This is the time of year when our immune system is working in overdrive. It’s been a rough winter filled with stomach bugs, colds, and the flu making the rounds. With our homes sealed up tightly to keep the cold air out, germs end up hanging around longer than we would like. It turns out that viruses could have an easier time spreading in the colder temperatures. There’s also a good chance that your immune response is slower in the colder weather, making it more challenging to stay healthy.
There are simple ways to naturally strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy throughout the winter months.
Adding a few nutritious foods to your diet is a simple way to boost your immune system and pave the way for optimal health.
Broccoli is a family favorite. It’s one of the only vegetables that all three of my kids will eat. Broccoli is a superfood, with a laundry list of super powers. One cup of broccoli fuels the immune system with a large dose of beta-carotene and multiple trace minerals.
A bowl of oatmeal is an easy, nutritious crowd pleaser. Add a few mix-ins to that bowl of oatmeal and you have your own fabulous creation. Oatmeal contains beta-glucan which helps to improve our immune response to bacterial infections. So grab yourself a bowl of oatmeal in the morning or anytime throughout the day.
Garlic is one of my favorite spices for a number of reasons. This spice is truly an immune system booster packed with nutrients the help ward off colds and the flu. It’s also known for its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties.
There’s some truth in the saying “a handful of nuts a day keeps the doctor away.” Nuts are filled with essential nutrients for optimal immune system function. Chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and zinc, nuts are a great way to give your immune system a big boost.
Fish is top notch for so many healthy reasons. When you’re looking for a fish to improve immune function focus on oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna. Be aware that too much of a big fish isn’t a good thing since there can be substantial amounts of mercury. But fish in moderation is a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D.
Bring on the berries! Aside from being delicious, berries are a great way to add important antioxidants to your diet. Eating berries can give a serious boost to your immune system and help keep you healthy throughout the year.
I have to admit that I’m pretty excited to have sweet potatoes on this list. It’s hard not to like these delicious potatoes which are rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene, two important nutrients needed for immune strength.
What are your favorite immune boosters to help keep away colds and the flu?