Now more than ever we need our Immune System to be strong. It seems as if this virus is really most lethal in communities where people have compromised Immune systems due to underlying illnesses. This does not exclude the rare cases of individuals who appear healthy yet also have the virus, showing no symptoms. We cannot be the next victims.
In this blog I will list nutrient rich immune boosting foods that you can purchase from your local grocer. You do not have to be Vegan to eat immune boosting foods. All of the items listed below can be paired with your choice of protein. Set daily goals to intake more fresh and raw vegetables and fruits to increase nutrient absorption.
Organic produce may cost $0.25 to $1.00 more than non-organic produce. It’s really not expensive to buy organic produce. Even though you may not be able to purchase everything 100% Organic, consider only purchasing these items organic.
The “Dirty Dozen” Foods: Top 12 foods that contain the most pesticides.
Buy ONLY Organic!
Sweet bell peppers
Pesticides harm the nervous system, reproductive system and the endocrine system.
Short term Effects: Respiratory Tract irritation, Cough, Sore throat, Allergic sensation, Eye and Skin Irritation, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Headache, Loss of consciousness, extreme weakness, seizures and/or death.
Long term effects: Alzheimers, Attention Disorders, Parkinson’s, Asthma, Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Cancer and Skin Irritations have all been linked to pesticides in food.
EAT TO LIVE
IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS
Include at least one or more items from each list for immune boosting meals, check your recommended nutrient intake based on age to make sure that your daily requirements are met.
Benefits: Boosts antioxidant levels, lowers blood pressure, protects against gout attacks, improves iron absorption, boosts immunity, and reduces heart disease and dementia risk.
Foods high in Vitamin C: (remember buy organic if possible)
Green Plums (Kakadu)
Sweet Yellow Peppers
Benefits: Metabolizes nutrients, maintains your immune system and grows and repairs body tissues. Zinc also treats acne, ADHD, osteoporosis, prevents and treats pneumonia, increases sperm count, treats inflammatory diseases, treats colds and diarrhea and regulates neuron communication, affecting how memory is formed.
Foods high in Zinc:
Heating, sprouting, soaking or fermenting plant sources of zinc like legumes can increase this mineral’s use in your body.
Benefits: Protects Your Eyes From Night Blindness and Age-Related Decline, May Lower Your Risk of Certain Cancers, Supports a Healthy Immune System, Reduces Your Risk of Acne, Supports Bone Health, Promotes Healthy Growth and Reproduction.
Foods high in Vitamin A:
Amaranth (red or green)
Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
Sweet Red Pepper
Benefits: Fights Depression and Anxiety, Boosts Metabolism, Fights inflammation and autoimmune disease, Lower blood pressure, Reduce triglycerides, Slows the development of plaque in the arteries, Reduces the chance of abnormal heart rhythm, Reduces the likelihood of stroke, Lessens the chance of sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease, Improves mental disorders, Fights mental decline and Alzheimer's, Reduces Asthma in children, Reduces fat in liver, Improves bone and joint health, Alleviates menstrual pain, Improves sleep and Prevents Cancer
Foods high in Omega 3:
Benefits: Antioxidant that protects against heart disease, cancer, strokes, oxygenates the cells and tissues, Improves circulation, prevents unsaturated fatty acids and oil-soluble vitamins from destroying the body, prevents scar tissue from burns, protects and helps the lungs, capillaries and reproductive organs, Treats heart disease, varicose veins, angina pectoris, emphysema, hypoglycemia and leg ulcers. Stabilizes and protects from heavy metals like mercury and lead. Also protects from toxic compounds in cleaning supplies, drugs and radiation. Protects the thymus gland and circulates white blood cells from damaging. Important in immune function especially during stress and chronic illness. Relieves post-menstrual symptoms including fibrocystic breast disease, relieves hot flashes and menopausal vaginal issues.
Foods high in Vitamin E:
Fresh Cold pressed Wheat Germ Oil
Fresh Cold pressed Flaxseed Oil
* Do not cook and keep refrigerated.
Benefits: Increases the number of red blood cells in the body and hemoglobin in the blood, increases the way that oxygen flows throughout the lungs and body, boosts your mood by creating serotonin, and improves cognitive functions.
*Pair iron with Vitamin C to improve absorption
Foods high in Iron:
White kidney beans
Black Strap Molasses
Herbs that Boost the Immune system: Echinacea root, Dandelion, Red Clover, Kelp, Garlic, Astragalus and Alfalfa.
Can’t sleep, have anxiety?
Unplug from the news and social media and get some Vitamin D3. Ideally walking in the neighborhood for at least 30 minutes would do us all some good. We have to stay active now more than ever to keep our body circulating.
Listen to 256 Hz relaxing music before bed
and/or during rest:
Try bedtime yoga for a comfortable night sleep:
Reading a book before bedtime and just laying still and quiet can also help as you focus on your breathing.
Writing down your thoughts can help to clear your mind and make some space for peace of mind. If you are worried about deadlines create a list so that you can check them off when completed.
A warm bath can help soothe soreness and de-stress your mind. Add a few drops of your favorite calming essential oils to make it special.
Helpful Foods: Figs, dates, whole grain crackers.
Helpful Vitamins: Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C.
Helpful Herbs: Skullcap, Valerian, Hops, Passionflower, Lavender, Wormwood, Catnip.
Cited Sources: My life experiences and research, Natural Remedies Encyclopedia, Healthline and African Holistic Health.