5 Foods That Boost Immunity
By: Madalina Hubert
As seasons change, the body becomes more susceptible to colds and the flu, so this is an important time to strengthen yourself. Drink warm meals and teas, exercise, watch your stress, and look for foods that boost immunity.
With that in mind, here are some superfoods that have an important role to play in fighting illness.
1. Ginger – The Versatile Herb That Boosts Immunity
This popular herb is known for its anti-bacterial properties that fight colds, the flu and oral bacteria. Ginger also has inflammatory properties and works to reduce nausea, menstrual cramps and chronic indigestion. From India to China and North America, people use ginger to flavour both main dishes and desserts. However, if you want to get the best medicinal benefits, try ginger tea. Simply add fresh ginger slices to hot water and steep.
2. Garlic – Among the Foods That Boost Immunity & Nature’s Antibiotic
Garlic is one of the most potent herbs for strengthening the body’s immune system and fighting off toxins, bacteria, and viruses. It is a warming herb that stimulates blood circulation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Garlic is also known for fighting poisoning from food, as well as insect and snake bites. Its potency is mostly due to the sulphur-containing compound allicin, which is in fact the cause of garlic’s strong odour. This herb is also a favourite for culinary creations and can be enjoyed both cooked and raw, making it easy to include in your daily diet.
3. Goji Berries – Super Foods That Boost Immunity
These powerful berries contain antioxidants and vitamins, making them some of the most important foods that boost immunity and fight disease. Goji berries have a sweet, neutral nature that helps balance the body and achieve greater longevity. Other benefits include strengthening eyesight and kidneys, as well as reducing blood sugar and cholesterol. To prepare a nourishing goji berry tea, steep the dried fruits in hot water. You can also enjoy the berries with congee (a type of rice porridge) at breakfast, as well as in soups, entree dishes, and hot pot. You can even add them to smoothies, cereals or yogurt. Use them just like you would raisins! Their distinct tart flavour is very similar to sour cherries or cranberries. Goji berries are only one among the many superfoods that boost immunity! Learn more about other superfoods here.
4. Apples – Keeping the Doctor Away
The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has great truth to it. Apples have a number of health benefits, including boosting the body’s immunity, improving skin health and eliminating toxins from the liver. They also help build strong bones and protect your teeth. While apples are delicious both cooked and baked, most of the health benefits come when we eat them raw (with the skin). Just make sure to wash them properly since the skin might have traces of pesticide or wax.
5. Dark Chocolate – Heart Healthy & Boosts Immunity
One of the most enjoyable foods that builds immunity on this list is dark chocolate. It not only satisfies our taste buds, but it also has many health benefits. An important one is protecting against heart disease by supporting healthy arteries. Dark chocolate also contains many antioxidants that fight disease-causing free radicals in the body. Other benefits of dark chocolate may include: lowering blood pressure, protecting the skin, and improving brain function. Most of the benefits of dark chocolate come from its main ingredient, cocoa beans. So make sure to get dark chocolate that is made with at least 70% cocoa beans.
With that in mind, here are also some wonderful Dumpling Connection recipes that incorporate these superfoods.
Madalina Hubert is a Toronto-based writer specializing in art, culture, travel, and culinary explorations.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are purely informational and educational in nature. The information is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.