The 1918 flu pandemic was the most lethal in recorded history, infecting up to 500 million people (a quarter of the world’s population at the time) and killing tens of millions worldwide.
Fast-forward to 2021, and well, not much has changed. Though the Covid-19 pandemic is separated from the Spanish flu by over a century of scientific discoveries, there are still plenty of questionable medicinal concoctions and folk remedies floating around.
Here are 5 foods, and herbs, to naturally support your immune system and keep you healthy:
Think broccoli, spinach, bok choy, kale. These green vegetables are so important for your immune system. Not only are they an excellent source of important nutrients like iron, fibre, calcium and vitamins C and K, they also provide a chemical signal which encourages the immune cells in your gut and skin (both very important players in your immune system) to function properly.
Garlic has strong antiviral and antimicrobial properties, making it a weapon against illnesses. It is also a prebiotic, meaning it contains nutrients which nourish the bacteria in your gut. Since the gut contains 70% of the immune system, it’s an important part to nourish.
- Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, an antioxidant that has been shown to support immune function and inflammation. Aim for a couple every day to support your immunity.
This herb supports your immune system by helping white blood cells to fight infection.
Citrus fruits like lemon and orange are excellent for immunity. They contain heaps of Vitamin C, which increases the production of white blood cells which, as we’ve just discussed, help fight infections. Not to mention citrus also reduces inflammation, improves gastrointestinal health, and plays a role in preventing diseases like diabetes and cancer.
Side note: Everyone’s immune system changes throughout their life. As you get older, your immune response starts to decline, which means you’re more susceptible to infection. Good nutrition and some levels of physical activity become even more important for elderly people, to ensure their immune system remains in good working order.