Our immune system is so important for our survival. If we didn’t have an immune system, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and so much more. For this reason, it is vital to keep our immune system strong and here are 5 vegan foods that boost and strenghten your immune system.
Miso means ‘fermented beans’ in Japanese. Since miso is fermented, it is high in beneficial enzymes and supports immunity with its natural probiotics. It’s also so rich in antioxidants. In Japan, a number of people begin their day with a bowl of miso soup which is great for digestion and helps energise the body.
I pretty much eat garlic every day in my dinner and before you start to wonder, no i’m not trying to scare away any vampires!
As well as hot chilies being a staple in most my dishes, garlic also is a top contender. I love the taste it brings to a dish, but not only the taste. Garlic is the queen of antibiotic, anti fungal, and antiviral foods. It has been advised, if you really want to get the most out of garlic consume it raw. Don’t fancy eating raw garlic, you could just try incorporating more garlic into your regular diet. If you don’t mind having it raw but couldn’t eat a large chunk of it you can add raw, crushed garlic to a salad dressing as an example, and this would avoid any cooking.
Anyone that’s been following my Instagram a while, will have seen that I use mushrooms a lot in my cooking! Whether that’s in my tofu scramble or in a stir fry, it’s one ingredient I always have in my fridge. There are so many types of mushrooms, however unfortunately the ones I use in my cooking most days (closed cup mushrooms) are not the best for the immune system. The top three I would recommend are shiitake, chaga and reishi.
- Shiitake mushrooms are a well known superfood. They have a number of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are necessary to fuel our bodily functions. Shiitake is an excellent choice of mushroom to boost immune system due to its high nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, niacin, and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids.
- Chaga Mushrooms – This mushroom has the HIGHEST amount of antioxidants and melanin of any substance on planet EARTH (gram for gram). They also have a high amount of zinc, which further supports immune function. If that’s not enough of a reason to have chaga mushrooms, I don’t know what is!
- Reishi Mushrooms – They are used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue. People also take reishi mushroom for health conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Apart from shittake mushrooms, you’re going to struggle to find these in your regular supermarket. I’d highly recommend this supplement which contains all 3 and more:
Turmeric has been a staple of Indian cuisine for at least 4,000 years and you’ll find it incorporated in a number of dishes. There’s always so much talk about turmeric, being super healthy for you. I even have tumeric teas at home. But is it as great as it has been made to look, in terms of health benefits? Well yes, curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. One study theorized that turmeric can moderate the immune system. It can even help those with autoimmune disorders. As well as helping with your immune system, there are studies which support that it can also help prevent cancer, inflammation and even depression. Load up on turmeric in your dishes, or you can even take a turmeric supplement which you can buy from Amazon here.
Sweet potatoes are so versatile and can be used in a number of dishes from savoury meals to sweet dishes. They are amazing for your body because they’re packed full of antioxidants and vitamin A. Vitamin A helps keep the skin healthy and as it is our largest organ, having healthy skin can be one way of helping fight off infection to your body and immune system. Sweet potato is also a good source of carotenoids which also help your immune system.
What Other Ways Can I Strengthen my Immune System?
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Try to minimise stress – Easier said than done, I know!
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
- Wash your hands frequently and no I don’t mean only during this COVID-19 pandemic. Washing your hands frequently, helps to avoid infections in general.
With this global COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to keep your immune system strong. I’m not saying by keeping it high, that you won’t catch it because it is seriously contagious! You may have a better chance of surviving it as morbid as that sounds, with a strengthened immune system. Stay safe everyone!
Let me know how you keep your immune system strong in the comments below.