10 Immune-Boosting Plant Superfoods For Flu Season
10 Immune-Boosting Plant Superfoods For Flu Season
With winter creeping up on us, the days are getting shorter, colder, and drier as time goes by. And a cold, dry atmosphere is the perfect environment for viruses to thrive in.
This is the season when the common cold and the flu get passed around easily due to reduced immunity and the fact that more people are cooped up indoors. Good news?! The right diet has been proven to reduce inflammation and sickness and boost your immune response. Here are ten superfoods that can work wonders in preventing viruses from invading your body this flu season.
1. Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushroom has been called ‘The Mushroom of Immortality’ for generations now, and contains healing and rejuvenating properties not found in any other food.
Packed with antioxidants, this mushroom is known to protect cells from damage and promote cell renewal, preserving the cells of the immune system and ensuring that they function effectively.
Reishi mushroom is also known to have a calming effect on the body, reducing inflammation and preventing autoimmune responses. An autoimmune response is when the immune system perceives inflammation as a threat and attacks the inflamed organ. This damages cells in the body and causes your immune system to lose valuable resources that would otherwise be needed to shield you from the flu.
By consuming reishi, you can suppress this autoimmune response, protecting your cells and conserving the strength of your immune system. These are a few of the reasons we add Reishi to our organic superfood Chocolate Magic protein powder!
2. Sweet Potato
Rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, sweet potato is especially beneficial to the immune system due to the presence of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin-A.
Vitamin-A is crucial in protecting and preserving the structure of the mucous membranes lining the nose and throat. These membranes are essentially your body’s first line of defense against invading pathogens, and a regular diet of sweet potato can keep them moist and healthy.
3. Green Tea
Green tea is a superfood known to aid with weight loss, improve appetite, and cleanse toxins from the body. Additionally, green tea is an excellent immune-system booster and can even help you heal quickly if you do happen to catch the flu.
It’s rich in a compound called catechins, known to have a positive effect on the immune system. Catechins boost the production of ‘T Cells’, compounds which directly kill infected cells, initiate the immune system’s response to threats, and help suppress autoimmune activity.
Citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, are rich in vitamin-C which is perhaps the most important nutrient for immunity.
Vitamin C helps to stimulate the production and functioning of certain types of white blood cells in the body, each of which fight disease-causing viruses in a number of different ways. This nutrient also stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies which bind with harmful foreign microbes, neutralizing their effect.
Ultimately, Vitamin-C also acts as a powerful antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals and toxins that are released from the interaction between WBCs and pathogens.
Blueberries happen to be one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet, and adding them to your diet can help your body neutralize free radicals and prevent cell damage.
By helping cell renewal and reducing the effects of free radicals, blueberries make your body a hostile environment for the flu virus and other pathogens.
6. 100% Cacao
Most of you will be excited to know that cacao is an excellent supplement in the fight against the flu.
The cacao contains a heavy concentration of theobromine, an antioxidant that has been proven to alleviate coughing.
Theobromine bolsters the functioning of the immune system by improving circulation and respiration while reducing blood pressure. This creates a more stable internal environment making it difficult, if not impossible, for viruses to breed. Just another superfoods we add in our organic superfood Chocolate Magic protein powder!
Garlic has been used as an antibacterial and anti-fungal for generations now, and this pungent plant is highly equipped to keep the flu at bay. Garlic helps to boost the production of T Cells, which, as mentioned earlier, are responsible for killing infected cells and suppressing inflammation response.
Garlic also contains allicin, a compound known to boost the function of certain types of white blood cells, which are essential in the fight against invading viruses.
This red fruit is packed with two nutrients that are vital for proper immune system functioning - Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
As mentioned earlier, vitamin A keeps the mucous lining healthy, restricting the entry of viruses and pathogens into the body. Vitamin C helps to regulate a healthy immune system response, fights free radicals, and aids in the production of white blood cells.
This middle-eastern delicacy is made from ground sesame seeds and is rich in magnesium and zinc - two nutrients that support a healthy immune system.
Magnesium helps to regulate a healthy inflammation response in the body, preventing the onset of autoimmune disease which may weaken the immune system. Zinc aids in the production of cytokines, a type of protein secreted by the cells of the immune system. Cytokines are known to regulate the functioning of the immune system, keeping it balanced and ensuring that its operating on a healthy level.
This bulbous fruit is packed with beta-carotene and zinc - two nutrients that are essential for a healthy immune system response. Pumpkins also contain moderate amounts of vitamin C and magnesium, making them a wholesome source of nutrition to support the immune system.
Heres a recipe you can try out with your organic jack-o-lanterns once the autumn festivities have concluded!
A diet rich in the nutrients mentioned on this list can help fortify your body, preventing even the slightest symptoms of a flu or cold.
And while a wholesome diet is essential for a healthy internal system, your lifestyle can also help determine the health and vitality of your immune system. Regular physical activity and plenty of relaxation are essential to boost immunity and keep your body in a state of balance, making it difficult for viruses to survive even if they happen to get into your system.
So include these foods in your diet and take up an activity like yoga or a workout program that will get your heart pumping.
All you need is the right workout, a plant-rich diet, connecting with nature, and worry less about the flu, this pandemic, or any other viruses along the way. Stay safe, Planet Fam! 🙏