Now more than ever it’s important to protect our bodies against viruses, colds, and flus. To do this we must understand how to best support our immune system.
So, what is the immune system?
Your immune system protects you against foreign invaders including viruses, germs, bacteria, and toxins. The main role of the immune system is fight against these invaders to alleviate or lessen the burden on the body. The immune system is made up of a complex system of organs and cells, which include white blood cells, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, skin, mucus membrane, stomach, and bowel. White blood cell’s main role is to travel though the blood and tissue to find these foreign invaders and attack them. They include lymphocytes (such as B-cells, T-cells and natural killer cells), and many other types of immune cells.
Here is a list of a few of our favourite immune boosting foods
- Citrus Fruit
Most citrus fruit contain great levels of Vitamin C, which is said to support the growth of white blood cells. Some citruses include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines, and clementine’s. The recommended daily allowance for women is 75mg and 90mg for men.
Citrus fruits aren’t the only food that contain high levels of Vitamin C, capsicum contains almost three times the amount of vitamin C than a standard orange. It also has the added benefit of beta carotene which supports great skin and hair.
Broccoli is considered a powerful superfood, as it’s packed with vitamin A, C and E as well as many antioxidants. Antioxidants are great to curb free radical damage in body caused by exposure to toxins, viruses, infections etc.
Garlic contains a compound called Allicin which helps block free radicals damage that harm cells and tissues in your body. These compounds also support white blood cells defence response when they are faced with viruses.
Ginger has powerful inflammatory properties which support reducing inflammation caused with sore throats. Ginger may also decrease chronic pain caused with viruses.
Almonds are packed with Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and a key ingredient to a healthy immune system. The recommend daily allowance is just 15mg, which is equivalent to half a cup of almonds.
Turmeric is a fantastic spice that delivers antiviral and anti-flammatory properties. It is a great spice to add to cooking or to coffee or tea.
- Green Tea
Green Tea is packed with antioxidants particularly flavonoids and epigallocatechin which help fight viruses. Green tea is also a great source of l-theanine which may aid in the bodies defence against germs.
- Kiwi Fruit
Like oranges, Kiwi Fruit are packed with Vitamin C, they also contain potassium, folate, and vitamin, which are great vitamins to support overall health.
In summary balance is key, making sure you get ample fruits, vegetables and spices into your diet is a sure way to help your immune system and your bodies defences.