Immunity-boosting foods: what to eat to avoid a Winter cold
No one ever plans to get sick but you’ve probably heard that prevention is the best medicine.
It’s that time of the year again. The seasonal shift that often brings lots of coughing, sneezing and a sore throat. You can easily boost your immune system and ward off the cold by incorporating foods that strengthen your immune system into your diet. These all-natural immunity boosters are a simple solution to keeping you healthy this season.
Garlic is an immunity-boosting superstar. Whenever I got sick as a kid, my grandpa always made me a garlic and onion syrup and my grandma would tie a few garlic cloves around my neck. As much as I hated walking around smelling like a vampire’s worst nightmare, this garlic trick always worked for me. Also, my grandma’s theory about amazing immunity-boosting properties of garlic was confirmed by one of my nutrition professors in college. Only one clove of garlic contains more than 100 sulfuric compounds- powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infection. Raw garlic is your best bet here, as heat and water inactivate sulfur enzymes. Did you know that garlic was used to prevent gangrene in both world wars? It is also known all over world as a charm against evil spirits (hence the vampire theory, I suppose??).
I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not need an excuse to eat sweet potatoes- they’re only my favorite thing to have for dinner, especially when I stuff them with other veggies. Your skin is your biggest organ, and it’s also a first place that disease or sickness enters your body- this is why it’s important to keep it healthy and strong. Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, which plays a big role in keeping your skin healthy. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and beta-karotene both of which help strengthen immune response.
Ginger is a strong antioxidant. It contains anti-inflammatory agents, helps eliminate congestions, kills cold viruses and enhances protective functions of the immune system. You do not need to use a whole lot of ginger to receive its benefits- try grounding or slicing a 1/4 spoon of fresh ginger, mix it with hot water, lemon juice, turmeric and cinnamon.
When you feel like you’re about to get sick, one of the first things you probably reach for is a Vitamin C supplement. Grapefruit is not only rich in Vitamin C but it’s also rich in flavonoids- plant metabolites that provide health benefits through cell signaling pathways- they have antioxidant, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits.
In many parts of the world, Turmeric has been used as a natural immunity booster for centuries. It contains curcumin- which is a compound proved to increase the level of immunity-boosting proteins in our bodies. It’s also a natural antibiotic, painkiller and helps fight bacteria and viruses when they attack. Try sprinkling turmeric on some of your favorite dishes or mix it with hot water, ginger and lemon.
Raw almonds are not only a perfect, healthy snack but they also improve the ability of the white blood cells to detect viruses while increasing your body’s ability to prevent viruses from spreading.
Oregano is one my favorite herbs and I love using it while cooking but medical grade oil of oregano can also be used therapeutically. Oil of oregano contains carvacrol and thymol which have powerful antibacterial and anti fungal properties, it also helps with congestion. I personally know of few people who swear that oil of oregano works better than antibiotics.
Incorporate these immunity-boosting foods into your diet and they will help to nourish and revitalize your body and ward off the cold. How are you keeping healthy this season?