As the weather switches from warm sunny skies to cloudy windy days, our body’s needs changes too. From the common cold to the flu, colder weather opens the doors to sniffles and runny noses, coughs and sore throats and the dreaded combo of aches and pains. To avoid racking up medical bills from trips to the doctor and the pharmacy, here are 6 surprising immunity boosting superfoods to kick fall illnesses to the curb.
Not a fan of oranges or grapefruit but still want a sweet natural boost of vitamin C? Give a kiwi a try! Although not the prettiest on the outside, it’s green beautiful flesh inside is loaded with vitamin C, K as well as folate and potassium. While vitamin C aids white blood cells to fend off infections, vitamin K aids in bone strength and in blood clotting of wounds and other ailments. Additionally, folate enforces healthy red blood cell production, while potassium helps nutrients stay in your body and assists your heat to beat regularly. Kiwis surprisingly can be used in a variety of ways like salads and of course desserts. Next time you feel an itch in your throat, stock up on some kiwis to fight off bacteria and boost your immunity!
Possibly more exotic and perplexing than the kiwi, papayas are another sweet fruit full of vitamin C and many other great wonders! Alike kiwis, papayas are filled with vitamin C, where a medium sized papaya contains double the average vitamin C recommendation, as well as folate and potassium. Papayas additionally contain magnesium, which aids in muscle and nerve regulation as well as the production of DNA, bone and protein. What more you may think? Papaya naturally produces an anti-inflammatory enzyme called papain. The next time you feel your nose running, give a papaya a go! (Fun Fact: Papaya seeds are also edible and are a great source of fiber!)
3) Sunflower Seeds
Fall is the perfect time to stock up on sunflower seeds as they are in abundance! Sunflower seeds are full in magnesium and phosphorus, which helps repair and maintain cells and tissue. Sunflower seeds also contain vitamin E and selenium. Selenium is a great antioxidant compound which reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system by reducing and relieving stress. In fact, some studies have shown that selenium can even combat viral infections such as the swine flu! If raw sunflower seeds don’t interest you, they are a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, desserts and much more!
Roasted, salted, dipped in dark chocolate, almonds are beloved in many ways not only by you but by your body too! Almonds are the perfect side-kick when fighting off and preventing the common cold thanks to being packed with vitamin C and vitamin E, which work hand-in-hand aiding your immunity system. Getting chilly outside? Pack and snack on some almonds on the go to keep your immune system going strong!
Garlic doesn’t exist just to ward off vampires and evil spirits during the spooky season, but helps fight off infections and colds too! Garlic contains unique compounds which have been proved in studies to lower blood pressure and aid arteries. Additionally, garlic contains an enzyme called alliinase which transforms into an amino acid allicin. Allicin not only reduces swelling of cells and tissue , but also aids cells in fighting off radical bacteria on cells that may lead to infection.
Widely available in many forms and flavours, yogurt has been known to boost one’s immunity for centuries. Yogurts contains vitamin D, as well as live and active cultures which support and defend your immune system. Rather than heading to the doctor for a probiotic, yogurt is the perfect natural solution! Yogurt can be transformed and added into many delicious possibilities. For and even bigger immunity kick, yogurt can be combined with any of the superfoods above!