3 min|Rhiannon Lytle
Top Foods to Support Your Immune SystemNutrition, Health, Immune Health
We all recognize the importance of our immune system, especially over these last months. While adding in the right supplements is a wonderful way to give your immune system the additional support it needs, it's important to lay the foundational work with a good diet!
By incorporating foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals, reduce inflammation, and support our gut health, we can provide our immune system with additional help to keep it stronger than ever.
Some easy foods to add to support your immune system are:
Of course, not your typical house plant - I'm talking about fruits and vegetables! As we know, fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants. They provide a variety of vitamins & minerals that are commonly known to help support our immune health including vitamins A, C and E. Some of my favourites include:
- bell peppers
- tomatoes (even canned tomatoes in a BPA-free can)
2. Bone broths
Raise your hand if your parents didn't give you a can of chicken noodle soup when you were sick [cue very few hands raised]. Broths, particularly long-stewed ones like chicken & beef bone broths like we see commonly today, can pack a nutritional punch. Combining a variety of bones can also increase the nutrient density of your soup. Calcium, zinc, manganese, vitamins A and K, as well as protein are all commonly found in both frozen store-bought and homemade bone broths.
Increase the nutritional value of yours and include superfoods and herbs like garlic, ginger, turmeric, adaptogenic mushrooms,cayenne pepper.
3. Fermented foods
The health of our gut is directly correlated to our immune health. This means, it's more important than ever to care about whether we're properly feeding our gut!
Adding fermented foods can help do increase the beneficial bacteria in our gut that helps to fight off pathogens. Some of my favourites include:
- miso paste
4. Fatty fish
There are two main ways that wild-caught, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and anchovies can support our immune system. First, they are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation. Second, they are high in vitamin D, which we know is essential for better immune health.
Alongside eating a diet rich in wild-caught fish, supplementing with vitamin D is highly recommended, particularly when living in countries like Canada!
Garlic is one of my favourite immune supportive foods, mainly because it tastes delicious and it's so easy to add to a variety of dishes! Before cooking the garlic, try crushing it and letting it sit for about 10 minutes to do its magic (a.k.a. increase the allicin content and give it it's immune supportive properties.
Want to learn more ways you can support your immune system? Book your appointment with our holistic nutritionist!
Rhiannon is the Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Integrative. She has a passion for making healthy eating easy, accessible and fun, loves getting outside, and enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe!