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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

Eight Foods That Promote a Strong Immune System

Sep 30, 2021 08:30AM ● By LaDonna Gladney
In these critical times, it is important to focus on our health and on ways to heal from COVID-19. The immune system is our body’s natural defense against harmful bacteria, toxins, viruses, chemicals and more. One of the best ways to strengthen immunity is through nutrition, which is important for providing essential nutrients—those that the body cannot create in sufficient quantity. Let’s focus on eight foods that promote a strong immune system.

Turmeric is a spice with strong antiviral properties. Recent findings, as published by the National Institutes of Health, describe turmeric’s phytochemical, curcumin, as a “promising target” in the treatment of COVID-19, with the ability to block a cytokine storm. Add to drinks, in cooking, or mix in yogurt—and add black pepper to drastically increase its low bioavailability (absorption).

Ginger contains a high level of antioxidants, which prevent cell damage and disease. Add to your food or in smoothies and tea.

Lemon has more vitamin C than oranges. It helps your body to heal and recover. Squeeze over food or add to beverages.

Aloe Vera has many benefits including antimicrobial effects which kill or stop the growth of bacteria. The juice can be purchased at health food stores; look for organic.

Wheatgrass is, among other things, anti-bacterial, making it useful in fighting against some antibiotic resistant infections, according to the Journal of Dental Research and Review. Add to smoothies or juice, or drink as a shot. Take one hour before meal and with plenty of water.

Red Bell Pepper is high in vitamin C. It is best eaten raw to increase bioavailability.

Broccoli has great photochemical properties which reduce the risk of cancer by preventing damage to the DNA, plus more. Eat raw or slightly cooked to preserve the nutrient content.

Leafy Greens have many benefits, including being a great source of vitamin K which promotes healthy blood cell growth and removes damaged cells.

LaDonna Gladney, CPT, NDTR, and the owner of Donna Fit 4 Life LLC, is a registered nutrition and dietetic technician, as well as a certified fitness trainer. Born and raised in Milwaukee, her passion is to help the community become healthy through nutrition and fitness. For more information, call 414-793-5086 or visit