Have you ever heard the saying you're only as young as your immune system? It's true, some 60-year-olds may have the immune system of a 40-year-old, but unfortunately, not all 40-year-olds are as lucky and may have the immune system of a 60-year-old.
The immune system is made up of cells, tissues, and organs that protect your body from bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and even cancer cells to prevent illness. If you have a strong immune system, you'll be less likely to get sick, but if it's weak, you may get sick more easily and more often.
It turns out there are a several factors that can affect your "immune age." One of those things is your actual age - as we get older, our immune systems naturally become less effective. Your environment can play a big role too. For example, in the winter, your body has to work over time to fight off illness because of the lack of vitamin D and the colder weather weakening your immune system.
If you're wondering how to build a strong immune system, one thing you can do is regularly incorporate whole foods into your lifestyle. It's important to note that your body may absorb and utilize nutrients best when they're sourced from whole foods opposed to supplements. The more colorful your options, the better!
Be sure to join us as we explore the ultimate 7 best foods to boost your immune system.
What Foods Boost Your Immune System?
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are foods that boost your immune system. Berries are packed with Vitamin C, which helps to produce white blood cells, the soldiers and first line of defense of our immune system that fight off infections, illnesses, and anything that doesn't belong in the body.
The vitamin C in berries is also an antioxidant, which means that it can help protect cells from damage caused by harmful molecules known as free radicals. When there is an overabundance of free radicals, it can cause inflammation and damage to cells, which can lead to a weakened immune system.
Because your gut health is connected to your immune health, when your gut microbiome is balanced and healthy, it can help to keep your immune system functioning properly. A healthy gut microbiome can improve the function of white blood cells.
Some of the best foods to boost your immune system are probiotic-rich foods. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. One of the best ways to get probiotics is through fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. These foods help to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, which can help to strengthen your immune system.
3. Plant Based Protein
You should consider adding plant-based protein in your diet as an immune system building food. Plant-based proteins, such as brown rice protein, are filled with phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds that act as antioxidants to improve the body's ability to fight off infection.
Another bonus is that brown rice protein may be more easily digestible, which is important for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome to strengthen the immune system.
An easy, on-the-go option of plant-based protein is ALOHA's chocolate mint protein bars, which have 14 grams of a nutrient dense plant-based protein blend of brown rice protein and pumpkin seed protein.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Another example of immunity booster food includes nuts and seeds, such as almonds and pumpkin seeds, which are high in vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and prevent the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Almonds and pumpkin seeds also contain magnesium and zinc to boost the immune system. Zinc is a mineral that helps to activate white blood cells and also plays a role in the production of cells that help to heal wounds.
ALOHA's Pumpkin Spice bar is an incredible source of creamy almond butter and real roasted pumpkin seeds for your body to do it's best.
5. MCT Oil
MCT oil is a type of oil made up entirely of medium chain triglycerides, which are saturated fatty acids found in both animal and plant foods. It can improve the function of the thymus gland that produces T-cells for the immune system. What differentiates this spectacular source of fat from others is that it is easily absorbed and utilized as a source of energy by the body.
Indulge in ALOHA's Vanilla Protein Powder that contains MCT oil from organic coconuts for natural, plant-based energy to keep you energized and to maintain a healthy immune system.
This vibrant yellow spice is also an immunity booster food that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. It contains a compound called curcumin, which may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties, helping to reduce the risk of infection.
The Standard American Diet is loaded with inflammatory foods which can work against all your hard efforts in building a strong immune system. A diet that incorporates anti-inflammatory foods may work wonders for your health. The Blue Zones diet, which is similar to the Mediterranean diet, may help you accomplish this goal by eating 95% plant-based.
7. Green Tea
Enjoying a cup of green tea can be a great way to boost your immune system. One of the things that makes green tea so great for your immune system is that it's packed with antioxidants, specifically catechins. One of the key catechins found in green tea is called EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) which has been shown to have a positive effect on the immune system.
Green tea is also a great source of theanine, an amino acid that can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Stress can weaken the immune system, so consuming green tea can help to sit back, relax, and let your immune system do all the hard work for you.
Nourish Your Body with Immune System Boosting Foods
Next time you're looking to lower your immune age, reach for the whole foods first before the supplements so you can have optimal absorption of nutrients for your body. Never underestimate the powder of diverse, whole food ingredients to provide the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants necessary to support a healthy immune system and reduce the risk of infection.
And while a healthy diet is important, it's also vital to remember that other lifestyle factors such as regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep also play a key role in maintaining a strong immune system. So, focus on nourishing your body with a balanced diet and taking care of your overall well-being, and you'll be on your way to a stronger and healthier immune system.
If you're looking for the best foods to boost your immune system, ALOHA's gluten and dairy free protein powder has only 12 real ingredients to provide your body with everything it needs to do its best and stay free from anything it doesn't.