In these days of pandemics, building one’s immune system seems like a good thing to be doing. One way to do it is to watch what you eat. What makes some foods better than others at boosting your immune system? For one, the food must contain high levels of Vitamin C to help your body produce more white blood cells. Second, the food should have higher levels of other antioxidants. Finally, some foods can help increase circulation, which in turn helps more immune system cells move around the body.
There’s a reason why orange juice is said to be good for a cold! This fruit and others like it (grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, etc.) are all high in vitamin C. Since your body doesn’t naturally produce this vitamin, eating citruses are the best way to get the vitamin C that you need. To get the full benefits from citrus fruits, eat them whole instead of drinking the juice. If you must drink juice, get fresh-squeezed juice instead of pre-bottled kinds.
Things like tomatoes, red/orange/yellow/green bell peppers, broccoli, and other colorful plants are full of antioxidants. Since plants spend most of their time sitting under the sun photosynthesizing, they’ve evolved to produce loads of antioxidants that combat sun damage. When we eat these plants, our bodies take advantage of the antioxidants and use them to protect and fix cell damage. When you’re sick, your body works in overdrive to produce cells and antibodies to fight off the disease. Loading up on colorful vegetables will give your body the boost that it needs.
Chicken Noodle Soup
This tried and true method of fixing a cold actually works! Chicken noodle soup helps circulate neutrophils and makes them move around faster. These white blood cells play a crucial role in finding and destroying infected cells and pathogens. So slurp it up!
Ginger, Onions, Garlic
These stinky foods are great at increasing circulation and they also contain antibacterial properties. While your breath might stink a bit afterward, ginger soup or other dishes loaded with onions and garlic can help break a fever or simply warm you up from the chills. This increase in circulation helps move more white blood cells around.
When you drink water, it’s absorbed almost immediately into your bloodstream. Your blood pressure increases and any extra water is flushed out through your kidneys. If you’re taking lots of over the counter medication and generally feeling awful, drinking water can help to flush out toxic by-products from the medication as well as support cell function. As you know, cells need water in order to get all the dissolved nutrients into them. Without nutrients, your cells aren’t able to produce antibodies and other immune chemicals. So while you’re sick, make sure you stay hydrated.