How to boost your immune system has been on everyone’s mind lately. Studies have shown that eating the Mediterranean Diet is one of the best ways of eating for your immune system.. The amount of vegetables, fruit, olive oil, nuts, beans and fatty fish eaten in the Mediterranean paired with very low quantities of processed foods and sugar equals an immunity powerhouse that can’t be beat. Honestly, almost any recipe on Mediteterranean Living will be good for your immune system, but the recipes below are packed with some of the most powerful immune boosting foods out there. They are also easy to make and taste really, really good. A combo that can’t be beat!
Immune Enhancing Ingredients: Raw garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil
Lebanese hummus is the definition of an immune system powerhouse. Raw garlic has been shown to potentially decrease the amount of time you get a cold and it has potential anti-viral qualities. Both tahini and chickpeas are loaded with zinc and magnesium and lemon juice is high in vitamin C. Olive oil is also is an anti-inflammatory and is high in antioxidants.
Maple Sweet Potatoes
Immune Enhancing Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, extra virgin olive oil, paprika.
Sweet Potatoes are high in beta carotene which is a precursor to vitamin A and vitamin A has been shown to be helpful with the immune system. Olive oil, as previously mentioned is an anti-inflammatory: decreased inflammation equals improved immune system. Paprika has been shown to protect against certain autoimmune conditions
Green Beans with Lean Pork
Immune Enhancing Ingredients: Green beans, pork, tomatoes, carrots, celery and extra virgin olive oil.
The Mediterranean Diet doesn’t utilize large amounts of pork, but it is used in small quantities. This recipe uses lean pork which is high in zinc, an essential component for the immune system. Tomatoes, green beans and carrots are high in antioxidants, celery is an anti- inflammatory as is the extra virgin olive oil
Sautéed Red Peppers with Capers
Immune Enhancing Ingredients: peppers, garlic, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil
Another immunity powerhouse, this recipe is full of antioxidants of different varieties. Peppers are packed with vitamin C which is essential for the immune system. Balsamic vinegar is packed with polyphenols while capers are one of the highest sources of quercetin, which has been shown to decrease both inflammation and help with the immune system Quercetin has been shown to be an antiviral
Horta with Potatoes
Immune Enhancing Ingredients: greens (Swiss chard, spinach, etc.), potatoes, garlic, lemon, extra virgin olive oil
Swiss Chard is one of the richest sources of betalain, an antioxidant that can increase immunity. Just one cup of Swiss Chard gives you almost half of your daily requirement of Vitamin A. Spinach is high in Vitamin C plus antioxidants that may help the immune system. Garlic has potent anti viral qualities and lemon juice is high in Vitamin C. Olive oil, as mentioned is a strong anti-inflammatory, especially fresh extra virgin olive oil.
Immune Enhancing Ingredients: Yogurt, cucumber, fresh dill, raw garlic, extra virgin olive oil
Another potent anti inflammatory dish that is eaten often in Greece. Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, a microorganism that is essential for a healthy gut microbiome which is essential for immunity. Raw garlic is a potent anti viral and an antiiinflammatory. Fresh dill is a great source of vitamin C, which is good for the immune system. Olive oil, especially fresh is an anti-inflammatory.
Golden Milk (with almond milk)
Immune Enhancing Ingredients: Ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and honey.
This is a delicious way to get in some super healthy ingredients (and it only takes 5 minutes to make). Ginger is both an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory and turmeric has a compound called curcumin which helps boost the immune system. Honey, especially raw and local can also help increase immunity.