Life as we had known is now different. We are feeling various levels of disbelief, uncertainty and the anxiety that comes along with the big unknown. To say this situation is stressful is an understatement, but we have a choice – we can wait for things to happen and then react OR we can be proactive and take advantage of this time to address our health, feel better and come out of this even stronger than before!
What is the one simple thing can we do day-to-day to strengthen our body, support our immune system and build resiliency?
As Dr. Mark Hyman puts it “Food isn’t like medicine, it is medicine, and it’s our number one tool for creating the vibrant health we deserve.”
There are so many different types of food we can easily incorporate into our meals and snacks that can provide us with the nutrients known to support immune health. We all know to avoid the “stressors” to health such as sugar and processed foods but let us focus on the foods we can add that can be helpful. Here is our top favourite foods for immune health.
1. Colourful fruits and veggies
What makes berries, greens (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach), peppers, sweet potato and squash so colourful? Their high content of Vitamins C, A and phytonutrients that support healthy immune functioning! Aim for 2 servings of fruit a day and to have at least half of your plate at each meal consist of veggies.
Try this recipe: Veggie Power Bowl
2. Garlic, onions, ginger and spices
These are the basic staples of many cultural foods around the world. Not only do these foods give your meals flavour and colour, but they contain nutrients with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects. In particular, try incorporating more turmeric, oregano and rosemary to your food.
Try this recipe: Cauliflower Coconut Stew
3. Focus on protein
Protein is extremely important for proper immune function and is the basic building block for muscle health. Protein also helps regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day and provides constant fuel for good energy. Lean, grass-fed meats are ideal but there are many plant-based options such as legumes and nuts if they are eaten in good quantities.
Although mushrooms have been used medicinally for centuries, adding mushrooms to your diet is a great way to support your immune system. Try the whole variety including white button mushroom, shitake, portobello, morel mushrooms and so much more!
Try this recipe: Dairy-Free Mushroom Soup
5. Fermented probiotic food
Our intestinal tract is lined with many different types of bacteria that help provide good defenses against viruses and bacteria. Adding fermented foods such as miso, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir can support your healthy gut biome. Read more about the important role of gut bacteria to your health here.