Top Foods to Grow For Your Immune System
Good health starts with good food. If you're looking for an immunity boost, start in your own garden. There are lots of things you can do to add a little strength to your immune system and that includes increasing the immunity-boosting plants in your diet. Grab a shovel and start planting a garden filled with these super (delicious) foods.
Ring the Bell (Peppers)
Red bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is fantastic for your immune system. Red bell peppers are also full of beta carotene, you know, the stuff that your body turns into vitamin A. Not only will these little red peppers increase your immune system's ability to fight infection, they'll also improve your hair and skin.
Like most bell peppers, red bell peppers are fairly easy to grow in your garden.
C is for Citrus
Everyone knows citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Your body needs naturally derived vitamin C to stay healthy because chances are, the vitamin C you get in your multivitamin is a form of vitamin C that your body may not be able to fully use. Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines are all excellent sources of citrus.
If you don't live somewhere warm where you can grow citrus in your garden, we recommend purchasing the citrus from a local grocer during peak season for maximum yum.
Give us the Garlic
Garlic isn't just the tastiest bulb in your fridge, it's also great for helping your body fight infections. This tasty food is found in food on every continent for good reason and has stories tied to it's healing properties dated back hundreds and hundreds of years.
To grow garlic in your own garden you're going to need a bulb and some dirt. Separate the garlic cloves and plant them in soil that hasn't been used to grow garlic or onions in the last few years. Plant the bulbs about five inches apart with the pointed end facing up. You can grow this immunity booster in the fall or the spring.
Ginger is another food used all over the world with some amazing immunity-boosting properties. Ginger is great for reducing inflammation and is packed full of antioxidants. Some research even suggests that ginger can help you lower your blood pressure and fight heart disease.
Adding ginger to your diet is just as easy as adding it to your garden is. Incorporate more ginger by adding it to a morning smoothie or cooking with it in a vegetable dish.
Spinach is a popular health food, and for good reason. Spinach is full of healthy fiber and packed full of vitamins. To grow spinach in your garden, you'll need to plant it when the weather is still a little cool. Your spinach can be planted in rows in a garden, or if you're tight on space, you can even grow spinach in a terracota pot.
Don't sleep on this super green because with just a few bites of spinach you're body is receiving vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants that help the immune system fight off infections and illnesses.
On the Kiwi Tree
Kiwis contain tons of essentials for a healthy immune system. Vitamins A, K, and C can all be found in kiwis, along with potassium and folate. These tiny superfoods might be hard to grow in your garden, so you may have to settle for a supermarket buy.
A word of caution on kiwis though, of you're allergic to latex maybe skip this on your superfood list. Many people with latex allergies are also allergic to the proteins in kiwis.
A Green Thumb (and Plate)
Broccoli is one of the best immune boosters out there and can be grown in several growing zones across the United States. Like spinach, you get the most nutrients from broccoli when it just slightly cooked. Cooking the broccoli allows your body to digest the nutrients easier, but overcooking leads to vitamin and nutrient loss.
If gardening isn't your thing, shop at local farms or grocers to find these fresh produce items to up your immune system during dinner.