Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic and Others

A healthy body begins with a healthy immune system. Your immune system is responsible for the body’s homeostatic balance by defending against viruses and bacteria. Your gut makes up at least 70% of your immune system, luckily food is a great tool to help prevent inflammation and disease.

Food is most healing when it is in its most natural state. I make sure that I’m getting my daily dose of fresh fruits, vegetables and quality protein every day so that my body can repair quickly. I love making fresh vegetable juices with added anti-inflammatory ingredients such as ginger and turmeric.

My Favorite Immune Boosting Foods:

Kale – Greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are immune-boosting foods that contain high levels of vitamin C, which not only packs a powerful antioxidant punch, it helps fight off infection and regenerate other antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E. They also contain folate, another immune booster.

Carrots – Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, which gives them their bright color. Beta Carotene supports the body’s mucus membrane, which lines the respiratory and intestinal tracts, making it harder for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause trouble.

Citrus –Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which helps maintain the body’s defense against bacterial infections. Citrus has a unique type of fiber that, in recent studies, appears to dramatically reduce cholesterol.

Studies have shown that ginger has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps to boost immune function and combat cellular damage. Ginger improves gut motility and bowel function, while helping to relieve bloating, cramping and nausea.

Garlic contains allicin, a potent phytonutrient that is great for cardiac health. It has been shown to help lower blood pressure, inhibit blood clotting and promote healthy cholesterol levels.

Have a lot of B vitamins including thiamine (B1) and B6, which are vital for energy, metabolism and nerve function. Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, renowned for aiding protein digestion which allows your body to utilise immune boosting amino acids effectively.

Protein helps nourish your immune system, repair the body and assist recovery. I use Garden of Life raw protein powder in my smoothies. When eating meats, I choose organic grass fed meats.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, detoxifying and amazing for digestive health. Turmeric has been linked to the prevention of cancer cell growth and management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron.

For some immune boosting smoothie recipes, check out our What’s in your Jar? Green and Sunshine Morning Smoothies post.

~ Audra Shimek, PURE Bikram Yoga North Austin

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