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Immune Boosters - From Your Kitchen or Pantry

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

With all attention currently drawn to infections and diseases, it is important to keep in mind that caring about our immune system is an important factor to maintain all year round.

Your immune system is your body's own structure comprised of many different biological structures and mechanisms whose aim is to defend your body against any diseases or infections.

With so much work at hand, it is crucial to provide aid accordingly. You can do so by integrating different foods and produce found in your kitchen into your diet. Let's have a look at some of these below.

⁣ ✅ Antioxidants & Free Radicals

Antioxidants are substances found in various foods which protect your cells against free radicals.

Free radicals, are damaging molecules which are very highly reactive. They are either produced in the body internally as a byproduct of metabolism or obtained via exposure to toxins such as tobacco, UV Light, Air pollution, Infections - to name a few. Their damage can take various forms, including damage to the DNA, proteins, lipids, cell membranes and even play a role in cancer development.


How to benefit from Antioxidants?⁣

Now that we have established what Antioxidants and free radicals are, let's take a look at how to benefit the most from Antioxidants to protect your body.


Important Antioxidants foods include beneficial substances and minerals such as Vitamins C and E, Carotenoids, Flavonoids, and Lignans - to mention a few.



Vitamin C

A true powerhouse that our body cannot produce by itself, thus it is crucial to make sure it's part of a well-rounded diet. Being a water-soluble vitamin, it's found in an abundance of fruit and vegetables. It is not only a strong immune booster, but also also has a vital impact on your skin health, your connective tissue & bones as well as small blood vessels.




Easy to grab sources include:

Citrus Fruit including Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Tangerines, Kiwi, Papaya, Persimmon, Tomatoes, Sweet Bell Peppers (Yellow, Orange and Red), Guava, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Mango, Pineapple and Potatoes.



Vitamin E

Being a fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties which are essential for your immune system, but also play an important role in blood vessel health and youthful skin by reducing the breakdown of collagen.

It is mainly found in nuts and seeds, but also some dark leafy greens.



Easy to grab sources include:

Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Peanuts, Hazel Nuts, Pine Nuts, Atlantic Salmon, Brazil Nuts, Avocados, Spinach, Asparagus, and Broccoli.



Beta carotene

As the name implies, Beta Carotene is responsible for the red, yellow or orange color of a food. It's an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A.

In addition to strengthening your immune system, it may prevent skin damage and wrinkles, maintaining your youthful glow, in addition to reducing the risk of cancer due to it's antioxidant properties.



Easy to grab sources include:

Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Cantaloupe, Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers, Apricots, Broccoli, Paprika, Cayenne, Chili, Parsley and Coriander.



Flavonoids

Flavonoids are substances which naturally occur in many fruit, vegetables or plant products. They are categorized into six different types.

They shine through their strong antioxidant character, thus help your body protect itself against diseases and toxins.




Easy to grab sources include:

Onions, Grapes, Tomatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Green Tea, Black Tea, Cocoa and dark chocolate, Parsley, Celery, Peppermint, Oranges, Berries



Lignans

Lignans are compounds found in plants with strong antioxidant characters.

They are a type of phytonutrients and help your health by decreasing the risk of breast/prostate cancer, aiding your brain function and help your cardiovascular and immune system.





Easy to grab sources include:

Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Whole Grains, Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Apricots, Berries, Cherries, and Pears



Our tips for you:


✅ Eat the rainbow! Make sure to include a variety of colors in your diet from seasonal fresh vegetables. Experiment with preparing salads, smoothies or side dishes out of vegetables and fruit you enjoy.

✅ Spice Up! Reap the benefit of these little powerhouses that not only enhance your dishes but also your health.

✅ Nuts and Seeds! Best consumed Raw or slightly roasted or salted if you enjoy them. Another great way is using nut butters without added ingredients, or as toppings on your foods.

✅ Tea, Coffee and Chocolate! White Tea, Green Tea and Black Tea are great in moderation, as well as coffee or cocoa powder, in addition to dark chocolate.


As always it is important to keep in mind your food intolerance or any allergies, and to pay special attention to the source with avoiding pesticides as much as possible.



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