As you age, your body can become more susceptible to illness and infection, and have a harder time fighting sickness. Your immune response can slow and degrade over the years and make what once were simple colds or afflictions very severe. A compromised immune system can mean serious business, but there are natural and flavorful ways to give your immune system a boost and help keep infection and illness at bay.
Superfoods like acai and spirulina have made headline news as of late for their incredibly high antioxidant values and nutrient properties. But these exotic and sometimes expensive food supplements have some everyday rivals you can use to boost your immunity right now. These common foods each have high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties; including antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and/or antiparasitic attributes.
Garlic has one of the highest antioxidant values of any food in the entire world, gram for gram. Potent in flavor, and usually cooked, reducing its effectiveness, garlic is often overlooked for its immune attributes because it is hard to palate. “Odor-free” garlic pills may be used to fight Candida Albicans, the culprit in yeast infections, and as an antioxidant source. But fresh garlic has amazing antiseptic properties as well, and is a main ingredient in a natural home remedy called Master Tonic.
Ginger is an ancient anti-nausea remedy and digestion aid used in Chinese medicine for centuries. But like its cousin garlic, this root can be used in naturalistic and homeopathic therapies for many communicable ailments. With its own pungent but more palatable flavor, it is a more widely used ingredient in natural cold remedies. Ginger tea with lemon and honey is a common tonic for colds. But you can add it to just about any cooked or raw cuisine for an easy health boost.
Turmeric is another root like ginger and garlic, but its flesh is bright orange in color. A popular health supplement available in powdered-capsule form, the active antiseptic ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. The amount of curcumin occurring in fresh or powdered turmeric root is so low you may fair better with turmeric-curcumin or pure curcumin dxtract. In either case, it is best to take your turmeric or curcumin with black pepper and/or almond butter, as the compounds in these foods make the active ingredient more bio-available.
Cacao (or cocoa) has been used as a health elixir by many ancient Native and Central American societies. Its notoriety as a Superfood with incredible antioxidant properties has reinvented chocolate’s image in the past 10 years. Unfortunately, the healthier and more natural chocolate is, the more bitter it is in flavor and less palatable it becomes. Added sugar, milk, soy and the many processes needed to turn pure cacao into chocolate makes it a sugary snack more than a health food. But if you can get your hands on pure, organic, cold-pressed, raw cacao powder, you’ll see many of its advantages right away. This includes increased, sustained energy and more balanced sugar levels in addition to an immune boost. Add it to your protein shakes or no-bake recipes, as heat reduces its potency and effectiveness.
Cinnamon is a delicious spice that aids in digestion, sugar balance and metabolism, in addition to adding an immune boost to your diet. Sprinkle a little on everything and spice up your healthier life.
Clove is a potent spice most notably found in winter holiday dishes. But it doesn’t have to be confined to baked ham or spiced apple cider. Clove can be taken as a supplement as well, and used for its natural antioxidant and antiseptic properties.
Each of these six super-foods can your boost immunity without breaking the bank. These whole foods and extracts are easy to come by and may already be in your pantry. If you purchase them for natural health purposes, make sure to get the most natural and organic, and least processed varieties available within your budget. Plus, the real beauty of these foods is they are regular ingredients in many cuisines; including Mediterranean, Indian and Latin. They are easy to incorporate into your diet or consume as a supplement. So go to your local grocer or health food store and start adding these Super-food immune boosters to your everyday health regimen.