They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. As we transition from the cold to warmer months, our immune systems crave nutrient rich diets to promote healthy immunity. This is why a balanced diet is key to maintaining optimal health. Make sure to include these foods on your next grocery list!
Elderberries are a wonderful source of antioxidants and vitamins and have been used for centuries across multiple cultures to help maintain a strong immune system. Elderberries contain a high amount of vitamin C as well as dietary fiber, which is important in keeping your gut healthy. Not only do many experts recommend eating elderberries to fight off colds and flu, but they are also said to be helpful for muscle pain, stress, and heart protection. Elderberries can be baked into desserts, blended into smoothies, or taken in supplement form.
With about 88 mg of vitamin C per cup, papaya is another strong immune system supporter. Papaya also contains a digestive enzyme called papain, which helps manage bloating and constipation to support overall gut health. Papaya can be enjoyed on its own and in yogurt and smoothies.
Kiwis contain many nutrients such as fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Providing about 273% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, kiwis are a smart choice for a healthy immune system. According to physician and researcher William Li, M.D., kiwis activate all five health defense systems in the body: angiogenesis, regeneration, the microbiome, DNA protection, and immunity. Kiwis can be eaten the same as papayas and are a lovely on the go snack.
Spinach is a great base for salads and smoothies and is full of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. Many of these antioxidants have been found to improve different immune functions and play a protective role in infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Spinach is also very hydrating, as it’s made up of about 90% water.
Mangoes are also rich in beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, and K, and have been shown to keep the good bacteria in your gut alive. According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, incorporating a mango a day into your diet could improve your gut health, while helping reduce body fat and controlling blood sugar. Mangoes are delicious on their own and can also be enjoyed in things like yogurt, smoothies, and salsa.
Turmeric has been used as a treatment for years due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Research shows that its high concentration of curcumin also helps decrease exercise-induced muscle damage. Some studies suggest that it has promise as an immune booster, too. Additionally, turmeric has been used to treat inflammatory bowel conditions like IBS, making it great for the gut. Turmeric can be added to many dishes including roasted vegetables, rice, soup, scrambled eggs, or smoothies and tea. In supplement form, turmeric can be found in LOCKrx DEFENSE
You’re likely already adding garlic to many of your dishes for the great flavor it provides, but it’s secretly supplying several other benefits as well. Garlic has strong antiviral and antimicrobial properties due to its potent sulfur compound called allicin. Not only is it great for fighting infections, but it can also help keep the “bad” gut bacteria under control, which aids in treating GI infections and yeast infections. Garlic goes well with all different meats, seafood, vegetables, and pastas.
If you're looking to keep your immune system happy and healthy, you will need to look no further than the produce section of your local market. Enjoy!