Focusing on supporting your immune system through diet is one of the most important things you can do at any time, especially now.
Make These Small Additions to Your Daily Diet to Boost Her Immunity
Day 1: Add mushrooms and broccoli
Mushrooms increase the secretion of an antibody called IgA, present in mucous membranes and saliva. It is an important first line of defense against any invader. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts are another boost because they contain sulforaphane, a sulfur-based nutrient that neutralizes toxins and helps reduce inflammation. Make a mushroom and broccoli stir-fry, it’s easy to make and not bad at all.
Day 2: Eat a cup of blueberries a day to boost immunity
Blueberries are full of antioxidants that can boost one’s immunity. A study conducted by the Department of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in Canada in 2011 found that blueberries can increase the number of natural killer cells. These cells are essential for immune responses that eliminate virus-infected cells or tumor cells. In the study, participants consumed just under two cups of blueberries daily for six weeks. About three cups were given an hour before a two and a half hour run on a treadmill. Blueberries doubled the number of natural killer cells they had in their blood.
They can also help our immune system develop “learned responses” to foreign invaders. Besides being delicious, they are a great addition to breakfast meals and can be a healthy snack.
Day 3: Enjoy a glass of black or green tea
Tea has been shown to improve our gut microbiome. A study conducted in June 2020, in India, showed that people who drink green or black tea have more healthy bacteria in their intestines. A balanced microbiome is crucial for your overall health. Make a goal of drinking one cup of tea a day.
Day 4: Use a handful of nuts
Nuts are a healthy source of fiber, protein and fat. Mix daily with a handful of almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews or pecans. Nuts contain omega-3s and others are high in healthy fiber, which nourishes your gut microbiome. When shopping, look for unsalted or lightly salted varieties. Salted nuts can contain up to 200 milligrams of sodium per ounce, and lightly salted nuts contain about 45 to 95 milligrams.
Day 5: Have a serving of leafy green vegetables
Green leaves like arugula, collard greens and spinach contain nitrates, which convert to nitric oxide, the molecule naturally produced by your body and responsible for healthy blood circulation. When you chew spinach, the microbiome in your tongue converts the nitrates in spinach, which come from the soil, into a form your stomach can digest, and turns them into nitric oxide. Which then passes into your bloodstream. Increasing the level of nitric oxide helps reduce blood pressure and improve brain function.
Make a pact with yourself to try one of these tips a day. Over time, these lifestyle changes can become part of your daily routine. They will help boost your immunity.