Top 5 Immunity-Boosting Foods
By Marie Agnew
These are strange and uncertain times, and staying healthy is at the forefront of most of our minds. No time like the present to focus on your health. One of the best (and most delicious) ways to do this is by eating a nutrient-rich diet that supports your immune system.
Here are five of my favorite immunity-boosting foods:
1. Chicken soup/Bone broth: There’s a reason your mama gave you chicken soup when you were sick, and it’s good for more than just your soul. There is a considerable body of research to suggest that chicken soup can inhibit mucus production and decrease upper respiratory cold symptoms. Add in some garlic, chopped veggies, and ginger, and you’ve got some seriously delicious medicine.
2. Immune-boosting herbs and spices: Speaking of delicious medicine, don’t underestimate these power-packed flavors hiding in your fridge and pantry. Ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilies, and oregano all pack a pretty powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory punch, and they make pretty much everything taste that much better.
3. Greens: All the greens all the time. These OG superfoods are the embodiment of food as medicine. There’s a lot to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong. Kale, collards, spinach, chard, dandelion greens, arugula…whatever you choose, and however you prepare them, just eat them. Dr. Robynne Chutkin said if you want to: encourage the growth of good bacteria, heal inflammation, boost energy, and glow from the inside out. Then the single most important thing you need to do is eat greens every single day. I couldn’t agree more.
4. Fermented foods: Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha are more than just the latest trend. Humans across all cultures have been making and consuming fermented foods for thousands of years. They add unique flavors to any dish and are well known for their plethora of health benefits. One of the most significant benefits of fermented foods is the abundance of probiotics. Fermented foods help to create a healthier mix of microbes in the gut leading to improved digestion, increased nutrient absorption. Since 70% of the cells that make up your immune system lives in the gut, it makes sense that fermented foods are one of my top picks for boosting immunity.
5. Medicinal mushrooms: Traditional Chinese Medicine and other ancient healing traditions have long touted the benefits of medicinal mushrooms. Now it seems modern research is finally catching up. These power-packed fungi support a healthy gut microbiome, are potent antioxidants, and support healthy immune function. Some of my favorites include; reishi (or the mushroom of immortality), lion’s mane, chaga, and turkey tail mushrooms. Nowadays, you can find them online or in most health food stores. In powdered form, they can be easily mixed with cacao to make a tasty chocolate elixir.
These immunity-boosting foods will help you maintain your healthy habits (and they’re delicious too)!
As always, if you find yourself needing extra health support during these challenging times, contact Shift Functional Medicine today to set up a virtual health consultation, or see the rest of our articles for more healthy living tips!