Herbs and spices are known to have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, which support our immune health. If you're not sure what antioxidants are, they're found in plants and help to protect our cells from disease, viruses and other illnesses.
They also help to boost the immune system because, when our antioxidant levels are low, our immunity doesn’t work as well, putting us at risk of getting sick. Adding herbs and spices when you’re cooking is one of the easiest things you can do to boost your immune system.
Here are 4 different herbs and spices that support immune health.
Ginger is known for its immense benefits. It supports the immune system and helps fight symptoms if you do get sick. Ginger is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Make ginger tea by pouring hot water over freshly sliced ginger and let it steep for a few minutes. It also goes great in smoothies, like the immunity boosting I made here on ABC10 earlier this year. I also add it to this peanut sauce.
Cumin seeds have been used for years as respiratory support. This is because respiratory issues cause inflammation and cumin seeds have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
Cumin seeds also help to keep your immune system boosted. Cumin is antibacterial and antiviral, which can help clear up symptoms you might have when you’re sick.
I like adding it to things like tacos, guacamole or even just sprinkling it on a salad.
I love mint because it's so easy to grow! You don't need a big backyard, just a small pot. Mint has shown to help counteract the bad effects of stress on our body.
When we are stressed, it actually suppresses our immune system so we're more likely to get sick during stressful times. Add mint to salads, stir-fry or smoothies. I love it in this Chocolate Mint Smoothie.
Cloves are not only high in antioxidants, but they're also one of the highest in anti-inflammatory properties.
It's a good time of year to have cloves as it's in pumpkin spice seasoning! You can add ground cloves to things like tea, sprinkle it on oatmeal or chia pudding.