It’s especially important, now more than ever, to take care of our immune systems to ensure it’s functioning the best way it possibly can. Food is medicine, and there are a variety of spices and herbs that can help boost your immune systems performance. Spices are a great option because, unlike medication, you don’t need to “take” them. Instead, you can add them to your favorite dishes or drinks for a kick of flavor and increased immunity. Below are 8 of the best herbs and spices to help your immune system fight off viruses, infection and inflammation.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that has a long history of use in traditional medicine and culture across the world. The primary active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin which gives the spice its characteristic yellow color and is the compound responsible for most of turmeric’s health benefits. Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory benefits and has been shown to slow the aging process and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginger is a common spice that is widely used in natural medicine, as well as cooking, baking, and mixing into teas and smoothies. Studies have shown that cooking with ginger or consuming ginger supplements can help reduce plaque formation in your arteries and lower your blood pressure. There are many different ways to cook with and consume ginger. Try adding it to your tea or coffee, take it in supplement form, or use ginger juice to your smoothies.
Cinnamon is famous for being able to add an extra dose of sweetness to recipes without the additional sugar content. It has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years and can help fight inflammation. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Garlic for Immune Systems
Garlic is packed with antiviral and antibacterial compounds, making it a great boost for your immune system to help it fight off colds and flu. The great thing about garlic is there’s so many different ways to use it! You can add it to cooked soups or stews, use it raw in salad dressings, dips or sauces, or even take it in supplement form. Whichever way you choose to use garlic, make sure you’re incorporating it into your daily diet as the health benefits are numerous.
Cayenne peppers add a lot of flavor to dishes and can help support digestive health. It has also been shown to boost your metabolism, reduce hunger, lower blood pressure, reduce cancer risk, and more. Cayenne pepper is also easy to include in your diet as it also comes in many different forms. You can use it as a spice in powder form, you can take it as a supplement, or you can chop up the whole pepper and incorporate it into any dish you’re cooking. Since they’re very spicy, try adding just a pinch into your meals as often as you can.
Not only is green tea delicious, but it is also packed with many health benefits that improve the performance of your immune system. Drinking green tea regularly can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It also helps boost your immune system because it helps protect against oxidants and radicals in your body.
Astragalus is an herbal supplement that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It enhances the immune system by reducing inflammation and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Consult with your physician before deciding how much astragalus to consume everyday.
During a very uncertain time, it’s important now more than ever that we take care of ourselves mentally and physically. Including these 7 herbs into your daily diet will help your immune system perform optimally and will keep you healthy all year long.