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Great Foods That Help Prevent Illness & Build Immunity

Written by: Gina Leslie, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

While you certainly want the foods you eat to be tasty, it’s nice when they can pull double duty and provide you with some other benefits. For example, some foods are naturally good at helping to prevent illness and to build immunity. Below, we’ll be talking about those foods and cooking ingredients. You’ll learn more about why they are so healthy and how they prevent illness and boost immunity, as well as how to use them.

Foods high in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

Garlic


Just about everyone loves garlic, right? It’s found in cuisines all around the world because it adds that extra something to so many different types of dishes. It tastes fantastic, but it turns out that it also happens to be one of the best things for your health. It can do some remarkable things according to research. Even the earliest civilizations were cognizant of the power of garlic.


Garlic can help to fight infections and build up your immunity. There is even evidence that it could help to slow down the hardening of the arteries and potentially reduce blood pressure. The powerful immune-boosting properties are believed to come from the sulfur compounds in garlic.


What Does Garlic Go Well With?


Let’s be honest. Garlic can go with just about anything. You can’t think of Italian food and not think about garlic. However, it pairs nicely with so many types of foods that it’s hard to make a list because it would be ever-expanding. Here are a few of the things that garlic works nicely with as a cooking ingredient for some added flavor—beef, lamb, chicken, fish, broccoli, cucumber, mushroom, pork, potato, spinach, zucchini, and tomato.


Oregano


Oregano is another popular option when talking about healthy food that is good for the immune system. It has been used in traditional and folk medicine for centuries to help fight against illnesses. Studies have shown that oregano has a range of properties including antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. It is anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic.


As with garlic, it’s low-calorie and filled with a range of nutrients that help to make it a truly great food. Some of the nutrients in oregano include magnesium, beta-carotene, potassium, folate, and iron.


What Does Oregano Go Well With?


Like garlic, you will find that oregano can go well with quite a few different types of food, including Italian. It works well on lamb, chicken, seafood, eggplant, and potatoes. It pairs well with other types of spices, including parsley, garlic, onion, marjoram, thyme, and basil.


Ginger


When people feel a cold coming on, they will often turn to ginger. There is some evidence that shows that it could help to reduce inflammatory illnesses and sore throats. It could also help to reduce feelings of nausea. Some people have found that ginger can help them to decrease chronic pain, and some feel that it could help to lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that it does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects.


What Does Ginger Go Well With?


While not everyone likes ginger, it’s still popular and works well with countless types of food whether it’s sweet or savory. For example, it is nice with many different types of fruits and vegetables including asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and watercress. It works nicely with meat including beef, crab, squid, and pork. It’s good when paired with nuts like pecan, almond, and pistachio, as well.


You will find that it is nice for soups, curries, salads, and more. You could also opt for ginger tea, which is yet another way you can get the benefits of this food. It’s far more versatile than a lot of people give credit.


Citrus Fruits


We all know that citrus fruits are good for our immune system because they are filled with vitamin C and plenty of other nutrients. Vitamin C is thought to help increase the production of white blood cells in the body. These are essential for helping to fight infections.


While oranges and orange juice are often the “stars” of the citrus world that get the spotlight, you will find that there are plenty of other citrus fruits that can help, too. Some of the popular types of citrus fruits other than oranges include grapefruit, clementines, lemons, limes, and tangerines.


Since your body doesn’t make vitamin C on its own, you need to have a daily dose. One of the best and tastiest ways to get it is through citrus fruits.


What Do Citrus Fruits Go Well With?


While the fruits could be added to certain recipes, you will find that they are great just on their own. Having an orange or two a day could help to improve your immune system. However, you could make things a bit more interesting. Have some with cottage cheese, in a salad, add some to sparkling water, or make some frozen snacks using fresh-squeezed juice and putting it into ice cube trays and then in the freezer.


Raw Honey


Raw honey has a range of phytonutrients that can help to boost your immune system and fight off sickness. The antioxidants in the honey can help to remove free radicals from the body. Raw honey has at least 16 antioxidants. You will also find that it has properties that help to fight bacteria.


What Does Raw Honey Go Well With?


You will find that you can use honey with quite a few different types of food. You might simply want to add a spoonful to your tea, for example. You could also add some to cottage cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, etc. When you want something sweet, steer clear of the sugar and add honey instead.


Make Use of This Knowledge


One of the things you will notice about these foods is that they are all easy to get and easy to use. They go well with countless different types of meals, and some can be eaten on their own. It will be easy for you to make use of the knowledge gleaned from this article. Just start adding more of these foods to your diet, and it could help to reduce your risk of illness.


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Gina Leslie, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Gina Leslie, the founder of the Light Side of Health, is a sport, fitness, and health enthusiast. She received her business degree with an emphasis in sports business and a minor in economics from the University of Oregon. While there she worked for the football department and her love for sports and sports training blossomed. From there, Gina worked in sports marketing and assisted in running a sports training facility. She has run multiple marathons and even competed in a fitness competition. While training, she began to acquire multiple fitness and nutrition certifications. In conjunction with running Light Side of Health, Gina currently works in the finance field and is involved in her community.

 

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