The nutrient profiles of whole foods make them optimal for boosting immunity throughout cold and flu season.
Research has shown a well-balanced diet, which primarily consists of whole foods, is beneficial for overall health. Not only is consuming a nutrient-rich diet vital for gut and brain functioning but also for supporting a healthy immune system.
Certain fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs are often referred to as ‘superfoods’ because of their high nutrient density.
Blueberries, blackberries, and acai berries are excellent sources of antioxidants.
Incorporating these fruits into your diet can be as simple as adding blueberries to your pancakes in the morning or sprinkling some acai powder into your smoothie.
Even though acai berries have a deliciously tangy taste, they have low sugar content.
These berries also contain fatty acids such as omega-3s and omega-6s.
Walnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds, are rich in vitamins and minerals and make for a satisfying snack.
Nuts are also a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Walnuts contain iron, calcium, and zinc, which all play a vital role in safeguarding immune health.
Almonds contain magnesium, which can be helpful for regulating blood sugar levels and decreasing blood pressure.
Nuts can add texture and flavor to your favorite dishes, such as pastas and salads.
Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are known for their energy-boosting properties.
Much like nuts, seeds have a fair amount of helpful fatty acids and minerals, which enable our bodies to function optimally.
Flax and chia seeds are both good sources of fiber and omega-3s.
Hemp seeds are surprisingly high in protein and possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Seeds can be incorporated into smoothies, parfaits, and leafy green dishes.
4.Spices and herbs
Spices and herbs are derived from plants and can be used to color, flavor, or preserve foods.
Curcumin, a member of the ginger family, is what gives turmeric its deep orange color.
Turmeric contains hundreds of beneficial components such as iron, potassium, and zinc, just to name a few.
Garlic is another commonly used seasoning with immune system benefits.
Garlic is made up of sulfur compounds and vitamins which work in the body to strengthen cell functioning and ward off illness.
Although both of these spices have a strong taste, they blend nicely to the flavor profile of many savory dishes.
5.Vitamin infused drinks
While the consistent consumption of all vitamins is important for proper bodily functioning, some vitamins are more well-known than others when it comes to enhancing immune health.
Vitamin C packets, juices, and infused water drinks are popular during this time of year.
Vitamin C is believed to help reduce free radicals in the body which then lowers our susceptibility to illnesses.
Vitamins B6 and E are also top contenders among immune supporting nutrients.
Herbal teas are a great way to drink your vitamins and minerals, without consuming added sugar or artificial ingredients.
When choosing vitamin-rich products, check the Daily Value percentages on the nutrition labels to better understand the contents of these items.