Yup. It's that time again. Those sneezing, sniffling people on public transit are multiplying on the daily and flu shot reminders lurk around every corner. Yes, it's flu season folks.
A healthy diet is one of the key components to a strong immune system. Real food contains all those vitamins and minerals that will help strengthen your immune system so that when you come into contact with the cold or flu, you'll be much more likely to fight it off. On the other hand, if you are fuelling your body with processed junk food, you are much more likely to get sick.
Here are 10 foods that will give your immune system the superpowers it needs to fight off all those nasty bugs that will soon be coming your way.
Garlic is terrific for strengthening our immune systems. It contains sulfuric compounds which help us fight off harmful bacteria, viruses and even fungi. A study showed that those who take garlic supplements contract fewer colds than those who do not. Not to mention, when people who consume garlic do get the cold, their symptoms go away much faster.
You can incorporate garlic into your diet in so many ways like pesto, soup, stir-fry's and salad dressing! Check out our Kale Caesar Salad with Blackened Chicken for the most delicious, creamy, roasted garlic caesar dressing of life.
Ginger helps fight inflammation in our bodies and strengthens our immune systems. Ginger is also great to consume when you are sick as it promotes "healthy sweating", which helps with detoxification. Our Detox Green Smoothie is the most delicious way to consume raw ginger in its most potent form.
#3. Raw Honey
Honey is thought to be a natural antibacterial. But not all honey is created equal! The liquid honey we see on shelves at the grocery store is often processed and pasteurized, removing a lot of it's health benefits. So be sure to buy raw, unpasteurized honey. The darker the honey, the better its antibacterial and antioxidant power.
Already sick? Honey is also thought to calm inflamed membranes to ease a cough.
#4. Leafy Greens
We strongly believe that eating tons of dark leafy green vegetables is the key to health. Leafy greens help produce immune cells in our gut, which then protect the body from bad bacteria in the intestine. These immune cells also help to fight inflammation and obesity.
Get a hefty dose of leafy greens by eating a big bowl of our Tuna & Edamame Kale Detox Salad!
#5. Red Bell Peppers
Just 1 cup of chopped red bell peppers contains 157% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C! Many of the cells in our immune system depend on Vitamin C to perform their function, like phagocytes and t-cells.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup anyone?
#6. Herbal Tea
Tea contains dried herbs that have the power to stimulate and strengthen our immune systems. Some of the most powerful immune-boosting herbal teas include dandelion, ginseng and chamomile. So sip up!
Strawberries are a delicious and effective way to get your Vitamin C. Just 1 cup of strawberries contains 113% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. They make such an easy snack, so be sure to add fresh strawberries to your meal plan this week!
Gut health is so important to your overall health, especially your immunity. Fermented foods like sauerkraut contain tons of beneficial bacteria and active enzymes, which are potent detoxifiers. A spoonful of sauerkraut goes well alongside any dinner! We love adding it to our Warm Winter Buddha Bowl.
Tuna is an absolute superfood for our immune systems. It contains 223% of our daily recommended intake of selenium, which is another key player in supporting our immune systems. It also contains high amounts of Vitamin B3, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, which are all important in regulating our immune function. Our Tuna Stuffed Avocados with Hot Sauce are the most delicious way to get your fill of tuna!
What are your secrets for staying healthy during cold and flu season? Share with us in the comments below!