With the entire world scrambling to contain the coronavirus epidemic, it is more important than ever to strengthen our immune system. Vegan or plants-based diets have been recommended for long as a sustainable and healthy way of living.
Our immune system is the shield that guards our body against various diseases. Almost all vegan diets consisting of grains; fruits and vegetable are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, iron and other minerals necessary for a strong immune system that prevents flu and other severe diseases.
A strong immune system not only checks the onset of viral infections like Covid-19 but also protects you from seasonal flu, stomach infections and common cold and cough.
In these crazy times when there is an added pressure on maintaining social distance and strict personal hygiene. It is important to stay healthy to fight against diseases. So here are 19 vegan food items and soups to boost your immune system and avert the risk of any contagious flu and cold.
5 Vegan soups for better immune system
Disclaimer: This post is for general information only please don’t take it as medical advice.
Immunity Boosting Vegetable Soup
Image Credit: The Veg Life
This delicious soup is loaded with nutritious veggies like carrots, parsnip, onions, celery etc. To make soup chop up the veggies and make a stock by adding turmeric, ginger and peppercorns, the chopped vegetable is sautéed in coconut oil so can it get more healthier than this. Get the full recipe here.
Image Credit: Veggie Desserts
This healthy vegan soup from Veggie Desserts not only boosts your immunity but also takes care of your calorie count. This is simple beetroot recipe ensures your healthy intake of folic acid, manganese and potassium. You can have this soup both hot and cold. Beetroot is also one of the recommended food items if you suffer from chronic anemia. Get the full recipe here.
Coconut Ginger Carrot Soup
Image Credit: Running on Real food
The next vegan soup in the list is coconut ginger carrot soup. This nutritious is creamy and full of goodness from coconut, carrot. Both sweet and spicy this soup also contains garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and other spices. So with all that nutition don’t you think it’s the perfect soup for flu season? Get the full recipe here.
Healing Green Tea and Chickpea Soup
Image Credit: Top with Cinnamon
This healing soup consists of chickpeas, carrots and celery as well as kale, basil and spaghetti (because you need your carbs to fuel your immune system when fighting flu.) You can add some chicken or tofu to this dish as per your taste. Get the full recipe here.
Flu Fighter Garlic soup
Image Credit: Veg Corner
This vegan soup is from Eggless Cooking is especially for the flu season when our immune system needs a boost to fight cough, cold and flu. Garlic is always recommended when you are afflicted with flu, not only it is full of vitamins that help you immune system, it is also known to prevent cancer and control blood pressure levels. Click here for the full recipe.
Now I know this isn’t a soup but this is the best natural medicine when you are suffering from a sore throat. Infact both garlic and ginger is super effective when it comes to building a healthy immune system and preventing flu.
The health benefits of garlic are already mentioned above. Now coming to ginger, it is a root vegetable which contains 6-gingerol that prevents cancer.
Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties and pain relieving qualities known to treat indigestion, osteoarthritis and menstrual pain. It is also widely used in herbal and Ayurvedic medicines.
Berries are one of the healthiest food items on the planet. Health Experts recommend a daily dose of berries in your diet to build a strong immune system.
Berries are rich in Vitamin C and fiber. These fruits are full of other antioxidants like ellagic acid, anthocyanins and resveratrol that protect your cells.
They have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to regulate your blood sugar, pressure and cholesterol levels. To keep things interesting you can mix a two or three kinds of berries like strawberries, black berries, blueberries in your diet.
Citrus Fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruit, clementines and limes help in building your immune system as these are are loaded with Vitamin C and other antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties. These gorgeous fruits increase your white blood cells which guard your body infections and germs.
Kiwis are rich in Vitamin C. One cup of the green pulp of the fruit contains 273% recommended dose of Vitamin C, which is extremely crucial when it comes to building your immune system.
As per a research it has been found that kiwi fruit provides support to your immune system against any possibility of contracting cold and flu. This consumption of this fruit might be helpful for the elderly whose immune system is not as robust.
The health benefits of papayas are universally acknowledged. Papayas help in weight loss, prevent cancer and lower your bad cholesterol and improve digestion. It is great for your eyes and skin too.
This fruit is also good in strengthening your immune system. One cup of papaya pulp contains over 87 mg of Vitamin C.
Pomegranates are not often acknowledged for their health benefits. But this fruit is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin A, C and E, flavonoids and polyphenols, which boosts your immune system and heart health.
It is considered as for one of the best fruits for improving your blood count. Anemic patients are often recommended to have a daily dose of pomegranate in their diet. A study has also found that pomegranates may prevent cancer.
As they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Powerful in antioxidants like Vitamin C, apples promote good bacteria for the gut and build a good immune system.
Consuming it regularly also helps in keeping your teeth and gums clean. Besides preventing cancer and heart illnesses apples are also effective against asthma and they lower the risk of memory loss.
Veggies healthy for immune system
Red Bell peppers
These gorgeous veggies are perfect salad ingredient for summer salads and for good reason these are super effective in keeping your immune system in top shape.
Red bell pepper contains Vitamin E, A and C and other antioxidants like beta carotene that keep your skin supple and your vision healthy.
This vegetable is truly versatile, you can include it in salad along with other leafy vegetables or eat it stuffed with rice or include it in your meatballs.
Okay I know tomatoes are technically fruits but I still classify them as veggies.
Since tomatoes are citrusy in nature they are naturally rich in Vitamin C as well as other antioxidants like Vitamin A. Fresh tomato juice help contain enough iron and folate that helps in fighting anemia and reduces the risk of flu like infections.
Broccoli is a superfood when it comes to boost your immune system. Broccoli improves your digestion and cardio-vascular health. It is low in calorie and high in vitamin C, it also contains potassium, vitamin B6 and A.
The phytochemicals found in this vegetable are good for your immune system. Both, cooked or raw consumption of the vegetable ensures a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.
Broccoli is also known to prevent breast, prostate and other kind of cancers. Regular inclusion of broccoli in your diet is known to reduce bad cholesterol, and regulate your insulin levels as well as your bowel movements.
Not many people look towards sweet potatoes when it comes to boosting immune system. These starchy veggies grow underground and come in various sizes and colours.
It has been found that orange and purple variety of this vegetable is full of antioxidants like vitamin C and A that protect your body against free radicals or the unstable molecules that may harm your health.
Sweet potatoes are full of healthy carbs that provide your body with strength and energy to ward off diseases like flu and common cold. It is also rich in manganese and potassium and vitamin B6.
It also has soluble fibers that help your intestines, colon and promote better gut health. You can easily include in your diet by baking, mashing or frying it.
Health experts regularly recommend including spinach in your diet. It reduces the risk of cancer and blood sugar by preventing oxidative stress.
Since it is rich in Vitamin A it is good for your eye health. A study has found that spinach intake also reduces blood pressure levels.
As spinach contains enough vitamin C this vegetable is equally good for your skin elasticity and immune system.
Pregnant women are often recommended to include spinach in their diet as it improves your hemoglobin percentage.
Along with spinach other leafy veggies like kale and turnip greens are equally good in boosting your immunity.
If you want to curb your mornings hunger pangs the best way to do it is eat some almonds. These nuts are energy providers and are full of Vitamin E, health fats, fiber, proteins, manganese and magnesium.
You can eat it raw or soaked some almond overnight preferably for 8-9 hours and eat it first thing in the morning. Almonds help to control your bad cholesterol, blood sugar and pressure levels as well.
Flaxseeds are full of nutrients like omega 3, carbs and vitamins like B6. For vegans or vegetarians who don’t consume fish flaxseeds can provide you the daily dose of omega-3 fats. Various studies have recommended that the daily dose of flaxseeds can be between 1 to 2 tablespoons.
Turmeric is a staple food ingredient in every Indian household, and for good reason this spice which contains bio-active compounds called curcuminoids are known for their powerful medicinal properties that are necessary for a healthy immune system.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory which protects your body with unknown germs and infections. It is full of antioxidants that fuel your body’s antioxidant enzymes.
One of the best ways to have it is eating a small cube of raw turmeric along with bit of jaggery first thing in the morning it keeps your liver and kidneys healthy.
How immune system safeguard you?
Your immune system consisting of your internal organs, bone marrow, your skin, muscles, tissues and cells work constantly to keep you safe from thousands of germs like bacteria, virues and other microbes.
As per research vegan diet are linked with better immune system because most vegan food items are high in fiber and easy to digest.
Almost all vegan food items contain substantial amount of antioxidants like vitamin C which is extremely necessary for your immune system to fight serious illnesses besides flu and cold.
But for your immune system to be strong enough you must take care of it by not only nourishing it well but by giving your body proper rest and exercise also.
Your body tries it utmost to keep you healthy in return you just have to listen to it like slow down and take rest when you feel tired. Opt for a healthy meal when you are hungry instead of binging on unhealthy home-deliveries and exercise regularly to keep your body active.
The latest pandemic has shown that we cannot afford to take our health for granted because falling ill means piling medical bills. If you have a good immune system, treat it as a blessing and take care good care it. Stay safe and healthy!