Ever wondered if you really can boost the immune system? The answer is yes, and science proves this. Antioxidants are present in foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, etc which help kill free radicals that cause cell death. Just like we have foods that heal and protect the immune system we also have offenders; such as refined, ultra-processed foods (significant added sugar, salt, and fats) that causes a cascade of inflammatory reactions in our body. Just in case you didn’t know, the root cause of many disease is inflammation, which can happen from a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the foods you eat.
Research has shown that people who eat less fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts/seeds tend to consume more processed foods (higher in added sugar, salt, & fat) and have a higher risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
High saturated fat foods like many animal foods - dairy and meat- has shown in research to also cause inflammatory markers in the body, increasing the risk for heart disease, cancer, etc.
So what are those steps to help optimize the immune system?
Here are a few of 360Girls&Women®favorites:
1. Whole Foods – eat a more whole food plant-based diet. Add probiotic (live active cultures, like cashew yogurt) and pre-biotics (asparagus, banana) daily.
2. Herbs/Spices - add dried and fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, garlic) to meals, cooked or raw. Enjoy spices like cumin and turmeric more often.
3. Supplements – Powerful antioxidants like vitamin D & Vitamin C are good supplements to have on hand, in-addition to B-complex and Zinc. Elderberry is one of my favorites for the us at home. It can help to support the immune system and Its rich dark red color indicates it's good for the blood (as my mother would say) which helps dilate blood vessels which help to reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation and so much more.
4. Essential Oils – are from plants and are more concentrated than dried herbs. Essential oils can be used topically, aromatically or internally. Young Living, the world leader in essential oils, has GRAS certified oils that can be used in your favorite beverage or be taken in a vitamin capsule. Some potent essential oils that help to support the immune system are Purification, Frankincense, Thieves, Oregano; just to name a few. Find more info here on essential oils.