Boost Your Immune System With These Plant-Based Foods
Research has shown that eating plant-based foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help boost your defense system.
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it from us: Eat your vegetables!
We all probably heard this phrase way too much growing up, but our parents, teachers, and guardians had a good reason for their persistence. Eating vegetables and other plant-based foods supports your immune system. What you eat really does matter. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization recently released guidelines for maintaining a healthy diet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only is eating more plant-based foods beneficial for your health, it’s also a way to help improve the lives of farmed animals. Right now, more than 70 billion animals are farmed for food each year – two-thirds in conditions that mean they can’t move freely or live naturally.
Meat reduction has the potential to put an end to some of the cruelest factory farming practices, such as extreme confinement, the overuse of antibiotics, and brutal mutilations. By reducing the demand for meat, World Animal Protection expects that factory farming will be phased out. As overall meat demand declines, a shift towards family farming and practices that are more sustainable and kinder to animals will replace low welfare practices.
In light of the health and animal welfare benefits, we compiled a list of plant-based immune-boosting foods for you to add to your diet!
Citruses and Red Bell Peppers
I’m sure you’re not surprised to see citruses on our list, considering we’ve all been told how oranges are a great source of Vitamin C. But did you know about red bell peppers?! Fun fact, one cup contains 3x the amount of Vitamin C than in one orange! You can also try grapefruits, lemons, or limes. Consume these foods daily to obtain their many healthful benefits.
Spinach and Broccoli
Dark leafy greens like spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of antioxidants. In case you didn’t know, antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to your cells. When cooking, remember to cook them lightly to retain their vital nutrients!
Infection fighting and anti-inflammatory, garlic has been shown to help prevent the common cold. Garlic contains allicin, which is believed to be the reason behind its immunity-boosting properties. Make sure to crush or slice the garlic to reap its full benefits.
Coined the "superfood of spice", turmeric has a centuries-long history of helping with pain and inflammation. Turmeric contains curcumin, which serves as a potent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Try combining turmeric with black pepper; it helps facilitate curcumin absorption in the body.
Sweet Potato and Carrots
Two excellent sources of Vitamin A, sweet potatoes and carrots, contain beta carotene, which helps the body produce white blood cells. White blood cells help your body fight bacteria and viruses. Try baking sweet potatoes or eating carrots with hummus – it’s delicious!
Don’t forget to include a variety of foods in your diet to ensure proper nutrition; we promise your body will thank you.