The best way to prevent illness is to exercise and eat the right foods, and Health Fitness Revolution made a list that will keep your immune system strong against bacteria and viruses- such as the Coronavirus COVID-19 (we have an article on staying safe here). Should you contract it, keep eating these healthy immune-boosting foods as well! Stay healthy!
Fresh, Raw Garlic: Strong smelling foods such as garlic are very healthy because they contain allicin, an antimicrobial. A British study found that people who took allicin supplements got 46% fewer colds. We recommend incorporating 3 cloves a day. To read all the health benefits of garlic, read our article here.
Mushrooms: These fungi possess two big weapons you need this flu season: selenium, which helps white blood cells produce cytokines that clear sickness, and beta-glucan, an antimicrobial type of fiber, which helps activate “superhero” cells that find and destroy infections.
Wild Salmon: High in Vitamin D, a study recently found that those deficient in Vitamin D were 40% to contract respiratory infections. It is important to note that the salmon that is the healthiest is from the wild, not farm-raised.
Coconuts and Coconut Oil: Coconuts and coconut oil are rich in lauric acid, a compound proven to boost immunity. Lauric acid is actually known to disrupt the membranes of invading pathogens. Try substituting your cooking oil with coconut oil or try adding coconut oil to your oatmeal, smoothies, etc. To read about all the health benefits of coconut oil read our Healthiest Cooking Oils article.
Tea: Researchers at Harvard University found that drinking five cups of black tea a day quadrupled the body’s immune defense system after two weeks, probably because of theanine. Tea also contains catechins, including ECGC, which act like a cleanup crew against free radicals. We recommend you drink 3 cups of tea a day during flu season and read our Healthiest Teas list.
Yogurt: The digestive tract is one of your biggest immune organs, so keep disease-causing germs out with probiotics and prebiotics, found in naturally fermented foods like yogurt. The University of Vienna, in Austria, performed a study that showed that those with healthier digestive tracts were less likely to get sick. We suggest Greek yogurt because it contains more protein.
Oysters: Oysters are full of zinc, and zinc rallies the troops, or white blood cells, to attack bacteria and viruses like flu or cold. One medium oyster provides nearly all of the zinc you need for a day.
Sweet Potato: They are full of beta-carotene, which improves your body’s defenses. It’s instrumental in the growth and development of immune system cells and helps neutralize harmful toxins. Other great sources are other orange foods such as carrots, squash, pumpkin, egg yolks and cantaloupe.
Dark Chocolate: The high doses of cocoa support T-helper cells, which increase the immune system’s ability to defend against infection and viruses. To read about the health benefits of dark chocolate, read our article here.
Strawberries: The vitamin C found in strawberries is immune-boosting and studies show it can reduce the intensity and duration of cold and flu. One cup of strawberries provides 160% of your daily needs.