9 Superfoods to Improve Your Immune System
During these challenging times, stocking up on nutrients with the help of superfoods can be good for your body and soul. Especially during confinement, you may want to indulge in comfort food while potentially aiding your immune system. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this list:
Let food be the medicine
Since ancient times we have been using certain foods and superfoods as medicines. Ancient Egyptians used honey on wounds, Mayas used Chia seeds, our grandmothers and grandfathers used garlic… What are their secret powers?
Food provides essential nutrients
What we eat has a great impact on our health because it fuels our body with nutrients. Some foods are poor in nutrients ; typical examples are junk-food or ultra-processed foods. Other foods are naturally nutrient-dense like fruits and superfoods.
Superfoods with benefits
If we give it all the nutrients it needs, our body will return the favor. Eating well has an impact on our level of energy, our sleep, our mood, our hair and nails condition, etc. This is why adding superfoods to your diet, and eating healthier in general, can have such an impact on your well-being.
9 Immune Boosting superfoods
It doesn’t look like it, but garlic is an ancient superfood. It has been used in the kitchen for centuries to add taste and improve health. One study even showed that people taking garlic were sick for 70% less days than people taking a placebo ( Lissiman and al. 2012). Pesto pasta, green curry… Many delicious recipes will allow you to add more garlic to your diet if you wish.
2 - Veggies
Veggies are high in fiber, which is believed to help improve your gut health in general. Fiber can’t be digested by our bodies, yet certain bacteria in our guts can stimulate them to do so. Along with fruit, veggies are one of the best food sources for a well balanced microbiota.
Our freeze-dried peas are an excellent option. Most of their water has been removed, and this gives them an extra crunch that makes them irresistible. Even after the freeze-drying process, they retain almost all of the vitamins and fiber present in fresh peas.
Along with veggies, fruits are one of the best sources for a well balanced microbiota, and for the same reason: fiber. They are also rich in vitamins that will help you fight during the flu and cold season. For a sensible snack or a sensible baking ingredient, freeze-dried fruits are a good option.
- Our organic freeze-dried apples and organic freeze-dried raspberries are good sources of fiber and vitamin C.
- Our Goji berries are also well known for their incredible nutritional value. They are a good source of protein, iron, potassium and fiber.
Our organic raspberries
Honey has proven antibacterial properties. Did you know that it was used in ancient Egypt to cure wounds? Here at Natierra HQ, we prefer to drink it: a glass of warm water with honey and lemon. A soothing drink with a vitamin C kick! Studies have shown that eating honey increases disease-fighting polyphenols in your blood. Raw honey has the most benefits for your immune system, as refining and processing honey often results in the loss of many of its health benefits.
5- Protein superfoods
Fatty fish (such as salmon), hemp seeds, chia seeds. The immune system uses protein as its sword. Proteins are the bricks used to build the structures of our bodies, including the immune system cells, membranes, and antibodies. “Without these structures, the immune system is like a soldier without a sword and is left defenseless against viruses and bacteria invaders” says Tonia Reinhard, author of the book, “Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet”.
6- Chia seeds
Chia is not just high in protein, it is also packed with nutrients that will help you meet your daily needs. Chia seeds have been used by Mayans and Aztecs for more than 3,500 years. Chia means "strength" in the Mayan language. These nutrient-packed seeds are a good source of protein, calcium and iron, and an excellent source of fiber. Try them in smoothies, sauces, yogurt!
Nuts are a great source of protein, fiber, healthy fat, but also Selenium and Zinc. These two minerals help the immune system.
Tea contains polyphenols, natural substances that have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Green Tea is also packed with antioxidants, especially Matcha. It is also a natural decongestant to clear your nose.
9- Dark chocolate
Yes, we just gave you a good excuse to have some! Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that are believed to reduce inflammation and help your blood vessels stay healthy. In addition, some studies have shown that dark chocolate lowers cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, with the negative effects of increasing appetite and weight gain.
You can try our dark chocolate-covered snacks (raspberries, strawberries, chia seeds) as great alternatives to satisfy your comfort food cravings. Not to mention that the fat contained in dark chocolate does not impact your cholesterol level.
10 - Goji Berries
Used for over 5,000 years in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicines, Goji berries have incredible nutritional value. They are a good source of protein, iron, potassium and fiber. Eat them as a stand-alone snack or added to trail mixes, baked goods, salads and yogurt.
We hope these 9 superfoods will help you as you try to stay healthy and safe, they are easy to integrate in daily recipes.
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