Immunity-boosting foods should be on top of your list to consume when you’re not feeling your best. Your immune system is the first line of defense in fending off nasty pathogens, which include bacteria, viruses, and foreign bodies. These harmful pathogens are the root cause of infections and diseases. Several factors come into play that either strengthen or weaken the immune system and eating the right food plays a vital role in this.
With the flu season upon us, you want to fortify your body with antibodies that can ward off and kill pathogens. We’ve rounded up some of the best immunity-boosting foods and drinks with reviews by our members.
Immuninty-Boosting Foods for Flu Season
1. Bone Broth or Soup
Hydration is essential for the immune system, whether preparing for the flu season or battling the flu. Drinking plenty of liquids leading up to the flu season will help your body fight off the illness. Stay clear of caffeinated and sugary beverages that are known to cause dehydration. Instead, load up on immunity-boosting bone broth or dig into a lip-smacking bowl of hot soup.
Overall rating: 4.3/5
Tasty with just the right level of sourness
“I love Knorr’s Hot & Sour Soup Mix. I usually need to run around to different supermarkets to find it as it always seems to be out of stock. I’ve even bought a few packs for colleagues as I feel it’s underrated. Pro: – I feel the spicy & sour level is just right. Pretty close to the “suan la tang” you would get in restaurants. Just add an egg (like the egg drop soup) and any other vegetables you want (like bamboo shoots) and it’s good to go. – Easy preparation. I usually eat this as a meal for 2 pax by adding noodles to it. Cons: – It says the portion is for 4 pax; but I usually make it for 2 otherwise it may be too watered down.” – @Antzgiler
2. Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a beneficial antioxidant that helps the body fight off free radicals, a byproduct of oxidative stress. Your lifestyle, food choices, and environment determine how much the body undergoes oxidative stress. Help your system fight off free radicals with a rich reserve of nutrients such as vitamin C.
You can get vitamin C from foods such as:
- Citrus fruits such as grapefruits, lemons, and oranges
- Brussel sprouts
- Bell peppers
Additionally, supplements can fill nutritional gaps in your diet when your body doesn’t get enough vitamin C from food in a day. Effervescent supplements dissolve within a minute in water or freshly squeezed juice, giving you a day’s worth of vitamin C in one drink.
Overall rating: 4.6/5
Vitamin C Effervescent Supplements
“Really helps to support my immune system. The taste of the orange is so smooth & refreshing. Highly recommended to everyone to buy VÖOST.” – @Diananyla
3. Herbals Teas
Regularly drinking immunity-boosting herbal teas can support your daily hydration needs. These teas are also a great all-in-one supply of soothing, healing herbs and spices.
Herbal teas should be consumed on an empty stomach to help the body absorb nutrients effectively in the morning. Add a pinch of turmeric, cayenne pepper, and honey—three ingredients known for their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties—to your herbal tea concoction daily.
Overall rating: 4.8/5
“I drank this iced and it was very refreshing! Would definitely purchase again.” – @Sherm
Consuming garlic raw is best, but noy everyone is that adventurous.
Add garlic to sauteed vegetables, meat-based dishes, marinades, or baked meals to make the most of this immunity-boosting ingredient.
Overall rating: 5/5
“This is super convenient as I really hate chopping garlic before cooking every meal. With this it’s so convenient and doesn’t need to worry about the strong stench that will linger after chopping garlic. Can use it anytime and easy storage.” – @Qqueex
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that can protect your body’s cells from damage. The skin of the almonds holds the most immune-boosting properties. Use the nuts to prepare almond butter from scratch and spread it on multigrain toast, eat them as a crunchy snack, or blend the almonds with plant-based milk and strawberries for an immunity-boosting smoothie.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
CAMEL Natural Almonds
“Almonds is one of my favourite nuts. Besides many benefits, this Camel – Almonds also tastes so good. Can’t stop eating this.” – @JessicaChika
Immunity-boosting Lifestyle Tips
Loading up on immunity-boosting foods is crucial but remember too much of anything is not good. The trick is to incorporate immunity-boosting foods as part of a healthy lifestyle.
These tips should help your body remain resilient during flu season:
Increase your Intake of Fruits and Veggies
Not eating enough fruits and veggies means your body is missing out on natural, healing ingredients. Consume fruit at least once a day and vegetables at least twice a day, to give your body a daily dose of the good stuff.
Fruits such as mandarins, papaya, watermelon, strawberries, and apples can be enjoyed plain or in a sugarless smoothie (use stevia or honey for sweetness if needed). Veggies such as kale, spinach, cabbage, red onions, broccoli, bell peppers, and cauliflower can be consumed as stir-fry sides or mixed with meat or seafood.
Regular exercise can help jumpstart your immune system, especially if you’re prone to falling sick often. Just 30 minutes a day of physical activity is enough to keep your body and weight on track. You can even try the viral Chloe Ting’s workout as it only takes 15 to 45 minutes daily. Mix things up by switching between jogging, running, weight training, and yoga to make working out fun and engaging.
Smoking reduces the body’s rich reserve of antioxidants and accelerates oxidative stress. This habit can even affect your lungs’ airways and air sacs, causing respiratory-related problems in the long run.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is crucial to help your body rest, recuperate, and recharge. Without rest, the body will experience an imbalance that can throw your routine and daily activities off course.
Make sure your room is darkened with blackout curtains to keep out sunlight, car headlights, or street lights. It’s also good practice to avoid looking at your phone or watching TV at least an hour before bedtime. Screens emit blue light that suppresses melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel drowsy and prepares the body for sleep.
Immunity-boosting foods and healthy lifestyle habits can do wonders for your body. If you’re already feeling under the weather, include immunity-boosting foods in your diet to help you recover and replenish lost nutrients.
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