Hippocrates, considered the father of Western medicine, is often quoted as saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Most of us know that a poor diet can contribute to poor health, but there are also certain foods that can support your immune system and increase your body’s resilience. As flu season peaks, here are a few foods that can help you boost your immunity through your diet.
Sophia Ruan Gushée is contributing to this article for Willy B Mum today. She is a New York City Mother of three who, upon leaving a career in investment management to spend more time with her children, began a journey to build the healthiest and safest environment possible for her family. I am sure many of you can relate to wanting that, I know that I can.
Her mission to become a truly conscious consumer led her into 5 years of research on the many toxins we are exposed to on a day-to-day basis, as well as the possible effects these substances can have on our lives – now that is dedication!
What manifested from all of this is Sophie’s first book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures. The book includes outdoor environments, your home, body, and diet.
Here, Sophia shares 5 commonly available foods that can help boost your immunity, are readily available and are easy enough to incorporate into your diet. By doing this, you can help ward off bugs, which are more prevalent moving into the colder months.
Foods to boost your immunity
Starting your morning with tea can actually help keep you healthy. Teas can be rich in antioxidants and polyphenols including flavonoids, which can help ward off illness.
Green, white, and black teas are great choices, as they have higher concentrations of antioxidants than other varieties. For the best herbal teas, choose ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea. Stick to varieties that are organic to reduce exposures to pesticides.
Everyone has heard that vitamin C is key in warding off illnesses, and citrus fruits are known for their high concentration of the vitamin. Other orange-colored foods are also beneficial for immune support, containing antioxidants and nutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene. Try adding squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangoes and papayas to your recipes.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, arugula, bok choy, brussels sprouts, and broccoli, offer a rich supply of vitamins – including vitamin K, vitamin E and vitamin C – that may help prevent and fight inflammation and illnesses, including cancer.
While the cultivated white or “button” mushrooms commonly found in grocery stores actually include natural carcinogens, certain varieties contain valuable immune-boosters. Shiitake, Enoki, Maitake, and Reishi mushrooms have a long history of medicinal use, and are known to help prevent cardiovascular diseases and stimulate the immune system.
Often called a “superfood,” garlic has been used to fight illness for centuries, and is known to combat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. The active chemical, allicin, is not only responsible for garlic’s immunity-boosting power, but also its powerful smell. You can reap the benefits from eating cooked garlic: peel a few cloves, chop them, and then let them sit for 20 minutes before cooking. By letting the garlic rest, you will activate the immunity boosting nutrients, and allow the garlic to develop to its fullest potential.
We hope you enjoyed this article, thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.
Sophia Ruan Gushée earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and a Master in Business Administration from Columbia University. She is also a certified yoga teacher, living in New York City with her family. A to Z of D-Toxing, is her first book and available on Amazon. For more information visit: www.nontoxicliving.tips
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