As the temperature starts to get colder, the sneezing and sniffling noises surround us. Many of us are just expecting to get sick, feeling as if it’s unavoidable. If you eat the right foods and take the proper precautions, you could strengthen your immune system and avoid getting sick this year.
Here are six powerful immune-boosting superfoods that can help your body fight off sickness and infections.
Garlic adds so much flavor to food, but you might want to use it a little extra during this cold and flu season. Once garlic is crushed, it produces a compound called allicin, which has strong anti-bacterial properties. It also boosts your immune response. However, this compound only lasts for a short moment after the garlic is crushed. If you’re seasoning your food with fresh garlic, make sure to eat it shortly after you crush it for maximum benefits.
Matcha is a true superfood. It contains exceptionally high levels of antioxidants, which help your body fight off disease-causing free radical compounds. The antioxidants in matcha boost the function of your immune cells and decrease inflammation, which means that if you do get sick, matcha can help alleviate your symptoms. Matcha also contains antimicrobial properties that can fight off any invading pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria.
3. Probiotic-rich foods
The billions of good bacteria residing in your body are a defense system of their own. However, when we get sick or our immune system is down, the population of good bacteria in our bodies decreases. As a result, the pathogenic bacteria now have space to reside and invade, causing infection and inflammation. By eating probiotics, we are ingesting more of these good bacteria and restoring this defense system. Yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and tempeh are all great sources of probiotics.
Cinnamon is a powerful spice that is rich in immune-boosting antioxidants. Antioxidants are some of the most important compounds for strengthening your immune system, so make sure to load up on them to prevent getting sick. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it can decrease inflammation in your body that is responsible for many of the symptoms you have when you do get sick.
Ginger is not only useful in relieving nausea and digestive issues, but it also contains potent anti-microbial properties that can help the immune system fight off infection. Ginger contains a powerful compound known as gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
6. Acai berries
Acai berries might be challenging to find fresh, but they’re equally as powerful as a powder or frozen. They contain an extremely high number of antioxidants and are one of the most effective free-radical fighting foods on the planet. They also have a high fiber content, which not only aids digestion but also serves as food for those good bacteria in our gut. This means that high-fiber foods, such as acai berries, help increase the population of healthy bacteria in our bodies and, as a result, inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.