There’s no better time to eat healthful foods than now. Focusing on improving your diet will not just keep you in great shape, but also enhance your immunity from various diseases and viruses, including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has swept across the globe, infecting over a hundred thousand people to date. But what kind of food exactly should we be consuming to boost our immune system?
While frequent, careful hand washing is still the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19, there’s no harm in taking extra precautions to avoid infection by nourishing your body with foods that have high immunity-boosting properties. Here are just some of them:
In its purest form, honey is usually nearly translucent in color and is packed with nutritional benefits—most of which are lost over the course of pasteurization and filtration during the processing of commercial variants. Raw honey contains antioxidants, as well as antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. To take advantage of these, have at least a teaspoon of raw honey daily, or, better yet, add it to your favorite drinks and salad dressings.
For the longest time, ginger has been known to provide antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory action to fight the first signs of the flu and other viruses. This zinc-rich root vegetable is most effective when eaten raw, but others prefer it as an ingredient to give their dishes a fragrant aroma. You may also boil it to for a soothing tea—feel free to add some honey and a squeeze of lemon!
Consuming anti-inflammatory-rich foods is a must, especially when preparing your immune system for battle. Turmeric—either fresh or in powder form—is a powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ingredient, which you can easily include in your soups and other dishes.
You might want to slice up an extra onion for your salad or salsa because it’s rich in infection-fighting compounds like Vitamins C, B, and E, which also reduces your risk of contracting other diseases
Like onions, garlic is packed with anti-viral elements that may help your body fend off infection. While it is a common ingredient found in most dishes, garlic is best consumed raw for the optimum effect of its nutrients. Does chewing on a clove or two sound too hardcore for you (and not to mention, garlic breath—eek)? You can mince garlic, instead, and spread it on toast with butter or honey for a yummy breakfast, snack, or side.
Fancy a cup of tea? Well, you should. It’s common knowledge that green tea is rich in antioxidants, but that’s just one of the many benefits your body can get from it. Green tea is actually rich in flavonoids, which scientifically exhibit high anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties that are believed to block the production of virus-spreading enzymes in the body.
Because over 70 percent of the immune system can be found in the lining of your gut, it’s only right that you keep it healthy. Support it by consuming foods rich in probiotics like yogurt. Not only does it aid in digestion, it also helps rev your body’s ability to get rid of infection.
Double up on Vitamin C with lemon and other citruses. Perfect for drinks and desserts, it makes getting your daily dose of Vitamin C easy and even enjoyable!
At the end of the day, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is crucial to keeping our immune system healthy. And of course, it’s important that we all take the necessary precautions to prevent infection (e.g. frequent hand-washing, avoiding crowds, etc.).
What other food to boost the immune system do you recommend? Tell us below!