Feeding our bodies with certain foods can help keep our immune system strong. If you are looking for ways to prevent colds, and the flu, the first step should be a trip to your local grocery store. Plan your meals to include these powerful immune system boosters.
They are plants poor in starch. Almost every doctor and nutritionist in the world will tell you to eat vegetables to stay healthy. But when it comes to boost your immune system, starchy vegetables like potatoes are not meant help your immune system. Instead, eat greens like spinach and kale, which will help your immune system work properly.
Non-starchy vegetables are very low in calories and high in water content. Yet, they have an impressive nutritional profile and provide you with almost all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Use garlic as a condiment. Your bad breath will probably be felt all the way to your neighbor's house, but this is great food. It is an antioxidant that helps fight against the aging of your cells. It is rich in minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium) and trace elements (iron, zinc...). All these elements participate in the good functioning of our body.
A non-exhaustive list of non-starchy vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, bean sprouts, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, salad greens, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, zucchini...
We advise you to add lots of fermented (lactic acid bacteria processed) vegetables, such as kimchi or sauerkraut to your diet. These foods boost your immune system and help create a healthier gut microbiota that may protect you from infection.
Easy to prepare at home, sauerkraut is going to be a great ally. It is rich in fiber, and vitamins A, C, K and various vitamins B. It is also a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. Spicier than sauerkraut, kimchi is also a form of fermented cabbage. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, and C and minerals such as iron, calcium, and selenium.
A non-exhaustive list of fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, pickles, lemons…
For those with a delicate stomach (stomach diseases, allergies, intolerance, irritable bowel...) or who wish to avoid bloating prefer a diet low in the next foods listed :
Fruits : Lemon, ripe banana, black currant, strawberry, raspberry, passion fruit, orange, rhubarb, pineapple, grapefruit, clementine, blueberry, blackberry, orange, melon.
Vegetables : Carrot, green bean, zucchini, palm heart, celery, parsnip, red bell pepper, lamb's lettuce, endive, cucumber, pumpkin, squash, radish, spinach shoots.
Legumes : Lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans...
Starchy foods : Cereals containing gluten (rye, oats, wheat, barley, triticale)
If you are an omnivore, meat, fish, and poultry are better. If you don't eat them, then take grains and legumes. Proteins are a constitutive element of the tissues and organs of our body, which makes them essential to rebuild healthy cells. Protein is essential because our bodies cannot make it from other nutrients. The only way to supply our body with protein is to eat.
A non-exhaustive list of protein-rich foods :
Animal : eggs, white meat, red meat, fish and seafood, lean deli meats (watch out for salt), cheese, and dairy products.
Vegetables (combine cereal and legume sources because portions of vegetable proteins alone are incomplete): rice + lentils, rice + beans, wheat + chickpeas, corn + black beans, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, dried fruits...
Drink a lot of water
Water is important to boost your immune system, whether you are trying to avoid getting sick or are already fighting a cold. Drinking juice or soda when you are not well will only make you feel worse. Because our body's fluid needs increase when we are sick, drinking two extra cups of water on top of your daily minimum can help the regeneration of immune-fighting lymph cells to make your body feel stronger.
Soups and stews (which provide amino acids and immune-boosting minerals) can be relaxing because the heat helps relieve congestion. Chicken soup also provides more protein and will keep you well hydrated. It's not called grandma's penicillin for nothing !
Eating well is a good start, and there are other things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu, colds, and other illnesses. These include reducing your sugar intake, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing your stress levels.