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Better Than Medicine: 8 Foods To Boost Your Immune System

Better Than Medicine: 8 Foods To Boost Your Immune System

No one is in denial that we live in a world of germs. It is impossible to avoid exposure. Genetic makeups may give some people an advantage over others. However, it does not stop people from becoming sick.

All of us have been a victim of an illness at some point in our lives. Moreover, it is likely that we will get sick again in the future. Our best chances of avoiding sickness are by using good hygiene, exercising, and employing good dietary habits.

A holistic approach is required to maintain a good state of health. While good hygiene and exercise serve as obvious advice to most people, eating healthy is not always obvious. Furthermore, most people have their own definitions of the word, healthy.

Some people have created their definition based on advice from family, friends, or health professionals. Alternatively, others have formed their definition based on speculation or ignorance.

If you cannot define “healthy”, then your immune system will be happy to tell you. The immune system is the foundation of our health. It works for us every day to keep us well. Ask yourself: “Are you making its job easier or harder?”

Like any system, the immune system is no different. It has a tolerance too. If you eat unhealthy on a consistent basis, your immune system will make you aware of it.

Dosing yourself with drugs in an attempt to feel better will cause more consequences in the long term. So, I would not recommend it.

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Take a step in the right direction by incorporating these eight immune-boosting foods in your diet.

cooking with mushrooms

    1. Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are an immune-boosting food that contains substantial amounts of fiber, protein, calcium, and B vitamins. The immune system feeds off of the beta-glucans, which are powerful compounds that enhance immunity in a similar way as echinacea.

    Recipe: Mushroom & Onion Soup

    1. Cut the mushrooms and onions while waiting for the water to boil in the pot.
    2. Add the vegetables into the pot of boiling water and add seasonings to the soup before eating.

    cooking with garlic

      2. Garlic

      Garlic is probably one of the best immune-boosting foods out there. It is a natural alternative to synthetic antibiotics since it is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. Furthermore, garlic has also been shown to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

      Recipe: Garlic Bread

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      1. Spread butter on both sides of the bread (preferably white or Italian bread) and season it with garlic powder while your grill pan is being preheated over medium heat.
      2. Place the bread slices in the pan and flip them a few times until both sides are golden brown.

      cooking with cinnamon

        3. Cinnamon

        Cinnamon does not only have an amazing taste, but it also serves an amazing purpose. The seasoning lowers blood sugar and removes toxins from the body. It is also an antimicrobial agent that has been found to kill E. Coli and many other types of bacteria.

        Recipe: Sweet & Savory Sweet Potatoes

        1. Preheat your frying pan with your favorite cooking oil while cutting the sweet potatoes and covering a plate with cinnamon.
        2. Add the sweet potatoes in the pan and flip them a few times until both sides are brown.
        3. Douse each sweet potato slice in cinnamon and enjoy!

        cooking with broccoli

          4. Broccoli

          Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are good foods to help detoxify the body naturally. It contains the amino acid, choline, which helps to maintain a healthy gut. Also, it is high in Vitamin C, a vitamin known for its immune-boosting properties.

          Recipe: Broccoli With Melted Cheese

          1. Preheat your frying pan with low heat while slicing the broccoli and your favorite cheese.
          2. Add the broccoli and cheese in the pan and stir fry for a few minutes until the broccoli is tender and the cheese is creamy.

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          quick yogurt breakfast and add granola

            5. Yogurt

            Like milk, yogurt also does a body good. It contains Vitamin D and probiotics, which both help boost the immune system. If you want to get the maximum benefit from yogurt, it is best to buy an unflavored kind.

            Recipe: Breakfast To-Go Yogurt With Granola

            1. Pick one or two small containers of yogurt and mix your preferred granola with the yogurt.

            blueberries for breakfast or lunch

              6. Blueberries

              This small fruit packs a punch. It is very high in antioxidants compared to other fruits. While most fruits are known to have a lot of sugar, blueberries are actually one of the exceptions. So, eat them generously.

              Recipe: Blueberries & Almonds

              1. Take a container of blueberries and a cup of almonds to add it in a bowl together. Enjoy!

              avocado-878958_640

                7. Avocados

                This primary guacamole ingredient does not disappoint regarding health benefits. It has essential fatty acids, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. It also contains lycopene and beta-carotene, both antioxidants that fight off free radicals.

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                Recipe: Egg & Avocado Wrap

                1. Preheat your frying pan with your favorite cooking oil while extracting the avocado from its shell.
                2. Add 2 eggs to the pan and start scrambling them.
                3. Remove the scrambled eggs from the pan and place it in a corn tortilla with the avocado. Enjoy!

                cooking with spinach

                  8. Spinach

                  Did you ever wonder why Popeye always ate spinach? Spinach is rich in folic acid and Vitamin C, which are both known to boost immunity. It is also an excellent source of potassium and magnesium, two minerals that keep the body hydrated and keep energy levels balanced.

                  Recipe: Breadless Burger

                  1. Preheat your frying pan with your favorite cooking oil while creating a thick base of spinach that looks like a bread slice on your plate.
                  2. Form a burger with your ground meat and add it to the pan to cook it as you wish (rare, medium rare, or well done).
                  3. When the burger is done, place it on the spinach base. Cover the burger with your preferred condiments and seasonings. Then, create the other thick base of spinach to place on the top of the burger. Then, enjoy!

                  Did You Know?

                  Did you notice that six out of the eight foods listed are fruits and vegetables? Did you notice that seven out of the eight mentioned recipes include at least one fruit or vegetable? It should not be a surprise. Now, do you see why your parents were telling you to eat your fruits and vegetables?

                  Mesothelioma Help (an organization dedicated to helping mesothelioma patients) discovered that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce cancer recurrence.

                  Most fruits and vegetables are not only rich in nutrients but tasty too. So, why not incorporate these immune-boosting foods into your diet?

                  Are you encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables now?

                  Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

                  More by this author

                  Kallen Diggs

                  Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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                  Last Updated on November 20, 2020

                  Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

                  Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

                  Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

                  One 2017 study found that:[1]

                  “after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

                  This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

                  Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

                    As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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                    Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

                    1. Remember Your Why

                    It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

                    Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

                    2. Go to Bed Early

                    If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

                    This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

                    3. Make a Commitment

                    I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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                    Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

                    You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

                    4. Find a Friend

                    If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

                    Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

                    Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

                    5. Treat Yourself

                    We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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                    You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

                    6. Change your Mindset

                    Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

                    When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

                    7. Plan Your Day

                    You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

                    Time blocking

                      8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

                      Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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                      For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

                      9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

                      Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

                      10.  Set Multiple Alarms

                      Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

                      Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

                      Final Thoughts

                      About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

                      Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

                      More Tips on Morning Exercises

                      Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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