If you want to boost your immune system naturally, the key is to look at your diet. There are plenty of herbal supplements and foods that can strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy.

Astragalus Root

Astragalus root is a plant that grows across Asia, the herb is often used in Chinese medicine and its Chinese name is ‘huang, qi’. In alternative medicine, astragalus root is used to strengthen immunity. It’s believed that astragalus works by boosting the production of our immune cells. Research also suggests that astragalus root may have some antiviral properties.

You can purchase astragalus root in supplement form, or you can try an astragalus root tea. The tea is said to have an earthy taste, with a subtle hint of sweetness.

Ashwagandha

According to a study from the African Journal Of Alternative Medicines, ‘ Ashwagandha improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity.’

The herb is said to have antioxidant properties, which can protect our cells from free radical damage.

Ashwagandha is a herb that’s native to Africa, India, and the Middle East. The herb is an adaptogen, which means it can support the body to ease stress. Some studies indicate that ashwagandha can also lower blood sugar levels. Like astragalus, you can buy ashwagandha in tea or supplement form.

Ginseng

The term ginseng covers 11 varieties of plant, these plants have fleshy roots, long stalks, and oval-shaped leaves. Ginseng plants are light green in color, during the summertime they bloom with yellow-white flowers and produce red berries later in the year. Consuming Ginseng has many health benefits, from boosting immunity to lowering stress levels and reducing cholesterol. Ginseng is usually consumed as a tea, and sometimes ginseng is added to soup recipes.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

As the name suggests, these mushrooms closely resemble the fanned- tail of a turkey. You may also hear these referred to by the scientific name of ‘ Trametes versicolor’. In Chinese Medicine, Turkey Tail Mushrooms are called ‘Yun Zhi’.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms are known to support immune health, as well as liver health and gut health. These mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, known to protect the body from free radical damage. You can use Turkey Tail Mushrooms to make a range of delicious recipes, from Turkey Tail Mushroom risotto to soup. There’s plenty of info online about Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits, Usage, and Side Effects.

Walnuts

Walnuts contain plenty of antioxidants, plus Omega-3. Antioxidants protect our bodies against disease, helping to boost immunity. Research from My Cleveland Clinic concludes that omega 3 can improve cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation. It’s thought that the polyphenols act as anti-inflammatories. The zinc content helps to boost the immune system and supports metabolism.

Kale

Kale is everywhere these days, from kale smoothies to crispy kale and kale frittatas! This leafy green is super nutritious, containing vitamins A, K, and C. When we consume vitamin C, this can increase the antioxidant levels in the bloodstream. Vitamin A is one of the best vitamins to improve immune system function. Besides boosting the immune system, eating kale has lots of other benefits, including:

Research shows that eating kale can lower your cholesterol.

The body needs vitamin K to support wound healing and the bones.

Kale contains substances known to fight cancer.

Fish

Fish is loaded with omega-3, and vitamin D. Eating plenty of fish will help you to keep your immune system strong. The antioxidants are helpful to reduce the risk of disease and infection. Research has also suggested that consuming fish can reduce cognitive decline, and boost cardiovascular health.

If you eat a vegan diet you can get omega-3 from foods like chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and hemp seed oil. Soybeans also contain a small amount of omega-3.

Spinach

Spinach is just about one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. One of the minerals includes folic acid, which supports both cell function and tissue growth. Spinach also contains iron which supports our bodies to produce hemoglobin. There are so many ways to enjoy spinach whether it’s sauteing, steaming or raw spinach on a salad.

Watermelon

Watermelon is one of the best fruits to boost the immune system. The fruit contains vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. The fruit is also a great source of glutathione and vitamin B6. We need all these nutrients and vitamins to support immune function. Other health benefits of eating watermelon include:

A study from Medical News Today found that watermelon helped to lower blood pressure.

Consuming watermelon will keep you hydrated, considering the water content is about 90%. The fruit also contains electrolytes.

Research shows that watermelon may help to aid recovery time after exercise.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are both delicious and nutritious. They contain plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which are important for immune function. Sweet potatoes are free from fat and cholesterol, plus they contain fiber. You can cook sweet potatoes in many different ways, whether it’s roasted, boiled, or mashed.

Broccoli

Broccoli is packed with nutrients, these contain zinc, magnesium, beta-carotene, and plenty of B vitamins. They contain the powerful antioxidant glutathione, and vitamin C. Research suggests that broccoli can reduce inflammation, as well as boost the immune system and offer protection against cancer.

Healthy eating apps

Looking for a few apps to help you eat healthier and boost your immune system? Try these top picks:

SuperFood: Using this app you can find lots of tasty recipes which focus on superfoods. You can fill in the nutrition diary, and track your healthy eating progress. There are plenty of recipes to choose from whether you want vegetarian, low carb, or seasonal dishes.

Green Kitchen

This app is a great resource for vegetarian recipes. These recipes focus on lots of vegetables that boost the immune system. There are lots of features to take advantage of, including shopping lists, cooking times, category tags, and photo guides.

The app also contains some great healthy eating tips.

When you make the right dietary choices it’s easy to strengthen your immune system. Learning about nutrition will motivate you to make great decisions, and put your health first. Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve your well being.

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