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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 September 18, 2020

                  7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                  7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                  Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                  Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                  1. Exercise Daily

                  It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                  If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                  Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                  If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                  2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                  Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                  One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                  This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                  3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                  Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                  Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                  Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                  4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                  Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                  The basic nutritional advice includes:

                  • Eat unprocessed foods
                  • Eat more veggies
                  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                  Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                    5. Watch Out for Travel

                    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                    6. Start Slow

                    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                    More Tips on Getting in Shape

                    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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