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It’s that time of year again. It is the dreaded cold season. If you want to give your immune system a boost, your diet can go a long way! The foods you eat matter. Check out some superfoods that will prove that immunity boost all year long!
You can’t go wrong with broccoli if you want a wallop of antioxidants to boost your immune system power. Raw or cooked, this stuff is chock-full of various nutrients that are vital to positive health. It’s rich in multiple B vitamins to help replenish stores diminished by alcohol use or environmental toxins and is one of the best plant-based sources of calcium.
This veggie could be particularly helpful if you have arthritis that worsens in cold weather. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, which blocks the enzymes responsible for joint damage and inflammation.
Turmeric is the spice to add to your dishes if you have chronic low-grade inflammation. This substance is one of the best natural anti-inflammatory agents and is even more powerful when paired with black pepper. The piperine in black pepper acts like a catalyst, making curcumin, the magical ingredient, more bioavailable.
You’ll find this spice in Indian dishes like chicken tikka masala. It also adds a lovely chai flavor to your morning coffee or tea – add a bit of shaved root and black pepper directly to your grounds.
3. Red Bell Peppers
Why are red bell peppers good for giving your immune system a boost? This vegetable has nearly three times the vitamin C of an orange. This nutrient can shorten a cold’s length, but only if you have plenty of it in your system when symptoms first appear. Add a few red pepper strips to your midday salad or wrap to get your daily dose.
You’ll see zinc alongside vitamin C in many over-the-counter cold and flu remedies for a good reason. This nutrient also shortens a cold’s duration if you have it in your system when you first get sick. One way to up your dose is to eat more seafood, as many fish species are rich in this mineral.
Seafood is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining brain and heart health. They’re the healthy fats that help prevent plaque formation.
You need both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for optimal health. Most researchers say the ideal ratio lies around 3:1. However, many Americans consume a 30:1 ratio that’s heavy on the omega-6s, which some scientists believe could contribute to obesity and chronic diseases.
Increasing your seafood consumption helps restore you to the ideal balance.
Could you boost your immunity by eating more pizza and pasta? You can if it’s rich in garlic. This root herb contains allicin, a potent antimicrobial agent that helps fight germs. It also protects against heart attack and stroke by keeping blood platelets from clumping together.
Instead of stowing salty chips in your lunch kettle, why not nosh on nuts? Doing so could benefit your immunity and overall health, especially in winter.
Nuts contain numerous polyphenolic compounds that reduce inflammation when you get an infection. Additionally, they’re rich in minerals like magnesium, selenium, and zinc that support positive mental health and may help you beat the winter blues.
You’ve heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Why are these superfoods great for your immune system? One reason is that the skin contains quercetin, a potent anti-inflammatory phytochemical.
Another reason is pectin, the fiber apples contain. It nourishes your intestinal microbiome – the system of beneficial bacteria that aids digestion. It also sends signals to your brain that influence your immune system, and an upset tummy can increase your chances of getting an infection.
Honey has long played a role in natural remedies for pain relief because of its impressive properties. It’s antimicrobial, helping to kill germs. It also coats your throat, which is helpful if an infection has left you scratchy. Use it in your coffee or tea as a sweetener instead of sugar to reap the benefits