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On a plant-based diet? 5 Foods to keep your immune system in top shape - Wise Bites

On a plant-based diet? 5 Foods to keep your immune system in top shape

We're living in a time when taking care of our health has never been more crucial, and for some of us, a plant-based on vegan diet has been a key factor. And let's face it, as a generation, we face unique health challenges such as stress, sleep deprivation, and sedentary lifestyles. 

It’s no secret that a plant-based diet can help boost our immune system while helping to mitigate health issues related to our lifestyle. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, following a plant-based diet can improve immune function and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

In this article, we'll explore the top five plant-based foods that can give our body the extra immune support it needs. And the best part? These foods are delicious and easy to incorporate into your meals.

  1. Citrus fruits:
    Citrus fruits are well-known for their high levels of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and fights off harmful pathogens. One medium-sized orange, for example, provides 70 milligrams of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended amount for most adults. Other citrus fruits like grapefruits, lemons, and limes also provide a significant amount of vitamin C, making them a great addition to any plant-based diet.

  2. Berries:
    Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are not only delicious, but they are also packed with immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. They are also rich in flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation in the body. In fact, studies have shown that regularly consuming berries may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease

  3. Quinoa and ancient grains: 

    Quinoa, teff, amaranth, buckwheat, and millet are all wonderful sources of allergen-free protein. Quinoa and teff are rich in all essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source. These seeds are also rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins. Cook them just like you would other grains, whether that being in your morning porridge or in delicious energy bars, baked goods, and a variety of lunch or dinner entrees. 

  4. Leafy greens:
    Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that support the immune system, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also rich in antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. In fact, studies have shown that people who consume more leafy greens have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

  5. Garlic:
    Garlic is a powerful immune booster thanks to its high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin. These compounds have been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making them effective at fighting off infections and reducing inflammation in the body. Additionally, garlic has been found to boost the activity of immune cells like natural killer cells and lymphocytes, which help fight off harmful pathogens.

In conclusion, incorporating these top five immune-boosting plant-based foods into your diet can help support your body's natural defenses and keep you healthy. By eating a variety of nutrient-rich plant-based foods, you can provide your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to fight off infections and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

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