Boost your immune system the plant-based way | Wholesome Culture
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Even if you wash your hands every hour and avoid anyone who sneezes within a 500 foot radius — sick days still happen. And we know they’re the opposite of fun. 

Luckily, there are lots of ways to at least try to avoid getting sick, especially through our diets.

Say bye-bye to tissues and headaches, and give your immune system a boost by adding these plant-based ingredients into your diet.

How to boost your immune system the plant-based way

Pack in your probiotics

Probiotics are known as “good” bacteria that not only help improve your digestive system, but also are immune system boosters.

Immune system boost

Here are eight plant-based probiotic ingredients to put on your foodie radar:

Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) Pickled veggies
Kombucha  Tempeh 
Miso Sourdough bread
Green olives  Dairy-free cultured yogurt (we like this one from Forager’s)

But, don’t forget about prebiotics!

Like probiotics, prebiotics support helpful bacteria and other gut-healthy organisms. And while we hear a lot about probiotics, prebiotics serve as nourishment and a food source for probiotics.

In short, prebiotics and probiotics work together to help the body function as well as it can! 

probiotics are good for immune health

Pack more prebiotics in your diet with these plant-based foods:

Oats  Sweet potatoes
Asparagus Artichokes
Almonds  Apples
Leeks Garlic
Bananas Whole wheat

Sneak in some of these immune-boosting ingredients with this Vegan Ramen Bowl from May I Have That Recipe blog.

Stay hydrated

Seeing as our bodies are made of about 60% water, hydration is essential to staying healthy… and getting back to feeling healthy when you’re sick.

Drinking more water is an obvious hydration choice, but if you want to mix things up try drinking more matcha and green tea. 

immune system boost

Matcha is loaded with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Plus, it’s known for seeking out free radicals, which can damage the body, and neutralizing their harmful effects. Thank you, matcha!

Similarly, green tea is packed with antioxidants, which can help fight intruding infections and help support the immune system. And if you’re not much of a green tea drinker, try these Vegan Green Tea Pancakes from Salt & Lavender. 

Eat your Vitamin C and Vitamin D

Vitamin C and Vitamin D are both super important in order to build and maintain a strong immune system. 

Immune system boost

Get your Vitamin C fix with foods like red and yellow bell peppers, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, oranges (and other citrusy fruits), cauliflower, and sweet potatoes.

And remember to be mindful to get your Vitamin D with ingredients like mushrooms, soy milk, fortified cereals, orange juice, and soy yogurt.

Remember iron-rich foods 

If you’re feeling exhausted and on the verge of sickness, you may need more iron in your diet. Iron is a component of hemoglobin, which is essential for blood production and overall body health. And for plant-based eaters, meal-planning to meet your iron needs may take a few extra steps.

immune system boost

Thankfully, there are lots of good sources of iron in plant-based foods if you know where to look.

Plant-based foods with iron:

Kale Leeks
Spinach Beans/lentils 
Peas Nuts 
Seeds Whole grains
Quinoa  Sweet potatoes 

So rather than reach for a third cup of coffee, think about adding some more spinach and seeds into your morning smoothie. 

And don’t forget, regular exercise and proper sleep are essential to living your healthiest life!

Having trouble sleeping? Check out this post: 5 simple things you can do now to sleep better

And read more posts on healthy living here:

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