Foods That Boost And Improve Your Immune System

December 27, 2020

Reaching for the Elderberry
Modern Folk Medicine
Elderberry is a shrub that has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Black elderberry, or black elderberry shrub, is the version most commonly used to make syrups and throat lozenges. Extracts of elderberry have antiviral, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Elderberry also contains high levels of flavonoids. Elderberry syrup has been used as a remedy for colds, flushing and bacterial sinus infections. This phytomedicine works by reducing the swelling of mucous membranes. Some studies have shown that elderberry extract can reduce the duration of the flu. If it is effective against influenza infections, it may help your immune system fight coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.

Elderberry Interactions
The benefits of elderberry are many, however, this remedy may interact with some prescription medications. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding any new remedy to your regimen. Elderberry may interact with the following medications.

Diuretics. Elderberry is a diuretic, so taking it with a prescription diuretic will increase the effect.
Laxative: Elderberry is a laxative. Elderberry has laxative properties, so it should not be taken with other laxatives.
Steroids. Elderberry can stimulate the immune system, so it should not be taken with steroids and other drugs designed to suppress the immune system. Elderberry should not be taken by people who are taking immunosuppressive medications after an organ transplant.
Chemotherapy. Elderberries may interfere with chemotherapy and should not be taken with chemotherapy.
Diabetes medications. Elderberry can lower blood sugar, so it should not be taken with medications used to treat diabetes.
Theophylline. Elderberry may lower blood levels of this medication used to treat asthma and respiratory problems.

Eat more mushrooms.
Immune System Enhancer
Wondering how to boost your immune system? Eat more button mushrooms. Mushrooms are rich in selenium and B vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin. These minerals and vitamins are necessary for the immune system to work optimally. Mushrooms are also high in polysaccharides, sugar molecules that boost immune function.

Tasty Mushrooms
Mushrooms have a savory quality that can enhance the flavor of many dishes. Not quite sure how to eat mushrooms? Try the following mouth-watering ways to eat these delicious fungi.

Pan-frying, grilling, and baking all help bring out the rich, savory flavor of mushrooms.
Mushrooms are great in scrambled eggs and omelets.
Toss sliced mushrooms into soups, salads, or lasagna.
Enjoy portobello mushroom toppers in a veggie burger.
Stuffed mushrooms make a delicious appetizer.

Benefits of Acai Berry
Antioxidant-rich berries
The acai berry is a dark purple fruit that comes from the acai palm tree in Brazil, Trinidad, and certain parts of South America. This fruit is very high in anthocyanins. These flavonoid molecules are very effective antioxidants. They fight oxidative stress in the body by scavenging free radicals. Antioxidants are believed to boost immunity and reduce inflammation in the body. Now is the perfect time to enjoy an acai bowl!

Immune Boosting Fruits
Acai berry is a potent antioxidant and immune system stimulant, and researchers are investigating it as a potential treatment for a variety of diseases. Areas of research include the use of acai berry in people.

Increasing prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
Cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
Lower rectal cancer.
Constipation, and
Other potential studies may include other conditions (e.g., yeast infection, influenza, COVID-19).

Oysters on the menu
Seafood Superdinner
Oysters are nutritional powerhouses from the ocean. A 3-ounce serving of Pacific oysters provides 190% of your daily selenium content, 45% of your daily iron content, and 20% of your daily vitamin C content, all for only 140 calories. A 3-ounce serving of oysters contains 16 grams of high-quality protein. Oysters also provide zinc and vitamin A. These vitamins and minerals are essential for proper immune function.

Ways to Eat Oysters
Most people are familiar with oysters on the half shell, but there are many other ways to eat them. These methods include

Oyster Rockefeller.
Oyster stew.
Oyster stuffing.
Scalloped Oysters, and
Roasted Oysters.

Interested in watermelon
Watermelon Nutrition
Watermelon is an immune-boosting fruit. A 2-cup serving of watermelon contains 270 mg of potassium, 30% of the daily value of vitamin A, and 25% of the daily value of vitamin C. Watermelon simply does not have many calories. A 2-cup serving of watermelon has only 80 calories. Watermelon also provides vitamin B6 and glutathione. The body needs these vitamins, nutrients, and compounds like glutathione to maintain proper immune function.

5 Ways to Eat Watermelon
Watermelon slices are the most common way to enjoy this fruit. Here are a few creative ways to eat watermelon.

Make a fruit salad with watermelon and top it with lemon, honey and mint juice.
Have a tall glass of watermelon strawberry lemonade.
Have a watermelon salad with arugula and top with goat cheese.
Enjoy a frozen watermelon sorbet.
Cool down with a watermelon, ginger and lime soda.

Try some wheat germ.
Wheat Germ Nutrition
Wheat germ is the innermost part of the wheat grain. It is the most nutritious part of the grain. Rich in B vitamins, zinc, and vitamin E, wheat germ can be sprinkled on top of yogurt or cereal, or added to a milkshake. Wheat germ is an easy addition to baked goods for added nutrition. Substitute wheat germ for a little white flour in recipes to get some extra vitamins and minerals.

How do you use wheat germ?
Most people know that wheat germ is a delicious ingredient to sprinkle on fruit, yogurt or cereal, but what else can you do with it? Wheat germ is a versatile food that can be used in a variety of recipes.

Combine wheat germ, herbs and spices to make a bread coating for roasted chicken and fish.
Use wheat germ instead of breadcrumbs to make meatloaf and meatballs.
Sprinkle wheat germ on top of baked apple crumbs and similar desserts.

Reasons to like low-fat yogurt
Dairy Health Foods
Nutritional guidelines recommend three servings of dairy products per day for adults. Each 8-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt provides 11 grams of protein, 250 calories, and nearly 400 milligrams of calcium. Low-fat yogurt can also help meet your daily needs for vitamin B12, vitamin D, and vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Adequate amounts of vitamin D and other nutrients are necessary for strong immune function. Yogurt is rich in probiotics, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. These strains boost immune function and can even help reduce the duration and severity of colds. Beneficial gut flora is needed for proper digestion, detoxification and immune function. Probiotics can even help reduce the symptoms of eczema in infants.

5 Ways to Eat Yogurt
Most people eat yogurt straight out of the cup, but there are many other ways to enjoy this immune-boosting food.

Mix yogurt, juice and a little honey. Pour into molds and freeze to make yogurt popcorn.
Enjoy a cucumber salad with yogurt dill juice.
Make coleslaw with yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
Top fish with mint yogurt sauce.
Use yogurt in a cream soup recipe to give it a tart flavor.

Super Spinach
Leaves Green Superfoods
Spinach is known as a superfood due to its high content of folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, and iron. The nutrients in spinach boost immune function and provide the body with the nutrients it needs for cell division and DNA repair. Eaten raw or lightly cooked, spinach retains its nutrients to the fullest extent.

Beyond Spinach Salad
Most people are familiar with spinach salad, but what else can you do with spinach? Surprisingly, there are many ways to enjoy this nutritious leafy green vegetable, including

Spinach and artichoke dip.
Creamed spinach.
Spinach lasagna.
sautéed spinach with garlic, and
Spinach and cheese stuffed pasta shells.

Afternoon Tea Time
One Cup of Immunity
In the United States, about half of the population drinks tea regularly. Antioxidants in tea called polyphenols and flavonoids are thought to improve immune function. These compounds may also reduce the risk of heart disease. Drinking green tea has a beneficial effect on blood lipids, increasing good HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL bad cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol.

Beyond the Tea Cup
Tea is not just limited to a cup of enjoyment. Surprisingly, you can use tea in many of your favorite recipes. Coming Up with Beyond the Cup

Add tea powder to the softened butter to spread the salty flavor.
Cook cereals and noodles with tea leaves instead of soup.
Use tea powder as a rub to impart an unexpected flavor to meat.
Make tea-infused dairy products, creamy sauces for pasta and rice dishes.
Add tea powder to shortbread dough to make tea leaf cookies.

Say Yes to Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes are better with orange juice.
A medium-sized sweet potato contains up to 120% of the daily value of vitamin A and 30% of the daily value of vitamin C, all with only 100 calories. These vitamins are vital for immune function and are also good for the skin. Sweet potatoes are a cholesterol- and fat-free food, so you can get all the useful, immune-boosting vitamins you need without feeling guilty. Sweet potatoes also provide a healthy dose of fiber.

Sweet Potato Recipes
The deep, rich color of sweet potatoes reflects their high levels of vitamin A. These bright orange root vegetables can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try these sweet potato dishes in a variety of sizes.

Savory Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Casserole
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Chips

Bring Broccoli
Broccoli Rescue
Broccoli is a nutrient-rich powerhouse that can support your immune system. One cup of broccoli provides the same amount of vitamin C as an orange. This vegetable also contains high amounts of beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Broccoli provides an array of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, and B6). These vitamins and minerals work together to help the immune system function at its best. Broccoli provides another healthy compound: glutathione, which is the body’s main antioxidant.

5 Ways to Enjoy Broccoli
Don’t like broccoli? Some people love it, some people hate it, but broccoli is a nutritious vegetable, and there’s something to be said for finding ways to eat more of it. There are ways to make broccoli that will make you want to eat more! Try the following sizes of broccoli dishes.

Creamy Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Cabbage Casserole
Cauliflower Salad
Lemon with Broccoli
Fried Broccoli

Harnessing the Power of Garlic Cloves
Bringing the Bulb
Garlic has long been praised for its immune-boosting properties. Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. The bulb is rich in antioxidants that inhibit free radicals that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. The antiviral properties may help reduce the severity of colds, flu, or COVID-19 infections. In one study, people who took garlic supplements during the cold season had fewer colds than those who took placebo pills. If you do get a cold, garlic can shorten the duration of the cold. If you do try a garlic supplement, make sure that the supplement you choose contains the active ingredient found in real garlic.

Garlic and Cancer.
Garlic strengthens the part of the immune system responsible for fighting viruses and cancer. Several studies have documented the link between garlic use and reduced incidence of many different types of cancer. People who regularly consumed large amounts of raw or cooked garlic had 30 to 35 percent fewer colorectal cancers than those who did not eat garlic. In a small study of patients with inoperable pancreatic, colorectal, or liver cancer, immune function improved after participants took aged garlic extract for six months.

Miso soup’s savior
Fermented Foods and Immunity
Miso soup has been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries. Miso is a savory paste made from fermented soybeans. It is rich in probiotics, which are beneficial for gastrointestinal health and strengthening the immune system. A deficiency or imbalance of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract has been linked to a variety of diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food allergies, gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), and even certain cancers. Drinking a cup of miso soup is a great way to introduce beneficial food-based probiotics into the gastrointestinal tract.

Busy little bugs.
The beneficial microorganisms found in miso soup and other fermented foods perform a variety of essential functions in the gastrointestinal tract. They synthesize vitamins and amino acids. They produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are used as fuel by the cells in the digestive tract. Probiotics establish a healthy balance of flora in the gastrointestinal tract and prevent pathogenic strains of bacteria from trying to take root. Approximately 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. A healthy, balanced gut flora creates a strong immune system.

Get rewarded with pomegranate juice
Harnessing the Power of Purple
Laboratory studies have found that the beneficial compounds in pomegranate extracts inhibit the growth of harmful types of bacteria, including organisms such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Yersinia, Shigella, Listeria, Clostridium, and Staphylococcus aureus. There is also evidence that pomegranate compounds inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth that can cause periodontal disease, plaque buildup, and gingivitis. Pomegranate extracts have antiviral effects against influenza, herpes, and other viruses. In addition to fighting bad viruses and bacteria, there is evidence that pomegranate extract also promotes the growth of beneficial gut flora and strengthens the immune system, including bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.

5 Ways to Enjoy Pomegranate
Most people like to eat pomegranates by cutting open the fruit and eating the jewel-colored seeds. There are many other ways to indulge in pomegranates.

Add sweet and sour, colorful pomegranate seeds to fruit salads.
On hot summer days, cool down with pomegranate lemonade.
Make a lovely salad with watercress, endive, blood oranges and pomegranate seeds.
Mix pomegranate seeds into wild rice.
Use pomegranate seeds as a delicious condiment to pour over meats.

Make friends with ginger!
Anti-inflammatory Root
The antioxidant compounds in ginger root have potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. The body’s normal metabolic processes, infections, and toxins all contribute to the production of free radicals, which cause oxidative stress. The antioxidants in foods like ginger can inhibit free radicals and help prevent arthritis, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and other ailments. Grate some fresh ginger and soak it in hot water for a tea. Freshly grated ginger is also a great addition to a healthy stir-fry. Ginger has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

5 Ways to Eat Ginger
What can you do with ginger root? You can do a lot of things! Here are a few ideas for adding more ginger to your menu.

Adding ginger to hot chocolate can have an unexpected effect.
Grated ginger is a lovely addition to carrot cake or spice muffins.
Make a ginger marmalade to enjoy over salmon fillets.
Add ginger to marinades for meats.
Enjoy honey ginger chicken wings.
Maximizing your immune system health is easy when you know which foods to eat. Eat these 16 immune-boosting foods to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.