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May 21, 2020

Plant-Based Foods To Boost Your Immune System (Vegan Friendly)

Here are some vegan foods to boost your immune system that you should consider adding to your weekly shopping list.

These plant-based foods are good for your health and can boost your immunity, helping to combat illness and viruses. You should consider eating these foods as a part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.

1. Garlic

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Garlic and garlic extract contains powerful antioxidants such as allyl disulfide, alliin, allicin, and allyl cysteine, which can help protect your body against damage from free radicals.

Another benefit is that garlic can help improve the health of your gut [1], which has been shown to naturally boost immunity.

Your immune system is largely located in the digestive system, so it makes sense that you eat the best food options that can help keep the good bacteria in your gut healthy.

2. Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes can be added to your vegan diet in many ways, for example, they could be a side for a salad. Eating them will provide you with numerous health benefits.

The reason why the sweet potato is so beneficial is due to it being rich in vitamin A.

Vitamin A does not offer any real immune-boosting ability, unlike other vitamins such as vitamin C.

However, there is research available that suggests that a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to problems with the immune system, particularly in children [2].

 

3. Broccoli

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Among the many fruits and vegetables that could support the immune system, broccoli is one of the healthiest that you can add to your plant-based diet.

Like most greens, it is loaded with various nutrients, such as vitamin E, C, and A, as well as numerous antioxidant content.

The key to keeping the power of broccoli is to ensure you cook it as little as possible, or better yet, not at all and to eat it raw.

4. Ginger

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There are numerous health benefits to be gained from adding ginger to your plant-based diet.

This root vegetable belongs to the same family as turmeric. Both contain high amounts of antioxidants that offer potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

The antioxidants found in ginger helps to fight against the free radicals produced by your body when it undergoes oxidative stress caused by normal metabolic processes in your body, infection, and toxins.

5. Citrus Fruit

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Fresh citrus such as oranges, clementines, and satsumas are high in vitamin B and C.

Vitamin B is vital for supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system [3], while C is essential for the growth and repair of your body's tissue [4].

Vitamin C helps to heal any wounds and helps repair and maintain your bones, teeth, skin, and cartilage. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals that can help fight off illness and may help prevent cancer and heart disease.

6. Cinnamon

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Cinnamon is not just a nice smelling spice, it offers plenty of benefits, including the ability to strengthen your health, this will help you from getting sick as often.

It has numerous antioxidant contents, known as polyphenols, that can help protect your body from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

In a study, it was found to contain more antioxidants than superfoods like garlic [5].

7. Mushrooms

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Mushrooms are often used by vegans as an alternative to meat, but you may be surprised to learn just how beneficial this food truly is.

When eaten, mushrooms help to stimulate the synthesis of your white blood cells [6]. It is these cells that actively fight any infection that enters your bloodstream.

If you want to avoid becoming sick then you should consider adding mushrooms to your favorite homemade soup recipe.

Your white blood cells will become more defensive when found in larger numbers, which makes them incredibly effective for boosting immunity.

No wonder this food has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine, with many practitioners still using it to this day.

8. Tea

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Whether you choose a white, green or black variety of tea, you are going to be getting a hit of polyphenols and flavonoids the next time you take a sip [7].

These can seek out any free radicals in your system and help to destroy them.

Mix it with your favorite greens and you’re good to go.

Final Words

Keeping your natural immunity healthy is a process that needs constant attention.

There are certain things that you must do, for example, you should exercise regularly, try and maintain a healthy weight and try to avoid drinking too much alcohol or smoking.

It is also important that you include the above natural vegan foods in your diet year-round to keep your immune system strong and your overall health at its best.

Of course, there is nothing to stop you from increasing your intake of these foods when the cold and flu season approaches.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32033507
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/vitamin-a-deficiency
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7010964
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24796079
  5. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf051513y
  6. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729101609.htm
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3220617/