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Immune System

During this health crisis, I just want to touch base on the most basic thing you can do to boost your immune system each day--add antioxidant rich foods.


Antioxidants

Our bodies all have different strengths and weaknesses; our immune systems are no exception. Oxidative stress in our bodies have been linked to many diseases and illnesses, and a healthy dose of antioxidants in your daily routine can help reduce these risks. Antioxidants are a proven immune system booster and the term mainly refers to what a range of substances can do versus the name of the actual substance.


Antioxidants we are able to consume through healthy foods and supplements like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, catechins, flavonoids, flavones, lycopene, lutein, polyphenols, phytoestrogens, selenium, manganese, and zinc all play a part in a healthy diet. They are not interchangeable with each other which is why it is so important to vary your dietary intake. Not surprisingly all of these antioxidants are found in plant based foods. Rule of thumb: the more natural color, the more health benefits.


A higher intake of antioxidants all at once has not been proven to benefit the body, but a consistent diet with them in it will.


Foods to Eat

Prevention is key. It is important to give yourself a daily boost of antioxidants, so I have put together a short list of antioxidant rich foods. Keep in mind cooking certain foods can both increase or decrease antioxidant levels depending on the food so it is important to do your research.


Berries, Cherries & Grapes

These delicious and sweet treats contain a healthy amount of vitamin C but also contain polyphenols which aid in a healthier heart and digestion. The darker the grape or cherry the more antioxidants they contain.

Elderberry syrup is also a great source of antioxidants to battle viruses when used in proper dosage.



Citrus

Most people know citrus is a great source of Vitamin C, but did you know your body doesn't store vitamin C so you need it daily? Pro chef tip: it's very easy to squeeze citrus into any meal or even into your water bottle!