If for no other reason, this pandemic has taught us the importance of our health above anything else. Although we still have a long journey ahead to get back to our everyday lives, we can make the best of this situation and take advantage of this slower pace of life to focus on ourselves.
Our mental health is of primary importance right now, but so is our physical health. While social distancing, handwashing, and other hygienic behavior can help us stay safe, food can also be used as a tool to arm our body with the nutrients it requires to remain healthy and strong. Food, mainly organic, fresh, and locally-sourced, has a myriad of benefits, and the following are just seven of the best immunity-boosting foods you can consume daily to help your body fight disease.
Most people frown at this vegetable, but this unpopular green bouquet is loaded with vitamin A. The latter is a crucial vitamin because it helps the body when it comes to the respiratory system. It has a role in keeping our intestines healthy as well. If you really cannot stomach broccoli, you can opt for other vitamin A-rich foods such as red bell peppers, spinach, carrots, or sweet potato.
Loaded with vitamin C, oranges are easy to take every day with breakfast or lunch, and they nourish the body with an army of antibodies, which we now need more than ever. Antibodies are essential because they help keep viruses at bay. In binding with antigens, antibodies can stop them from entering our bodies and getting us sick. If you’re looking to vary your vitamin C intake, you can consume other delicious options, including strawberries, kiwi, other citrus fruit, and red bell peppers.
Count Dracula’s aversion to garlic must have been because he was already immortal for us mortals; garlic is a potent health food that helps us combat infections. More than that, thanks to its sulfur-rich compound, this vegetable can boost our immunity and slow down the process of hardening of arteries, thus minimizing the risk of heart disease.
Easy to munch on and an ideal carry-on snack, nuts should be a staple in your diet — unless, of course, you are allergic to them. Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which is the one that acts as an antioxidant in the body. Antioxidants are essential as they are the ones which neutralize the free radicals that have entered the body. The latter can harm us, and they come as a result of us consuming junk food, smoking, or breathing in harmful pollution. Besides nuts, other vitamin E rich foods include avocado, vegetable oils, and seeds.
Luxurious and intimidating to most people when it comes to cooking time, shellfish is not something most of us consume every week. Yet, this zinc-rich food can help strengthen our immune system. Zinc is an essential nutrient for the body because it allows the immune cells to function optimally. There are different types of shellfish that you can opt for, including mussels, oysters, and crab. Although zinc is essential, too much of it can have the opposite effect by weakening the immune system. Accordingly, keep in mind that most men need 11mg of zinc a day, while women require 8mg.
6. CBD Edibles
Cannabinol (CBD) comes from the same plant species as marijuana, but unlike the latter, it does not have any psychoactive effects, so there is no risk of getting high nor a risk of an overdose. Instead, CBD is proving to be a potent health tool for various mental and chronic health issues, from anxiety to Parkinson’s disease.
This natural compound comes in different forms, but it is best to opt for organic CBD products manufactured by a professional brand. You can find CBD edibles such as chocolate, oil, and gummies, or go for pure CBD vape juice. There are CBD oils, balms, bath bombs, tinctures, and more.
This potent spice has been trending for a while now as a critical ingredient to help beat the flu, and for a good reason. Turmeric contains curcumin, which researchers have noted as having the potential to boost the immune system. Curcumin may even help with muscle damage after an intense workout. This spice also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help in fighting chronic inflammation.
When you go through this list, it’s clear how easy it is to consume these immunity-boosting foods without much effort. You can boil some water and have a glass of turmeric tea, maybe add some lemon, ginger, or honey to the mix — all of these are great for immunity as well.
Snacking on nuts or seeds rather than chocolate is not as tricky as it may seem if you keep temptation at bay, and having orange juice first thing in the morning will kick start your immunity on the right track. Being healthy does not have to be so complicated. All it takes is a few conscious decisions and the right grocery purchases to get yourself on a better path.