Civilizations around the world have relied on natural methods to fight disease and illness for thousands of years. In fact, the invention of conventional medicine as we know it today is very new, relatively speaking. While there is undoubtedly a time and place for modern medicine, many doctors agree that the most powerful “medicine” of all is prevention. When you armor your body with the proper tools to keep your immune system strong, you can circumvent the occurrence and effects of illness dramatically. Here are eight of the most powerful dietary tools you can include in your regimen to maintain a heightened state of wellness:
1. Supply your Body with Food-Based Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports healthy immune function, and can help prevent and lessen the duration of many illnesses—from the common cold to even certain forms of cancer. Bioavailability is often compromised when taking vitamin C in supplement form, so obtaining this vitamin through food-based sources (as well as in smaller, more frequent amounts) is considered the best method. Some of the most optimal forms of natural vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers and berries like camu.
2. Reach for the Medicinal Mushrooms
As one of the most powerful healing foods you can consume, superfood mushrooms like reishi, shiitake and turkey tail boost your resistance to viruses, bacteria and chemicals, and help destroy and decompose toxins and free radicals in the body. Most of these mushrooms are available in powdered form, making them easy to add to both savory and sweet recipes without much flavor influence. One of the easiest (and tastiest!) ways to incorporate mushrooms into your smoothies, oatmeal, brownies, cookies, and other chocolate recipes is to use our Cacao+ Longevity Blend, which is also loaded with essential minerals like magnesium, calcium and iron.
3. Get Your Greens
The concentration of chlorophyll in green foods like wheatgrass and spirulina helps your body detoxify and reduce built-up toxicity. Plus, greens are almost always accompanied by important vitamins and minerals like immune-boosting vitamin C and zinc.
4. Season with Herbs
The potency that gives herbs their strong flavor is also what makes many herbs so healing. Varieties like oregano, cilantro, parsley and rosemary are powerful antibacterial and antiviral tools to use. Time to start flavoring your food more!
5. Go for Goji Berries
Long used in Chinese medicine as healing staples, goji berries support immunity on two fronts: an array of protective antioxidants that fight internal decay, as well as a heavy dose of vitamins, including more Vitamin C than oranges and more beta carotene than carrots.
6. Support Your Gut with Enzymes
Gut health plays a huge role in wellness as a catalyst for every bodily process. In fact, the nutrients you eat from other healthy superfoods can’t even be absorbed without the right enzymes! And while you are born with all the enzymes you need, your natural stores deplete dramatically as you age, which is why it's so important to obtain additional enzymes through diet. Many fruits and vegetables are rich in enzymes, and healthy probiotics can be obtained through fermented foods, Essential Superfood Blends and supplements as well.
7. Stay Hydrated
While it may sound simplistic, most of us underestimate the true significance of staying hydrated. Not only does the loss of body water accelerate aging, but it’s critical for the elimination of accrued toxins in the bloodstream and kidneys.
8. Boost Your Beverages
Finally, while immune-boosting supplements work, they should always be made from real-food ingredients like the ones mentioned in the list above. In fact, you can easily cover your bases with our convenient Superfood+ Immunity Blend, which contains nature's three most abundant sources of naturally occurring vitamin C—camu, orange and acerola cherry—so you can effectively support your immunity without having to think twice about it. Simply add a teaspoon to your favorite smoothie recipe, blend and go!
Maintain a strong immune system year-round with these and some of our other favorite immune-strengthening superfoods! Click HERE to learn more.