Top 6 Foods I Use Daily to Boost My Immune System
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Brazil Nuts
- Vitamin C/ Oranges
I used to think that winter was the only time of the year that I could get sick or that I had to worry about strengthening my immune system. I also used to think that drinking sugary, ginger Ale would instantly cure all of my nausea and kill the germs in my body (I had a very creative mind as a child). While there is a tiny bit of truth in my previous ways of thinking, it is also true that strengthening and maintaining your immune system is a year round activity. It is more like a daily activity and something that I take very serious.
Every day I consume in some way shape or form six (6) specific things that help me feel absolutely incredible. They help me feel healthy, energized, clean (for lack of a better word), and strong. Though I do a lot of things (physically and spiritually) and consume quite a variety of different things to strengthen my body, each of these six things are a first step to simply living a healthier life. Whether you put them all together and make a smoothie (pictured above) or consume them separately, you’ll reap the nutritional benefits they offer your immune system.
1.)Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Fermented organic apples contain enzymes and minerals that have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties and have been used medicinally for hundreds of years. It helps to alleviate joint pain and arthritis, helps with digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Also, apple cider vinegar helps the body break down fats so that they can be used instead of being stored in the body as extra weight. Other benefits include: helping with acne, allergies, constipation, heartburn, urinary tract infections and of course boosting your immune system.
How I consume it: I simply mix 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 4-6 ounces of water and drink it during a meal to help with digestion and to make sure my body is absorbing nutrients and/or before a meal to help with joint pain.
*Please be sure to consult your physician before taking daily doses of apple cider vinegar
2.) Organic Lemon Juice. Lemon is one of the cheapest ways to bring amazing benefits to your health. This fruit contains lots of antioxidants and vitamin C, which can improve the immune system, and it also balances the levels of alkali and acids in the body. Lemonade, like real lemonade a.k.a. lemon and water with no sugar added, will make your body less susceptible to illnesses.
How I consume it: Before I eat breakfast, I mix 1-2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with about 6-10 ounces of water. It helps detoxify my body, restore vital electrolytes and start my day fresh.
3) Brazil nuts. One of nature’s richest sources of selenium, Brazil nuts are distinctively beneficial in promoting a healthy immune system. Selenium is involved in most functions of cellular biochemistry, is recognized for its ability to stimulate the production of antibodies, and is absolutely essential for proper immune function and the production of white blood cells.
How I consume them: I usually like to snack on Brazil nuts before dinner or add them in to my breakfast smoothie.
4.) Vitamin C. Good ol’ Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps detoxify our bodies, promotes healing of all of our cells, and allows us to deal with stress. It also supports the good bacteria in our gut, destroys bad bacteria and viruses, neutralizes harmful free radicals, removes heavy metals, and protects us from pollution just to name a few. Americans are unfortunately not getting enough of this vitamin!!
How I consume it: Oranges. Orange Juice. Vitamin C + Biflavonoids. Emergen-C packets- about 2,000mg of Vitamin C/ day
5) Garlic. This powerful member of the onion family is frequently recognized for its amazing ability to promote health and prevent disease. Garlic’s high allicin content is largely responsible for its disease-fighting effects, as this powerful antioxidant compound neutralizes free radicals and quells disease-causing inflammation. No other known compound, either natural or synthetic, works as effectively as an antioxidant as does allicin. Garlic has been used for thousands of years to prevent and treat respiratory, bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections as well.
How I consume it: I know, who wants to have garlic breath- YUCK! But really, I don’t mind all that much and when you blend 1-2 cloves in with your smoothie every day, there’s not much of an aftertaste. I usually swallow a chopped up clove of garlic with some honey once in the morning before breakfast and once at night before dinner. I’d be careful with swallowing garlic on an empty stomach, make sure you are able to do so because it could cause nausea and stomach discomfort.
6.) Kale. Contain high levels of vitamin C, which packs a powerful antioxidant punch, helps fight off infection and regenerates other antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E. Kale also contain folate, another immune booster.
How I consume it: Typically I use raw kale in my green smoothies, however I enjoy sautéed kale for lunch or dinner, especially with caramelized onions and shiitake mushrooms for added immune-boosting and nutrient rich power.
**Please consult a doctor or health professional before changing your diet.
Cheers to a healthier lifestyle- one day at a time!