Strengthen Your Immunity by Improving Your Eating Habits
We are what we eat. What we eat is also what determines how healthy we are. It goes without saying that eating the right kind of foods can reduce the number of times you’ll need to visit your doctor.
Unfortunately, we’re living in a time when there’s a serious health risk that comes with simply going outside, never mind stepping inside a hospital for a clinical visit. To avoid the need to actually go to the doctor these days, we have to start by living a healthier life, and it all starts with improving our diet.
Here are 5 ways to improve immunity through diet:
Drink more water
Needless to say, water is pretty important for just about everything that keeps us alive. After all, people are mostly made up of water, so it’s only natural that we drink our day’s worth of these zero calories, zero additive, and pure beverage consistently.
From helping us manage our weight and hydration all the way to how efficient our body fights disease, water is at the center of what makes us healthy.
But, how much is “more” exactly? Well, there’s no real number of glasses, though you’d find the phrase “8 glasses of water a day” thrown around.
The truth is, how much water you need depends on your lifestyle and how much manual labor you do throughout the day. However, if we’re going to set a standard, a good start is by adding two more glasses to how much you’re drinking now.
Alternatively, you can simply count the number of times you drink artificial beverages (soda, powdered juice, shakes, etc.), remove them and sub water in their place.
Add more fiber into your life
One of the main reasons why fiber is good for the body is how it helps us remove bodily waste easier. The better the body is at removing waste, the less prone you become to housing unwanted bacteria and whatever lives down there.
More than just giving us an easier time in the restroom, fiber also happens to be abundant in vegetables, especially leafy vegetables - the exact food type known to give plenty of immune-strengthening benefits.
Generally speaking, having a small portion of fibrous veggies every day goes a long way when it comes to your health. They provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other compounds that just makes our body run optimally and fight disease better.
Some high fiber foods include:
- Legume-based Rice
- Chia and Flax seeds
Craving for sweets? Choose fruits
The temptation to eat something sweet from the fridge is always present during this time when we’re all cooped up inside and literally have nothing else to do outside of work and browsing social media. However, the additives in many candies can promote inflammation, excess weight, and may even contribute to a weaker immune system.
To curb your sweet cravings without curbing your immunity, it’s always a good idea to keep a bowl of fruits. Grapes, berries, apples, lemons, bananas, any fruit would do so long as they make you avoid eating additive-filled candy.
And hey, fruits are pretty healthy on their own too.
Go dark on chocolates
If fruits just aren’t cutting it for you, then maybe it’s time you consider eating dark chocolates. Dark chocolate is simply chocolate with a lot less sugar. And more than just a reduced sugar variety of the sweet stuff, dark chocolate is also cited for its antioxidant content that can help with immunity, as well as some heart healthy benefits.
Depending on what brand you buy, most dark chocolates contain at least 50% cacao mass aka the actual chocolate powder. Some go for as high as 95%, but it kinda doesn’t taste as chocolatey anymore, so maybe just stick with the 50-75% range if you still need that sugar kick.
Snack on nuts and healthier alternatives
Snacking is either a means to curb hunger or a hobby on its own, and if you’re like most people, it’s definitely the latter.
While we can’t really stop people from snacking, especially now that the fridge and snack cabinet are literally just a few steps away from where we work, what we can change is what we choose to snack on.
If you don’t like to snack on fruits as we mentioned earlier, you can choose to snack on nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats as well as protein and fiber, unlike most snacks that are mostly made of hydrogenated vegetable oils and preservatives - two things known to weaken our immune response.
Try these Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas and Honey-Yogurt Berry Salad recipes for your next snacks.
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1-1/2 cups fresh blackberries
- 1 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
Eating for immunity doesn’t have to be boring or expensive. There are plenty of ways to incorporate immune-boosting foods to everyday meals. It doesn’t matter how big of a change you do, so long as you do change for the better. The goal is to simply be healthier today than you were yesterday, and small changes will always be better than no change at all.