You don’t need to buy herbal supplements to boost your immune system! Here are the top ten foods that boost immunity, from red cabbage (which I grate on every salad I make) to avocados (guacamole, yum!).
Before the tips, a quip:
“Mother Nature’s foods and natural medicines are more powerful than any drug in the prevention of brain diseases,” says Michelle Schoffro Cook, naturopath and author of The Brain Wash.
For more info about natural foods and remedies for your health, read The Brain Wash: A Powerful, All-Natural Program to Protect Your Brain Against Alzheimer’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Parkinson’s, and Other Diseases.
And to learn how to achieve your health goals, improve your memory, and prevent brain diseases, here are ten foods that boost your immune system…
Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immune System
1. Red cabbage. The anthocyanins in red cabbage not only improve brain function, they also promote cardiac health and provide cancer protection. Other healthy cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. They also guard against cancer development, increase your body’s detoxification enzymes, and help protect against stroke – which is why they’re one of the top 10 foods to boost your immune system.
2. Healthy fats, such as omega-3′s. “The fats in dairy, meats and oils are important for the production of acetylcholine, which is crucial for memory formation and general neural integrity,” says Dr Pierce Howard in The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. Fish and seafood are a great way to increase your healthy fat intake. Salmon, char, haddock, shrimp, rainbow trout and sardines are foods that fight disease because of their high omega-3 fish oils.
For more info on how this food boosts your immune system, read Getting the Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fish Oils.
3. Tomatoes. The lycopene in tomatos is a powerful antioxidant that fights disease by neutralizing free radicals, the molecules that which damage or destroy brain cells. Tomatoes also stimulate the production of carnitine, which increases the body’s fat-burning capacity.
4. Ginger. “Fresh ginger is one of the best natural anti-inflammatory foods,” says Michelle Schoffro Cook in The Brain Wash. This herb not only blocks the formation of the inflammatory compounds that lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, it also fights acidity in the body. Ginger is a flavorful food that boosts your immune system. Also — the antioxidants in ground cloves, cinnamon, dried oregano and turmeric are helpful in protecting the brain. That’s why ginger is one of the top 10 foods to boost your immune system!
5. Beans, legumes and soy. Black beans, soybeans, split peas and tofu are foods that boost your immune system. They’re among the “bean and pea” family of foods that boost the immune system and fight disease. Legumes and soy foods are low in fat and high in protein, and help ward off heart disease and prostrate cancer. Beans contain high amounts of thiamine, a B-vitamin key in building healthy brain cells and improving cognitive function.
6. Berries. Blueberries and strawberries are particularly high in polyphenols, which are a category of flavonoids. Research shows that these berries can reverse some effects of age-related brain decline; other scientists found that flavonoids work with vitamin C to prevent that vitamin’s breakdown and boost the fight against free radicals. Berries are one of the top 10 foods to boost your immune system because they also guard against macular degeneration, various cancers, and brain cell loss.
7. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3′s, which prevent the decline of cognitive and motor function. Research shows that the combination of omega-3′s and uridine (found in sugar beets or molasses) improves your brain health by increasing brain resiliency and improving cell functioning. This duo also balances the unstable neurotransmitters that can cause depression and other mood disorders. A handful of walnuts a day is a tasty way to boost your immune system!
8. Egg yolks. The choline in yolks improves memory, learning, and cognition. New research shows that choline can improve damaged brain cells caused by alcohol exposure in the womb. “Early dietary interventions may reduce the severity of some fetal alcohol effects, even when administered after birth,” say San Diego State University scientists. Choline boosts cell production, which increases your memory and cognitive function – which is why they’re included in this list of the top 10 foods to boost your immune system. Other sources of choline are skim milk, breast milk, nuts, and meats.
9. Rosemary. This food helps boost your immune system by counteracting the ill effects of aging and providing protection from brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Rosemary also contains carnosic acid, which protects you from possible stroke and neurodegeneration, and antioxidants, which fight free radicals, which are toxic byproducts of natural cell metabolism.
10. Avocados. “Magnesium is involved with countless biological and chemical functions in the body, particularly in stabilizing brain wave patterns and in increasing blood flow to the brain,” says Dr Schoffro Cook. Avocados and artichokes are high in magnesium, and so are whole grains and nuts.
For more ways to boost your immunity, read What Are the Best Brain Vitamins? 10 Brain Improvement Tips.
If you have any thoughts on these top 10 foods to boost your immune system, please comment below…
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.