In this post, I would like to share how you can stay healthy by consuming immunity-boosting foods. This post is backed by medical research from renowned sources: Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical School, and the UNC School of Nutrition.
First, this. A Harvard Medical school article on immunity talks about how our body needs balance and harmony to function well and suggests healthy living strategies such as not smoking, eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercising, reducing stress, sleeping well and drinking less alcohol.
In addition, the Cleveland Clinic suggests not to depending on supplements alone and adding a bunch of vitamins (listed below) to your diet. University of North Carolina's Lineberger Nutrition program outlines the recommended dietary allowance and warns that over-consumption of these vitamins may even have a negative effect on our immune system. So, please review their limits and do not go over their suggested upper limit.
Lets look at all the vitamins and minerals our body needs and what vegetarian foods that you should consume to stay healthy.
Vitamin C : Citrus fruits, yes. But also in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, grapefruit, pineapple, watermelon, strawberries and papaya
Vitamin E: Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds, vegetable oil, spinach and broccoli
Vitamin B6: Bananas, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocado, pistachios and chickpeas
Vitamin A: Carotenoids such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and squash, tomatoes, eggs, greens, broccoli and apricots
Vitamin D: Milk, orange juice and fortified cereals
Folic acid: Beans, peas, leafy vegetables and fortified whole-grain products, rice and enriched bread
Iron: Beans, fortified cereals, lentils, beans, chickpeas, green peas, eggs, nuts, rice, spinach, broccoli and kale
Selenium: Garlic, broccoli, Brazilian nuts, eggs, cottage cheese, beans, lentils, brown rice and barley
Copper: Sunflower seeds, almonds, lentils, dried apricots, asparagus, turnip greens, mushroom, dark chocolate
Zinc: Baked beans (skip the kind with added sugar), yogurt and chickpeas
Finally, advocates of alternative medicine suggest that honey, ginger, lemon, and garlic are all natural immunity boosters with antiviral or antioxidant properties. Curcumin in turmeric helps regulate the immune system. Teas such as peppermint tea, green tea, and elderberry tea as well as echinacea supplements all help with immunity support.
So, in summary, an anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean-style or plant-based diet with probiotics, reduced stress, good sleep routines, moderate exercise and a calm, peaceful state of mind are the best defenses against any big bad virus that you may encounter.