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9 Foods that Help Boost Your Immune System

Feel like you’re always getting sick? Or want to avoid catching a cold that’s going around the office? First, make sure you’re getting enough sleep! After that, start adding some immune-boosting foods to your diet.

But, what are these special magical foods you ask? Keep reading.

1. Yogurt

Whether you eat dairy, almond, soy, or coconut milk yogurt–we can all agree that yogurt is delicious and a very easy snack to have on the go!

What makes yogurt so good for your immune system? Live and active cultures.

Your immune system depends greatly on gut health. Live and active cultures are probiotics that promote digestion and healthy gut bacteria.

What we consume can greatly affect our gut microbes and our body’s vitamin-intake, digestion habits, and energy level.

Yogurt contains healthy proteins, vitamins, and “good bacteria” so whether you eat it with granola, some local honey, or plain–it’s a wonderful addition to your diet!

2. Elderberry

Elderberry syrup is a powerful tool to help boost your immune system. Whether you’re trying not to get sick, or you’re already sick and want to recover as soon as possible, elderberry is your friend.

Elderberries are packed with antioxidants that especially come in handy during cold and flu season.

In a Norwegian study, 60 patients who had experienced flu-like symptoms were given either elderberry syrup or a placebo syrup within the first 48 hours of their symptoms to see if the elderberry syrup would aid the patients and if so, to what degree. Those who were given the elderberry syrup were no longer suffering from the virus at a much faster-rate (on average about 4 days sooner) than those who took the placebo.

3. Kiwi

Did you know that kiwis are more heavily concentrated with Vitamin C than oranges? Whenever we hear “Vitamin C,” we typically think of a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Yes, oranges are an excellent source of this essential vitamin but kiwis should not be underestimated!

One cup of sliced kiwi has about 167 milligrams of Vitamin C. It would take about 1 ¾ cups of sliced oranges to equal this amount.

If you really want to be an over-achiever, Guava has a whopping 377 milligrams of Vitamin C per cup.

Cloves of garlic.

4. Garlic

Garlic is another incredible resource when it comes to aiding the immune system.

Crushed garlic contains allicin which can help strengthen white blood cells and their ability to fight off viruses.

So, whether you want to include it in a sauce or take it in capsules, garlic is worth considering if you can get past the potent aroma.

5. Spinach

Spinach is packed with Vitamins A and C, along with iron and zinc. You can make a spinach salad, sauteed spinach with garlic as a side dish, or put some in your morning smoothie. There are many ways to enjoy this leafy green while getting all its health benefits!

6. Matcha

Speaking of green, matcha powder is another amazing way for you to boost your immune system.

Matcha is a type of green tea that is rich in antioxidants and can help fight pathogens and kill off harmful bacteria. It is also a great source of magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin C.

Mushroom soup

7. Mushrooms

Yes, mushroom ravioli and portobello burgers are insanely delicious but mushrooms have more than just culinary benefits.

Certain mushrooms like lion’s mane and reishi can be taken in the form of powder. Lion’s mane is said to help with brain fog and reishi can help alleviate anxiety and promote restful sleep. Both can also help boost the immune system.

Learn more here.

8. Nuts

Whether you prefer a handful of cashews and almonds, or you go for nut butter with some sliced apples, nuts are an excellent way to help boost your immune system.

Nuts are high in Vitamin E, particularly almonds and hazelnuts. Vitamin E helps protect cells from free radicals and fights against viruses and harmful bacteria.

9. Dark Chocolate

Last but certainly not least is dark chocolate.

While you shouldn’t go too crazy, indulging in a small amount of dark chocolate actually has health benefits other than keeping you sane after a long day.

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system.

Unlike white or milk chocolate, dark chocolate isn’t known for having a high sugar content. Always opt for chocolate that has more cacao than sugar!

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