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With the rise of illnesses and death during this global pandemic, many are searching for ways to boost their immune systems. This article is not making any claims to cure covid, I am simply sharing information in regards to foods that are known to boost immunity and in combination have been researched to potentially boost your protection from Covid-19 and other ailments which you can read more about here.immune boosting foods
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In this blog we will discuss how to boost your immune system with diet, specifically:
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
I will list what foods are rich in these immune-boosting vitamins and nutrients as well as include recipes that combine incorporate these foods.

immune boosting food

Why Zinc is Important

 

According to the National Institutes of Health, ” Zinc is a nutrient that people need to stay healthy. Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells.”
Zinc is a very important component to everyones diet to ensure your bodies ability to stay healthy is up to par and you’re in luck because this category includes chocolate! That’s right, chocolate, now I am not talking Hershey’s, but I am talking clean cocoa powder, dark chocolate with no additives.

Ok ok, now let’s get back to the foods you can try to incorporate into your everyday meals, not just your fun late-night treats.

high vitamin d foods
High levels of Zinc can be found in these foods:
  • Beef
  • Nuts
  • Lamb
  • Beans/Legumes
  • Poultry
  • Mushrooms
  • Oysters
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Shrimp and Scallops
  • Green Vegetables

What is Selenium Good For?

 

What the heck is selenium anyway? According to healthline.com Selenium is an essential mineral and must be obtained through diet. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that provides the following benefits:
healthy diet
  1. May reduce the risk of certain cancers
  2. May protect against heart disease
  3. Helps prevent mental decline
  4. Is important for thyroid health
  5. Boosts your immune system
  6. May help reduce asthma symptoms

 

The following foods are great sources of selenium:
vitamin rich diet
  • Oysters: 238% of the DV in 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Brazil nuts: 174% of the DV in one nut (5 grams)
  • Halibut: 171% of the DV in 6 ounces (159 grams)
  • Yellowfin tuna: 167% of the DV in 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Eggs: 56% of the DV in 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • Sardines: 46% of the DV in 4 sardines (48 grams)
  • Sunflower seeds: 27% of the DV in 1 ounce (28 grams)
  • Chicken breast: 12% of the DV in 4 slices (84 grams)
  • Shiitake mushrooms: 10% of the DV in 1 cup (97 grams)

Vitamin D Rich Foods

 

This special vitamin that unfortunately many humans are lacking is vital for regulating and absorbing calcium, phosphorus, and maintaining a normal immune system. Folks low in vitamin D can experience depressive symptoms. This vitamin is also important for the normal growth and development of bones and teeth.

The most obvious way for us to get our fair share of Vitamin D is through the sun! It’s that important that by just exposing our skin to the sunlight, we absorb this vitamin, unfortunately because you are likely stuck in the office all day, this isn’t happening so eating the right foods is extra important!

foods high in vitamin D

Photo by: Dreamstime.com

foods high in vitamin d
Foods high in Vitamin D:
  • Salmon
  • Herring and sardines
  • Cod liver oil
  • Canned tuna
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified foods (cows milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereal, and oatmeal)

High Vitamin C Foods

 

Vitamin C may be the most commonly known and talked about  vitamin in terms of an immune-boosting vitamin. Many products like Emergen-C and Airborne are high in this vitamin, but you can get it naturally from your diet and can be found in a much wider variety of foods.
foods with the most vitamin c
Foods high in Vitamin C:
  • Kakadu plums
  • Acerola cherries
  • Rosehips
  • Chili Peppers
  • Guavas
  • Sweet Yellow Peppers
  • Blackcurrants
  • Thyme
  • Parsely
  • Mustard Spinach
  • Kale
  • Kiwis
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lemons
  • Lychees
  • American Persimmons
  • Papayas
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges

 

You may have noticed that many of these lists include some overlap, so making meals that contain foods with these properties should be relatively easy. This morning I enjoyed a meal from one of my favorite local spots: salmon benedict, greens, fruits, and nuts. This meal got me these vitamins and minerals and was so delicious.
You could easily make a dish like this at home. If poaching eggs isn’t your thing, just make them over easy. Find some more recipes below that are high in immune-boosting properties.

immune boosting food

Nutrient- Dense Salads

 

Salads are the easiest way to get all of these vitamins and minerals in. To increase the nutrients I am a big fan of mixing citrus into my salads. Try a mixture of kale, your favorite fish, sliced almonds, fruit of choice, squeeze of lemon, some olive oil, and some cheese.
Don’t eat meat or fish or dairy? You can add some legumes for a tasty protein to still get in your zinc and sauté some mushrooms which covers your selenium intake. If mushrooms don’t sound good with citrus, I feel you, you can add peppers or steamed broccoli to get more Vitamin C.

immune boosting food

Buddha Bowls

 

Buddha bowls are bowls with healthy grains, greens, and proteins. You could make quinoa and then add legumes, mushrooms, peppers, kale, and some seeds or nuts of choice. The just like the salad, top with lemon and olive oil. If you are a meat eater you can add your favorite fish.

immune boosting food

Bun-less Burgers

 

We are big fans of Juicy Lucy burgers in our home (we buy local beef from a rancher here in Colorado). To make a juicy lucy you will be getting in your beef and dairy for the day by making a patty with clean organic free-range beef and folding the cheese of choice inside the patty.
You can grill or make them on the stovetop in a skillet like we do. Then instead of a bun serve over top of kale or greens of choice. We top with sauteed mushrooms and onions and serve with a side of crispy brussels sprouts in place of French fries for lower carbohydrate intake and increase the intake of vitamin C.

immune boosting food

Vitamin Rich Vegan Recipes

 

Cutting out animal products doesn’t mean you cut out the vitamins and minerals! Here is a delicious immune-boosting soup that covers many of these vitamins and minerals by The Roasted Root.

immune boosting food

Immunity-Boosting Turmeric and Vegetable Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegetable broth (sub chicken bone broth for non-vegan)
  • 1/3 cup white rice
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 large crown broccoli chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini squash
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 (2-inch) nub ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric ( or 1-inch nub of fresh turmeric, grated)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp coconut amino acids or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a pot, cover it, and bring it to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables have reached the desired done-ness.

Note: For the more flavorful broth, add the vegetable broth, turmeric, and ginger to the pot and bring it to a boil. Cook at a gentle boil for 10 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients and cooking an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

Slow-Cooker Cuban Salsa Chicken

 

Eatthismuch.com has a wonderful recipe for immune-boosting properties and of course, it’s set it and forget it slow cooker style!
Ingredients:
healthy recipes
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup garlic
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 lb chicken breast
  • 1 medium bell pepper
Put all ingredients in crock-pot and cook on low for 7 hours. Serve over a bed of black beans and/or greens.

immune boosting food

Go Get Your Immune Boosting Foods!

 

If you feel like you are wanting more recipes, tips, and tricks to living your healthiest life, I have lots more tips and tricks where those came from. All of my meal plans include access to hundreds of recipes and short, easy, all levels workouts. If you have any specific recipes you would like or fitness program questions, always feel free to reach out to me. Thanks for reading. I hope this information was useful and finds you in a space of the heart. I’m just me Sarah Roberts (Savino), MSW, RYT200, TBB Coach founder of team Indie Sols, figuring out what works for me and sharing it with you in hopes that it will make some positive changes for you as well! As always if you have any direct questions or want personal consultation for anything you can reach me at my email thefitphilanthropist@gmail.com or https://tinyurl.com/y7qx7wwg or contact me through any of my social media: Facebook.com/sarah.savino IG- the_fit_philanthropist

Love and Light Always,

Sarah