Effective Immune Boosters
Right now, everyone is thinking about their immune system. MUST BOOST IT! That’s what's on all of our minds, right? It’s just so important.
One cool thing about Peruvian superfoods is that our foods in general are great for the immune system. Some more than others. Because of this, we stay on top of research and what the public is saying about their immunity. How people are feeling. What doses people do well with, etc.
We truly believe that good food is the best defense for your immune system, and the immune system is the best defense for… well, YOU. It’s worth it to eat foods every single day that cater to your health.
So let’s get into some specifics!
What IS the immune system?
The Immune System is the set of tissues, organs, cells, subcellular products (cellular signals, cytokines, chemokines, etc.) that strive to keep us without disease, the function of the immune system is inherent in its name (immune) to defend ourselves of any agent that may cause us damage, whether external or internal.
Now, before we get into specific immune boosting foods, let’s get into some specifics for teenagers and those who are pregnant- because we get that a lot!
Immunity boosting for teenagers
It is not always recommended for teens to take a ton of supplements as there is not enough studies yet. But it is best to increase your teenagers immune system by giving them fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans and herbs!
A note on teenage girls: They do often need to increase their iron stores every month after their period. Cacao is great for this!
Immunity boosting for pregnancy
Pregnant and breastfeeding women also need to be careful about general immune boosting advice for building up their immune system. It is often said, stick to the basics:
- Eat well, lots of plants.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Consider a prenatal vitamin.
- Use a humidifier at night.
- Keep stress low.
Effective Immune boosters
Let’s get into the list! As always, consult with your doctor as this is not medical advice.
1. Camu Camu
We MUST start off the list with Camu Camu. Make this a routine and thank yourself later! Seriously, camu camu holds so much power. Camu Camu is a tiny berry from Peru that is magnificent for the immune system. All the Vitamin C you need in one single day can be achieved just by taking one teaspoon a day. One teaspoon gets you over 1000% of your daily Vitamin C needs. Camu Camu is revered as one of the food with the MOST Vitamin C, to scale, in it within the entire planet.
Old school thinking says that a glass of orange juice a day is going to help our immune system. But the truth is… that’s not the truth. ;) Instead opt for some camu camu thrown into a low sugar (veggie heavy juice) or disguise it into a smoothie. Camu Camu gives you 60X more Vitamin C than an orange!
The nutritional profile of camu camu is impressive. What’s amazing is that you get so much bang for your buck and there is no sugar and such a little bit goes a long way! The downside of something like orange juice is that it has so much sugar in it. Not so with Camu Camu!
Camu Camu comes alongside so many vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. It really goes to work for the body and can be so good for strengthening your family’s immune system.
2. Get enough SUN
Make sure your family is getting enough sun
Ah, Vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin. This is absolutely crucial for our immune systems. The best way to get Vitamin D is free: through the sun! Oh yes, the almighty and powerful sun! We know how easy it can be to stay inside all day but we should not make this our norm.
Being deficient in Vitamin D can increase chances of getting sick. But also, having adequate levels is enough and getting “more” doesn’t seem to produce even more benefits.
Another thing you can try is mixing into camu camu into a homemade dressing- especially a citrus one! It tastes great and the kids would never know!
Things you can do to get more sun:
- Have your family start off the day on a family walk.
- Eat outside more often.
- During "big talks" go outside rather than sitting indoors.
- More outside activities.
- Make sure skin is exposed to midday sun.
3. Stay hydrated
Good ole’ H2O! Let’s make sure we are getting a TON of it. Well, at least enough where we feel super good!
Here’s the thing about water: It helps to carry oxygen to our cells. This then results in high functioning systems within the body. This also supports in removing toxins.
Drinking more water is a way to help prevent toxin buildup- which can take away energy from the immune system as it deals with it.
When we don’t get enough water, we cannot effectively transport nutrients to all the organ systems. Hydration is so important for detoxification pathways and for supporting the lymphatic system drainage.
Support yours and your family’s immune system with simple hydration!
4. Take daily lucuma
Lucuma is a nutritional powerhouse! Scientifically classified as Pouteria lucuma, Lucuma is from a tree native to South America. Peruvians have prized this fruit for thousands of years.
Lucuma is so good for the body, and acts as a wonderful subtle sweetener. It’s AMAZING for the immune system.
One of the reasons Lucuma is great for the immune system is because it is so high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they scavenge for free-radicals in the body. Free radicals come up when there is too much oxidative stress. It’s a good goal to get in powerful antioxidants regularly. Too much free radicals can be taxing on the immune system.
By the way, Peruvian fruits, in general (not just Lucuma) have been shown to have amazing antioxidant content. Many of them are great for the heart, colon, skin, and energy levels.
Lucuma is also high in carotenoids. Carotenoids are a class of fat-soluble pigments. This means that in order to absorb them properly, they should be paired with a fat. Often carotenoids are in the yellow-green-red range. They are a whole other layer of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Carotenoids can help support the immune system, eye health, and help keep us vital. (See the full scientific breakdown here.)
We recommend putting lucuma in smoothies, coffee, swapping it out for anywhere you use sugar, put it in oatmeal or fruit bowls… the sky is the limit!
5. Get enough sleep
Pretty nice that just snoozing can do so much for the body. Repair, rebuild… BOOST the immune system!
Oh yes, your sleeping schedule and how well your immune system is working is closely tied together.
Poor sleep can often mean a higher susceptibility to growing ill or coming down with something.
There was even a study done with 164 healthy adults on the topic of sleep and immunity. The adults who slept fewer than 6 hours each night were far more likely to catch something like the common cold than those who slept for more than 6 hours.
Sleep will strengthen your natural immunity. This is why when people are actively sick, they sleep for long hours and wake up feeling significantly better.
Adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. Teens should aim for 8-10 hours of sleep. Children and infants, up to 14 hours!
See our other articles on immune boosting here and here!