The 12 Best Superfoods to Support a Healthy Immune System
What are superfoods?
While there is no clear definition of what a superfood is, the term is most commonly used to refer to a nutrient-dense meal that is considered particularly beneficial for health and wellness, including supporting the normal functioning of the immune system.
Why are superfoods so beneficial?
What makes this meal so special? For starters, they contain a concentrated dose of key nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and fatty acids that we need to get from food since the body cannot make them on its own.
Superfoods, which contain nutrients like vitamin C as well as probiotics, seem to be especially beneficial when it comes to immune system health.
If you’re eating a healthy diet, that is, avoiding processed foods while opting for whole foods, then you’re more likely to be eating superfoods on a regular basis. However, it’s always good to learn something new, so let’s take a look at some of the superfoods that are best for keeping the immune system strong and healthy.
In addition, superfoods have a positive impact on gut and immune system health (one is closely related to the other), providing the body with fiber and probiotics, or beneficial bacteria that support overall health.
In addition, many superfoods, such as vegetables and fruits, are high in water to help maintain proper fluid intake, and they are generally low in calories, making them easier to control appetite and keep fit.
Where to begin? To boost your immune system health, try eating foods in all colors of the rainbow. The presence of foods of different colors in the diet indicates that you are getting different nutrients.
Start with the following twelve superfoods (of course, before embarking on a new diet or lifestyle, you should always consult your doctor first):
1. Leafy greens like kale
Leafy greens (such as arugula, kale, kale, spinach, lettuce, and chard) are rich in phytonutrients that support strong immune defenses, as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, fiber, and other nutrients.
These vegetables are one of the best superfoods for boosting antioxidant defenses and promoting a healthy inflammatory response. They are also helpful for detoxification and digestion and maybe even maintaining a healthy weight.
2. Blueberries and other berries
Berries, like greens, are incredibly rich in vitamin C, antioxidants such as polyphenols and anthocyanins, fiber, and vitamin A. They can help protect the body from the effects of free radicals that damage body tissues, and they also promote heart and gut health.
Yogurt (and its cousin kefir) is one of the best food sources of probiotics, which promote a healthy immune system by balancing gut microbes and aiding digestion and bowel movements.
Fruits like orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime are high in vitamin C, which can help boost healthy immune defenses. Vitamin C also helps the protein collagen to maintain the normal condition of the intestinal mucosa.
Avocados provide heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that the body needs for a variety of purposes, including the absorption of other vitamins and maintaining high energy levels. This fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit) is also rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium, and even certain types of antioxidants that promote healthy circulation, muscle function, and more.
6. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
Cabbage (Cruciferous) vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower and cabbage, are an excellent source of protective compounds, including glucosinolates, which fight oxidative stress and help maintain a healthy balance of microbes in the gut.
Salmon is an ideal source of protein, as it is rich not only in amino acids that help strengthen the intestinal lining and other tissues, but also in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote a healthy inflammatory response.
This delicious vegetable, like its sister species chives, garlic and leeks, have natural healing properties due to their sulfur compounds, as well as antioxidants such as alliinase and quercetin.
Garlic, especially when raw, contains unique powerful compounds, including allicin and disulfides, that fight harmful bacteria and have antioxidant effects.
A rich source of fiber and healthy fats, flaxseed helps maintain a healthy gut by feeding the beneficial bacteria that inhabit it and helping to cleanse it.
11. Green tea
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which can prevent oxidative stress, energize when you’re low on energy, and promote a healthy metabolism.
Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin, which promotes a healthy inflammatory response. In addition, turmeric appears to be beneficial for joints, skin, and cognitive health, especially when combined with black pepper, which improves the absorption of turmeric compounds.