There’s a famous saying that ‘we are what we eat’ and we all know the vital role that good nutritious food plays in our health. If we are lacking in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients then there can be negative effects. Likewise eating the right natural foods can help to boost our immunity. The healthier we are then the better chance we have of fighting infections and recovering. At Nakin we dedicate our work to producing award winning natural skincare and we passionately believe in the power of plants to help with our overall well-being. Simple measures can really help such as staying hydrated, sleeping well, keeping active, getting daylight plus eating well. The food that we eat can have a big impact on our health and can boost our immune system. We have researched some of the best foods to help with this as listed below.
- Fruit contains vitamin C which is a key vitamin in the fight against illness. The NCBI advise that vitamin C protects the immune system, reduces the severity of allergies and helps to fight off infections. Fruits that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwi, mango and berries. Nutritionists recommend having a variety of different coloured fruits to get the broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals that they offer.
- Vegetables are very kind to our systems as they do not contain as much natural sugar and are less acidic than fruit. Vegetables are essential to good health with many containing lots of vitamin C and other essential nutrients. So, include as much vegetables as possible and different coloured choices for a healthy diet. Some vegetables have extra special immune boosting properties. Most notably are mushrooms which research has shown to offer us antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The NCBI state that mushrooms need antibacterial and antifungal compounds to survive in their natural environment. So, it’s no surprise that we get these benefits when we eat them. It’s best to research the different mushroom options available and their benefits, and never eat wild mushrooms without professional advice.
- Turmeric is now a well-known addition to many of our lives and with good reason. It contains a compound called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory properties to boost immunity. It helps with inflammation in the body, as well as being good for our brain. It has been used for thousands of years and is often used in ayurvedic complementary medicine. It’s now available in lots of supermarkets and can be added to many food dishes.
- Ginger seems to sometimes get forgotten about, as it has amazing properties. When you eat a dish with ginger you might actually feeling it warming and stimulating your system. The Active Times say that ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. It helps with cold viruses and can combat chills and fever. It also has excellent cleansing benefits and the ginger root helps to relax the intestinal tract and reduce gas.
- Garlic is an easily available ingredient to improve our health. It has been used for centuries and Healthline advise on the science behind how it helps our immune system to fight germs. It is due to the alliin that is naturally found in garlic and when we cut or crush garlic it becomes allicin, which has therapeutic benefits. This includes boosting white blood cells in the body to fight viruses. Everyday Health report that there is some evidence to suggest that people who take garlic supplements are less likely to get a cold in the first place. Garlic is a cheap and easy ingredient to add to many dinners such as sauces, soups and stir fry.
- Probiotics work to boost the friendly bacteria in our gut. Harvard Health state that when the gut becomes unbalanced with unhealthy levels of certain bacteria, probiotics can help restore this balance. This can happen from eating a poor diet and taking antibiotics. Probiotics have been found to release protective substances, which help the immune system to prevent pathogens from taking hold and disease developing.
- Manuka honey is a special type of honey that is produced in New Zealand. Marie Claire magazine describe that manuka honey has healing properties which include being anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. It can be used to boost the immune system to help fight off illness, and it also helps with skin conditions. Manuka honey is expensive, depending on the concentration that you would like. It has a rating system so we can assess the strength before purchasing a product.
- Water is beneficial to us in many ways. Stefani Sassos, who is a registered dietician, explains why water is essential in Good Housekeeping Magazine. She advises that water works to prevent illness and to fight it. When ill we need two extra cups of water as day to help regenerate the immune building lymphatic cells. Water is always preferable over fruit juice, as many of these can cause fluctuations in blood sugar and leave us feeling tired. Medical News Today also report that drinking liquids at room temperature can help a cough, runny nose, and sneezing. Although if there are other symptoms of a cold or flu then it might be better to warm the beverage. In Chinese Medicine they recommend drinking warm water and Dr. M. Ling says that cold water has the effect of contracting, slowing and shrinking our systems. This can lead to an imbalance in internal body temperature and cause disharmony in our bodies.
- Broths are an easy way to combine a mass of immune boosting nutrition in an easy to make dinner. As they contain multiple vegetables it is a chance to eat a variety of vitamins and minerals and they also offer hydration from the water used to make a broth, and the liquid consistency. Perfect for vegans and vegetarians, and if you do eat meat then add chicken for a boost of protein, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and immune boosting zinc.
- Health Supplements in the form of capsules, soft gels and powders can help if we have any nutrient deficiencies or are looking to solve a health concern. They should never replace medical advice, but they can help ensure we have the recommended daily amount of all our vitamins and minerals if we struggle to get these from our diet. Many health shops offer expert advice on supplements, and always check with your doctor before embarking on a new supplement programme.
This list of foods that boost immune systems only contains a handful of some of the most studied and easy to get hold of options. At Nakin we are passionate about living a natural lifestyle, and the benefits of natural living. To find out more about Nakin and our award winning plant based skincare then visit us at www.nakinskincare.com Our full range is made in the UK and cruelty free. It contains everything that you need for a face care regime and offers free UK delivery.