Boost immune system function with these foods and herbs.
- Garlic. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. The compound allicin is what researchers believe give garlic such power. When you are chopping garlic, have you noticed that sticky substance that forms, causing the garlic to stick to your knife? That sticky stuff is allicin. To get the most benefit from the garlic you use, chop it finely and let it sit for 5 minutes. In those 5 minutes, the allicin will develop fully.
- Onions. Onions are naturally anti-microbial. The sulfides in onions make them similar to garlic. Onions also contain allicin and should be chopped up finely. Letting the chopped onions rest will allow allicin to fully develop.
- Fermented Foods. Fermented foods contain the natural bacteria that helps your digestive system work efficiently. You’ve heard the buzz about probiotics? Fermented foods contain all the live bacteria from food, rather than a supplement. Great examples are: yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, or sauerkraut. Make sure to choose a low sugar, healthy option. Fermented foods are easy to make at home.
- Sweet Potatoes. Naturally high in Vitamin A and sulfur, sweet potatoes need their own spotlight as an immune boosting food. They are rich in beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are a natural, powerful anti-oxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory.
- Mushrooms. Mushrooms naturally power up your immune system by fueling white blood cells. If you suspect an infection, mushrooms are an easy way to power up. The most powerful sources of immune boosting mushrooms are Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake.
- Elderberries. Elderberries pack a powerful punch of immunity. These little black berries have been common treatment for AIDS patients, cancer patients, and were used in flu pandemics throughout history. Elderberry syrups are becoming quite popular and found almost everywhere.
- Oysters. Oysters contain a high amount of zinc. Zinc has been reported to shorten the length of colds and virus attacks. Zinc is very important in the healing of wounds, which makes it a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is rich in all the fatty acids that we need to assimilate proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Coconut oil increases the benefit of all other powerful immune boosting foods.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon is naturally anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. Cinnamon destroys the pathogens that cause illness.
- Lentils. Lentils are one of the only foods naturally high in Vitamin E. They are also high in fiber, protein, iron, and are easily digestible. When someone in my family begins to show small symptoms of being under the weather, I reach for lentils and make a rich soup with many of the ingredients above to boost immune system function in all of us.
While I have trouble ending with only 10 immune boosters, here are some of my other favorites: lemons, kale, broccoli, herbal infusions, grapefruit, cayenne pepper, oregano, turmeric, ginger, and nettles.
What are your favorite ways to boost immune system function?