Summer is officially on it's way out and we're heading into fall, which means the weather will be changing soon.
Sometimes, when the weather changes, we get sick especially if our immunity is down.
Pills and powders like Emergen-C's might seem like a good way to boost your immune system, but did you know they don't have to pass safety and efficacy research before hitting the market?! This goes for all dietary supplements.
Here's the thing, you can't take the nutrients that are in fruits and vegetables, put them in a pill or powder form and expect our bodies to process them the same way.
It just doesn't work like that.
Studies have shown that people who take dietary supplements aren't necessarily healthier.
If you feel they do work it's probably more of a placebo effect.
But there are studies that have shown eating a healthier diet, one rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables, will actually help boost your immune system!
One of those studies showed that women eating 9 servings of both fruits and vegetables a day were more protected than women eating just 4 servings. So the more the better!
Below are four foods that will keep you healthy year-round. You might be surprised that oranges didn't make the top of the list because there's other foods that are better for your immunity.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
This includes kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, arugula and collards. These vegetables contain a phytonutrient that is transformed in our stomach to activate our immune system. We should strive to consume cruciferous vegetables every day as prevention for many illness and diseases instead of just eating them once we start to feel sick.
Berries in general will help boost your immune system and keep you healthy, but strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges! Berries are also high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body. It's best to buy organic berries. There's no skin to act as a barrier so they’re exposed to more pesticides and pesticides have shown to suppress the immune system.
Mushrooms are some powerful little fungi. They help to fight the infections while reducing any inflammation. A study showed that people who ate just one cooked mushroom a day for a week boosted their immune response and it even stayed up a week after they stopped eating them. I don't suggest you stop eating mushrooms because they can help keep you healthy all year long.
From chickpeas to lentils to black or kidney beans, legumes, in general, should be on our plates every day. They're a great source of zinc, which helps to protect and boost our immune systems, along with other essential nutrients like magnesium, fiber and protein. Beans also feed and help produce more of the good gut bacteria in our stomachs, and that alone will keep us healthy.
You can easily incorporate these foods by making smoothies, stir-fry, salads and more! If you need some ideas, check out my recipes or Instagram.
Some other ways you can boost your immune system: make sure to wash your hands often, do moderate exercise a few times a week and stay away from sick people.