issues, like autoimmune conditions.
In order to fight foreign invaders, the immune system’s cells require certain nutrients to feed those cells, so they can travel around the body to trigger off other processes to keep the ball rolling.
Let’s look at four foods that provide these essential nutrients to boost immune function and reduce risk of illness.
These little beauties are high in the all-important mineral – Selenium. When you are deficient in selenium, you are more likely to experience worse symptoms when you get sick. Mushrooms are also a good source of B Vitamins Riboflavin and Niacin, essential vitamins for immune function.
The nutrients in mushrooms have the ability to stimulate macrophages to combat the foreign bodies that try to invade the cells, leading to illness.
Add mushrooms to omelettes, sauté in a little garlic butter, or sprinkle them over pizza.
Blueberries can be considered a ‘super food’. High in antioxidants, and important for DNA health. The anthocyanins in blueberries have been touted for providing most of its impressive benefits.
Additionally, blueberries contain similar anti-adhesive compounds to cranberries to prevent bacteria like E. coli clinging to the wall of your bladder.
High in vitamins C and K, these sweet numbers are perfect to add to smoothies, sprinkling over muesli, or eating them fresh or frozen straight from the bowl.
Kale is considered one of the top foods to boost immune health, and really overall health as it is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can consume.
Loaded with antioxidant Quercetin and Kaempferol, and is one of the best sources of Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
Kale also contains sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol which may prevent cancer forming at its molecular level.
Add to shakes, salads, or roast to make kale chips.
Ginger and garlic are the go-to spices in winter due to their extensive benefits for the immune system, and to reduce severity of symptoms when sick. Research has revealed that gingerol is a potent antioxidant.
Additionally, gingerol is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Ginger also helps to reduce nausea and other digestive issues.
Add fresh or good quality crushed ginger to stir-fry’s, stews, slow-cooked meals, or in hot tea by cutting up a chunk of fresh ginger, pour boiling water over it, add a little honey and lemon – and you have a delicious winter tonic.
What Foods have you Tried?
Check out my video on what makes Mushrooms, kale, blueberries and ginger so good for boosting immunity.