Some people may get sick faster than others. According to a recent study, almost 3 per cent of adults have weakened immune systems. This can result from numerous conditions, such as Type 1 diabetes, a disorder which affects more than 1.6 million Americans. A weakened immune system has to fight an uphill battle against bacterial and viral invaders, often resulting in complications or even prolonged hospitalization.
Now more than ever, you need to find ways to help increase the strength of your immune system. One of the most effective methods you can enhance it is by eating the right food. Here are 8 nutritious and delicious ingredients that can enhance your immune system.
- Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits are full of vitamin C, one of the most known vitamins for improving your immune system. The best part about citrus fruits is you can eat them raw or sliced and chilled. These fruits are also very versatile and can be easily incorporated into any number of recipes. They’re perfect for mixing into healthy beverages like fruit infusions or smoothies.
The elder tree has been closely linked with medicine for more than a thousand years. The Greek physician Hippocrates, after whom the Hippocratic oath is named, named elder plants as an essential part of his medicine chest. Elderberries are a rich source of immunity-boosting vitamins that make them a great ingredient for drink mix for health. It can also be made into a tea and even fermented into a healthy wine. *Try this delicious tea containing elderberries, blackcurrants, elderflower and echinacea.
Garlic has famous for containing high concentrations of immune system boosting chemicals such as allicin. Aside from that, it can also slightly decrease elevated blood pressure. Garlic has also been known to have an antibacterial property that helps the body repel infections. Garlic is a very versatile ingredient and can be incorporated into any meal that involves stir-frying. It can also be crushed into a paste and turned into a delightfully zingy addition for marinades and salad dressings.
Ginger is one of the most famous herbal remedies in Asia. It’s still part of many infusions and teas meant to help reduce inflammation from a variety of diseases and conditions such as a sore throat. It can also reduce the effects of chronic pain. Ginger can be cut up, dried and turned into a powder that could be mixed with hot water for a zingy, spicy drink. It’s often also used for sour stews and soups.
Just like citrus fruits, papaya is absolutely full of vitamin C but without the overwhelming zest and sourness. The creamy, milky fruit also has high concentration of magnesium and potassium. Papaya is also known for improving dermatological conditions. Papaya can be cut into cubes and eaten as is. Or you can mix it with milk for a healthy smoothie. You can also marinate it and ferment it to make papaya chutney, a deliciously zingy side dish perfect for grilled chicken.
Almonds are rich with vitamin E, a very effective antioxidant. Just like vitamin C, vitamin E helps boost the immune system and helps keep it healthy. Aside from vitamin E, almonds are full of healthy fats and a good source of proteins. Almonds can be shelled, toasted and eaten as a light snack. Alternatively, you can chop up some almonds and use them as toppings for desserts like ice cream, yogurt and cakes.
Honey is one of natures most delicious sweeteners and it contains an astounding amount of antioxidants. This can help reduce the risk of various illnesses by reducing your blood pressure and also improve your body’s cholesterol levels. Furthermore, when used a topical ointment, it can improve the healing time of burns and wounds. Aside from being used as a healthy sweetener, you can mix honey with yoghurt, drizzle it on fresh fruit and incorporate it into marinades. Try *Manuka Honey with its powerful health-giving qualities.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich with both vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which are essential in improving your immune system. They’re a rich source of starch and have less cholesterol and fat than other sources of this nutrient. They’re also rich with fibre, helping improve your digestion. Sweet potatoes can be julienned and turned into crispy sweet potato fries. Or you can peel them, season them and bake them like regular potatoes.
Taking care of your body starts with eating the right stuff. Whether it’s because you want to strengthen your resistance to the disease or simply want to live healthier, incorporating more nutritious food into your diet is the right choice. The eight ingredients listed above won’t just make your body healthier, they also make your food taste amazing.