The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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garlic bread
Whether you have an immunity disorder, need to give your body an extra hand with flushing toxins, or you just want to help keep your body in top shape, eating the right foods can be a great benefit to your immune system. Despite the stigma that healthy food just isn’t meant to taste good, some of the most common garnishments and flavors also carry the greatest benefits for your immunity. Here are some of the best foods for boosting your immune system.

Onions


Onions are known for their high vitamin C content, which is important for cellular health. The phytochemicals in onions are also good for your immune system. Onions additionally promote better absorption of nutrients in the colon, which can further help you ward off illnesses caused by bacteria and viruses. Because of their sharp taste, onions are generally eaten cooked into rolls and bagels, used as pizza toppings, or pan-fried with other vegetables. They are great for adding flavor to just about any recipe and are incredibly beneficial to your immune system

Garlic


Known for promoting better heart health, garlic contains other nutrients that can aid in immunity against certain ailments and diseases. The sulfuric compounds in garlic can inhibit bacterial growth. Garlic also contains calcium and potassium. You can buy garlic in whole, crushed or minced form and add it to pasta sauces and other recipes. There are also garlic supplements on the market that can be taken regularly for optimal immune health.

Leafy Greens


Leafy green vegetables can be included in salads and other nutritious dishes to give your immune system the boost that it needs to keep you healthy. Examples of leafy greens include romaine lettuce, collard greens, and Swiss chard. These types of vegetables contain vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation. Dark leafy green vegetables contain even more vitamins and nutrients that are good for you. Even though many of these contain bitter chemicals that certain populations can taste, that bitterness is greatly reduced when cooked. If you’re having trouble getting leafy greens in your diet, consider adding them to casseroles, taco salads, or even baked into bread for a healthy garnishment.

Ginger


According to Healthline, consuming more ginger is an excellent way to decrease inflammation and reduce the effects of a sore throat and other inflammatory ailments. Ginger also has the power to reduce nausea and pain. Nutritional value is increased thanks to its vitamin B-5 and B-6 levels. These are essential vitamins that are important for your immune and lymphatic systems. Ginger often works great in Thai and Korean dishes such as ginger noodles, and of course, give a strong kick to bread and other baked goods. Ginger is a great superfood to have when you’re feeling sick, or even simply to prevent disease overall.

Sweet Potatoes


These naturally sweet potatoes contain vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones and teeth and helps with promoting better skin, nerve, and thyroid gland health. Yellow and orange sweet potatoes contain potent levels of beta-carotene that help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. The anthocyanin in purple sweet potatoes is known for their anti-oxidative properties. Sweet potatoes can be used in pies and casseroles, and make a fantastic addition to your diet at any point of the year.
Good health starts with your diet, and you can keep your immune system strong by eating the right foods. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, and the most delicious, indulgent foods can actually be the best aids for your health. If you’re looking to give your system a boost, find ways to combine these and other great immune-healthy foods into your weekly diet.




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