So, you’re home. And so are the kids. With all of the changes everyone is going through right now, one thing hasn’t changed: the need to eat! Whether you’re over-snacking or trying to make a positive change in your diet while having more time around the house, doing all we can to make sure our immune systems are running in top form is top of mind for most of us these days.
So next time you venture out for the highlight of your day—a run to the grocery store (ha!)—make sure you toss a few of these powerful immune-boosting ingredients and foods into your cart. You’ll not only add some flavor to your day but also some extra peace-of-mind that you’re giving your body what it needs to stay strong and healthy during an unsettling time for all of us.
Chicken soup is a staple for surviving cold and flu season, and not just because the warm comfort food is a nostalgic throwback to mom taking care of you. According to studies done by the University of Los Angeles California, this soup has an anti-inflammatory effect and calms down inflammation in the upper respiratory tract that takes place when you develop a cold. The university also noted that the soup helps relieve nasal congestion.
When it comes to treating a common cold, ginger is one of the best foods for relief. In a review published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, researchers summarized that ginger’s potent anti-inflammatory properties were key in the root’s powers to combat a cold or flu. Because inflammation can affect your body’s immune response, anti-inflammatory ginger can play a key role in boosting your immunity.
Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved.
Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.
Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells, and is also found in PURE products Daily Build, Metabolic One and Sleeptrim.
When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6.
Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.
Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.
Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted Source, garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
Spinach made our list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.
When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.
You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, researchTrusted Source shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.
Shellfish isn’t what jumps to mind for many who are trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are packed with zinc. Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.
Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:
Note that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet. For adult men, it’s 11 milligrams (mg), and for women, it’s 8 mg. Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.
The PURE Immunity Line-up
Keep in mind that eating right will give you the foundation your immune system needs to fight off potential illness. In addition to including these immune-boosting ingredients into your new day-to-day routine, go a step further by using some of PURE’s top immunity-strengthening products as an added layer of defense.
- Gives your body the vitamins and fortification it needs to sustain health and well-being.
- Excellent source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant which can contribute to healthy immune function.
- Excellent source of Vitamin D3, which supports both bone health and the immune system through enhanced muscle strength.
- Excellent source of Selenium, which neutralizes free radicals and supports a healthy immune system.
- Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) may boost the immune system and offers antioxidant properties.
- Supports good digestion*
- Promotes a healthy immune system*
- Encourages an optimal balance of friendly gut bacteria*
- Helps prevent overgrowth of yeasts and pathogenic enterobacteria*
- Assists in nutrient absorption*
- May help relieve occasional intestinal distress and discomfort*
- Contains inulin and acacia, prebiotic fibers that support the colonization of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract
- Patented SilverSol nanotechnology allows for safe internal usage to boost the immune system.
- Supports respiratory maintenance. Helps maintain sinus clarity
- Bolsters the body’s external immune fighting capabilities.
- A high concentration of stabilized hypochlorous acid (HOCI) kills bacteria, viruses and fungi without harming cells important to the healing process.
- Works with a non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing formula. Antibiotic-free, steroid-free, alcohol-free, and environmentally safe.
- Fusion contains all four PURE superfruits: goji berry, acai berry, noni fruit, and mangosteen fruit.
- All superfruits are recognized for their health-promoting properties in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM seeks to promote harmony and balance between the mind, body, and spirit.
*Nutritional Source: healthline.com