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  • Dr. Nancy

Superfoods That Boost Your Immune System

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

As the weather changes and temperatures drop, the sounds of sneezing and sniffling surround us. Many of us are just expecting to get sick, feeling as if it's unavoidable. If you eat the right foods and take the proper precautions, you could strengthen your immune system and avoid getting sick this year. In addition, you can be creating a solid foundation for optimizing your health in the future. Here are five powerful immune-boosting superfoods that can help your body fight off sickness and infections.

Boost your immune system with garlic.

1. Garlic

Garlic adds so much flavor to food. Increase the use of this herb-like vegetable during cold and flu season. Its health benefits come from a sulfur compound called allicin. Raw is best and letting the garlic sit for a few minutes after crushing or mincing will allow the allicin to fully activate. Cooking can inhibit the allicin so avoid high heat to get the maximum benefit. Here are 3 ways that garlic can help to promote health:

  • Boost immunity

  • Decrease inflammation

  • Improve cardiovascular health

2. Matcha

Matcha is a true superfood. This powdered green tea contains exceptionally high levels of antioxidants, including EGCG which help your body fight off disease-causing free radical compounds. Look for a high quality matcha that does not have sugar added.

The antioxidants in matcha boost the function of your immune cells and decrease inflammation. Matcha also contains anti- microbial properties that can fight off any invading pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. Here are some ways that matcha boosts your health:

  • Boost metabolism

  • Improve blood sugar control

  • Reduce blood pressure

  • Prevent heart disease and cancer

3. Probiotic-rich foods

The billions of good bacteria residing in your body are a defense system of their own. However, our diet and lifestyle choices can decrease the population of good bacteria in our bodies. As a result, the pathogenic bacteria now have space to reside and invade, causing

infection and inflammation. By eating probiotics, we are ingesting more of these good bacteria and restoring this defense system. Yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and tempeh are all great sources of probiotics.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a powerful spice that is rich in immune-boosting antioxidants. Antioxidants are some of the most important compounds for strengthening your immune system and boosting your vitality. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it can decrease inflammation in your body that is at the root of the many symptoms and disease processes that ail us like diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease and cancer.

5. Ginger

Ginger is not only useful in relieving nausea and digestive issues, but it also contains potent anti-microbial properties that can help the immune system fight off infection. Ginger contains a powerful compound known as gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Here are some health benefits associated with the consumption of ginger:

  • Improved blood sugar control

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • Reduces inflammation

It goes without saying that supporting your body with clean food and good habits helps to optimize its function. Check out the 8 Daily Practices in my book Mastering the Health Continuum for more ways to build health.

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