Fight Back with Plant-Based Immune Boosters

If you and your family have had a happy and healthy summer so far, odds are you’re dreading back-to-school season and the dirge of September sicknesses. This year, make an effort to include immune-boosting foods to your meals in order to fight off those pesky bugs and have a healthier autumn. Here are our top picks for foods that will keep the sniffles at bay:

Food #1: Garlic

Besides being delicious in most savory meals, garlic has sulfuric properties that boost your immune system and specifically help to fight of viruses (like the flu). While it’s most potent when whole and raw, incorporating garlic into your meals will help to keep your immune system in fighting form.

Food #2: Oats and Barley

Now you know why your mom insisted on a hot bowl of oatmeal on cold mornings – it keeps you healthy! Oats and barley contain a fiber called beta-glucan which has been shown to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties to fight off infections.

Food #3: Vitamin C-Packed Produce

While we all know by now that vitamin C helps to stave off colds boost our immune systems, did you know that your body doesn’t store vitamin C? This means that you need to consume your daily nutritional value each day, not just when you feel a cold coming on. Fortunately, there are lots of healthy fruit you can grab to get your fill: oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and clementines, for a few. And for veggies? Try red bell peppers and kale, they’re high up on the list for Vitamin C potency as well. Or even better: make a kale salad and top it with bell peppers and orange segments. A powerful salad!

Food #4: Fermented Veggies

Whether you choose sauerkraut or kimchi, both of these fermented cabbage dishes contain probiotics – healthy bacteria – that help to keep your digestive system on track. In turn, this keeps your immune system healthy by ensuring only healthy nutrients get into your system.

Food #5: Spinach!

Popeye was right, spinach really is a powerhouse food and can be easily added to smoothies or juice, if you’re not fond of eating it. The folic acid in spinach helps to repair cell damage to keep your body in top condition, while its high vitamin C content ensures that you can fight off colds. Additionally, spinach is an excellent source of potassium and magnesium to keep your electrolytes balanced. These aren’t the only foods that are great for staying healthy – you can also eat more broccoli, cinnamon, watermelon, mushrooms, green tea, and sweet potatoes. The most important thing is to eat healthy food, stay hydrated, and regularly wash your hands if you want to avoid illness. Wishing you the best of health!