food that boosts immune system

5 Foods to Boost Your Immune System Against Coronavirus

The latest coronavirus outbreak (novel coronavirus) is a frightening epidemic that has many people in panic. This is understandable, considering that there are now over 24,324 known cases and 490 deaths.

Viruses attack the immune system.  While our white blood cells are an amazing part of our physiology that fights intruders like viruses, without the proper nutrition our immune system can become compromised.  

Nature, in her infinite wisdom, provides us with fruit, vegetables, and herbs that strengthen our first line of defense.  It’s up to us to make wise choices when it comes to what we eat so that our immune systems will remain strong and healthy.  

Here are 5 immune-boosting options I recommend you add to your grocery list and a delicious immune system boosting recipe.

1. Citrus Fruits

citrus fruit that boosts immunity

A squeeze of lemon in your tea, grapefruit for breakfast or snack, a juicy navel orange, the citrus family is noted to increase the production of white blood cells and provides vitamin C, an essential mineral for good health. 

Popular citrus fruits include:

  • Orange
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Tangerine
  • Clementine
  • Grapefruit

2. Brocolli

brocolli

A half-cup (78-gram) serving of cooked broccoli has 84% of the recommended daily index for vitamin C, the immunity booster. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.  The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible.

3. Garlic

garlic

Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a flavor to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also help lower blood pressure and protect your heart. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

4. Ginger

ginger

Ginger is another ingredient many when feeling ill. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea.

While it’s used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and it’s a natural antibacterial that supports the immune system.

5. Turmeric

tumeric

Turmeric has been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive yellow color, can help decrease aches and pains.  Piperine (an element in black pepper) helps the body to absorb curcumin. All of these minerals work together to strengthen the body.

We can make the choice to eat healthily and provide our bodies with foods that boost our immune system. I listed just 5 or more than 20 fruits and vegetables known for their immunity-boosting properties. In the coming days, I will share more about how to stay healthy during this Covid-19 crisis.

Free Immunity Boosting Recipe: Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOKING TIME: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vegan Thai red curry paste (omit or reduce if you don’t like spice)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (13- to 14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)
  • Juice from 1 medium lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Cooked rice, for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the curry paste and oregano, sauté for another minute.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, water, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through about 15 minutes.  Add more coconut milk and water if needed.
  • Remove from the heat and add spinach, stir, add the lime juice. Serve over rice if desired.

RECIPE NOTES

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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