Immune Boosting Foods: HOW TO BOOST IMMUNE SYSTEM

immune boosting foods

Our immune system is what keeps us happy and healthy by helping to fight off harmful viruses and diseases. Although it’s a natural biological process, sometimes our immune systems need a boost – that’s where immune-boosting foods come in!

How to boost immune system

The power of immune-boosting foods is truly remarkable. Choosing whole, unprocessed foods does wonders for overall health. Eating a varied diet with lots of high-fibre foods is recommended, and for microbiome health, the more wholefoods and plant foods you consume, the better. Additionally, a lot of people are Vitamin D deficient or low in Vitamin D which can result in a weak immune system, it is therefore advised that we should take the daily recommended supplement of 10mcg of Vitamin D (NHS 1). There are also some amazing natural sources of vitamin D like the sun that can help you ensure your building immunity.

Combined with a healthy diet, it is very important to be physically active. The NHS says adults should be physically active in some way every day, and do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (hiking, gardening, cycling) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (running, swimming fast, an aerobics class) (NHS 2)

It’s this combination of healthy living – exercise and a wholefoods diet – that can help strengthen your immune system. We’ve rounded up a great selection of vegan immune boosting foods for you to add to your diet.

Foods to boost immune system

  • Garlic: One clove contains 5 mg of calcium, 12 mg of potassium, and over 100 sulfuric compounds – strong enough to get rid of bacteria and infection. Raw garlic, not cooked or dried, is most beneficial for health (3)
  • Citrus Fruits: There are many different fruits that boost the immune system, including grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and clementine’s. They are all packed with Vitamin C and are rich in plant compounds with various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (4)
  • Wheat Germ: Wheat Germ is rich in nutrients and is a great way to get B vitamins, zinc, and antioxidants (8). You can easily incorporate wheat germ into your diet, via a warm stew or a healthy smoothie.
  • Ginger: Ginger helps to combat inflammation and keep your immune system healthy. Simply adding a bit of ginger to hot water with a little bit of lemon is enough for the recommended intake (9).

IMMUNE-BOOSTING VEGETABLES

  • Broccoli: Broccoli contains an array of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Still, raw or cooked, broccoli is a great source of vitamin C. Just half a cup of cooked broccoli provides 84% of the reference daily intake (4)
  • Kale: Kale contains fibre, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K and iron that can all help prevent various health problems. Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins known as free radicals. If too many free radicals build up in the body, they can lead to cell damage (6)
  • Leeks: Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin A. This aids vision, supports the immune system, and helps builds strong bones (7)
  • Red bell peppers: They are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidant properties, including beta carotene, which helps maintain healthy skin and vision. Red peppers contain 1.5 times more vitamin C, 8 times more vitamin A and 11 times more beta carotene than green bell peppers (4)
  • Spinach: Spinach is rich in vitamin C, which is considered one of the best vitamins for the immune system. It’s also full of numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems (4)
  • Incorporating some of the above immune-boosting foods into your diet is a great first step to strengthening your immune system. For more amazing top tips on how to boost immunity checkout our articles on antioxidants and the difference between probiotics and prebiotics.

DATE BARS: IMMUNE-BOOSTING PROPERTIES

Dates and other dry fruits like almonds provide us with the essential vitamins and minerals for strengthening immunity (5). At Nakd we are extremely passionate about the power of wholefoods which is why we use 100% natural ingredients in all our fruit and nut bars like our new Almond Macaroon Bar. Made with immune boosting dates, these vegan snack bars are gluten and dairy free so that everyone can get a taste!

For even more amazing insights into immunity checkout our blog on How to Strengthen Your Immune System.

References
1. https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/the-new-guidelines-on-vitamin-d-what-you-need-to-know/
2. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4417560/
4. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system
5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-dates
6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270435#benefits
7. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/27/why-leeks-are-good-for-you
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12400879
9. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-ginger

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