15 Foods to Boost Your Immune System & 8 DIY Beauty Recipes

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Hey Honeys! Let’s get into the TOP 15 amazing and powerful spices and foods for your immune system, and with those same ingredients, I’ll show you how you can use them for your beauty and self-care routine 💆🏾 🧘🏾‍♀️.

Washing your hands and using a Hand Sanitizer will kill and control bacteria growth, but eating the right food should be your #1 weapon for your maintaining your health.

“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food” – HIPPOCRATES

WHAT IS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?

First, let’s go over what’s the immune system. Our immune system consists of different organs that work together to defend our body against infection and microbes. The immune system is made up of white blood cells (leukocytes, phagocytic cells), immunoglobulins (aka antibodies), complement system, lymphatic system, bone marrow stem cells (B-cells), thymus (T-cells), and the spleen.

Eating the right foods will assist those cells, tissues, and organs in protecting our body when it is in the presence of foreign pathogens and microbes. They help recognize them, attack and kill them.

TOP FOODS FOR YOUR IMMUME SYSTEM FOR HOME REMEDIES

The list of foods below affects the immune system directly and indirectly. The proper functioning and condition of our body’s cells, tissues, and organs affect our overall health and wellness (physical, mental, emotional, etc.).

That’s why we have to consume a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods.

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Some foods are really spices but you get the picture right 😉.

1. RAW HONEY

Let’s first emphasize on “RAW”! By now, you should know that not all foods are made equal and that their quality varies. If your honey comes in a plastic bottle or doesn’t mention “RAW” on the label, you should definitely question its quality.

It’s important to consume raw honey. Processed honey destroys phytonutrients in raw honey.

Honey is amazing, and there’s so much you can do with it!

Honey was used over 8000 years ago. Egyptians, Assyrians, Chinese, Greeks, and Romans have used honey for healing wounds and treating gut diseases.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • It has antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties
  • As a result of its properties, it has shown to make the immune system stronger
  • Contains flavonoids and phenolic acids* which assist the immune system
  • It helps boost energy
  • Help treat cough and the common cold
  • And it’s so tasty (sorry vegan people!)

*Flavonoids and phenolic acids (polyphenol) are phytonutrients (nutrients from plants). They are packed with powerful antioxidant-like agents which help prevent cell damage.

2. CITRUS FRUITS

Citrus fruits are full of powerful and important phytonutrients and antioxidants. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C.

Vitamin C is commonly used when we are sick (i.e., cold, cough, infections) because it encourages the production of white blood cells. As a result, those specialized cells can do their job and eliminate what doesn’t belong in the body.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Has powerful antioxidant (vitamin C)
  • Collagen production is enhanced by vitamin C 
  • It has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties
  • Assist in the synthesis of neurotransmitters (dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine)
  • Help suppress the appetite

3. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Apple cider vinegar impacts the immune system indirectly. Let me explain!

The components of apple cider vinegar help speed up digestion, assist in the absorption of nutrients and kill harmful gut bacteria. Those are critical metabolic processes that will affect and reflect how strong your immune system is.

Also, it has been found that the probiotics in ACV also help boost the immune system and help fight influenza.

Read more about Apple cider vinegar’s many benefits for health.

4. TURMERIC

Turmeric is so popular right now! I can’t tell you how many pins on Pinterest I see promoting the benefits of turmeric for health and skin care.

All you need to know now is that turmeric is a superstar, and it needs to be in your diet! Well, you should also consider curcumin.

Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • It also has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties
  • Contains antioxidants properties
  • Help with antibody’s response which regulates and protects the immune system
  • Reduces the risk for heart disease (regulate bad fat)
  • Reduces the activity of some cancer cells

5. GINGER ROOT

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I know “ginger root” is commonly used for the ginger part that we ingest, but it’s actually called a rhizome (modified stem); therefore, it’s not a root.

6-Shogaol, paradol, and zingerone are compounds in ginger. They assist in reducing inflammation in the body. Ginger is a flowering plant that is related to turmeric.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Reduces inflammation in the body
  • Fights fungal infections
  • Has anticancer properties
  • Helps with digestion and maintaining gut health
  • It helps regulate blood sugar
  • Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides levels

6. GARLIC

I love cooking with garlic, but it’s not only good for flavoring our food, it’s also very, VERY good for our body.

Have you ever chewed a piece of garlic? Sure, it’s not tasty raw, but it sure can work miracles when you’re getting sick!

Garlic contains the compound alliin, which converts to allicin when the garlic is crushed. Allicin is then converted to sulfur-containing compounds, which contain all the powerful goodness that our immune system needs.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties
  • It prevents damage to cells with its antioxidant activities
  • Reduce symptoms of cold and the flu
  • Help fight some viruses
  • Has anticancer properties

7. GREEN TEA

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice warm cup of green tea or Matcha green tea?

Green contains a polyphenol (with antioxidants effects) called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which helps strengthen and support the immune system.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Has anticancer properties
  • Increase the number of regulatory T-cells
  • Has polyphenols and flavonoids (antioxidants effects)
  • EGCG stops viruses from affecting cells (antiviral properties)
  • Reduces heart disease
  • Suppresses autoimmune diseases
  • Helps with burning fat and weight loss

8. ROSEMARY

Rosemary is a plant that belongs to the mint plant, same as thyme, peppermint, basil, oregano, and lavender.

It is used for cooking, has therapeutic effects, it’s amazing for the hair & scalp, and has many more health benefits.

Carnosic acid is a diterpene, a compound found in rosemary, and possesses immunomodulatory activities (fight infection, cancer cells, and other diseases).

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Reduces inflammation associate with pain
  • Rich in antioxidants and has anti-aging properties
  • Has antimicrobial properties
  • Promotes circulation (i.e., oxygen can carry more nutrients to tissues)
  • Regulates blood sugar and insulin
  • Help repair DNA damage
  • Beauty bonus: Help stimulate hair growth

9. ONIONS

Just like ginger, garlic, and rosemary, onions are used to flavor our food. Lucky for us, onions taste good and contain antioxidants and quercetin.

Quercetin is a plant pigment which are flavonoids. Red wine, berries, green tea, and apples also contain quercetin.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Prevents heart diseases
  • Enhances the body’s immunity
  • Helps fight cancer
  • Packed with antioxidants (especially the red and purple onions)
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps prevent and reduce respiratory infections
  • Can reduce inflammatory-related to asthma
  • Controls blood sugar levels

10. CINNAMON

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Don’t underestimate this spice! Cinnamon is loaded with powerful nutrients that help boost our immune system.

Just like honey, it’s been used since ancient Egyptian times, and cinnamon was given as a gift to kings.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It contains polyphenols and proanthocyanidins (act like antioxidants)
  • Protects brain’s cells and improve motor function
  • Helps lowers blood sugar levels
  • Regulates gut health
  • Helps reduce insulin resistance
  • Great substitute for sugar

11. COCONUT OIL

Coconut oil is the holy grail. Without exaggerating, coconut oil can do almost everything. It can moisturize your body, hair, and scalp, break down your makeup (oil cleansing), cook your scrambled eggs, and treat your yeast infection!

I’m telling y’all, coconut oil is a MIRACLE WORKER!

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties
  • Contains fatty acids great for brain function
  • Helps prevent the growth of cancer cells (cancer thrive in a sugar-based environment, not ketones)
  • Prevents heart diseases and help lower high blood pressure (convert bad cholesterol to good cholesterol)
  • Amazing for dental care (oil pulling) and tooth decay

12. CLOVES

Did you know cloves are used in Ayurvedic remedies?

Clove doesn’t have the best reputation for its taste, but it sure brings life to our food and baked goods.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Contains allicin like garlic
  • Has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and microbial properties
  • Fights candida (fungal infection)
  • Has antioxidant activity (eugenol and flavonoid)
  • Aids with digestion
  • Helps with respiratory tract conditions
  • Used in Ayurvedic remedies for treating cough and colds

13. PEPPER SPICES

Pepper is another spice that helps boost the immune system of our body. This everyday spice is pack with more health benefits than you think.

Black pepper and cayenne pepper contains piperine, an active compound that helps reduce inflammation.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Fights against cancer
  • Protects liver from damage
  • Helps with brain function
  • Regulates gut health
  • It says to be a natural remedy for depression

14. BLUEBERRIES

Blueberries are known to be a superfood because they are so nutrient-dense.

They are rich in flavonoids. They also contain vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and fiber.

Blueberries contain resveratrol, a potent polyphenolic (behave like an antioxidant) found in red wines, grapes, and raw cacao.

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • It stimulates the immune system at low doses of resveratrol
  • Helps prevents autoimmune diseases and chronic diseases
  • Regulates immune cells (macrophages, natural killer cells, T-cells, B-cells)
  • Supports heart health and reduces cardiovascular diseases
  • Contains antioxidants activities that support the immune system
  • Has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties
  • Improves energy

15. FERMENTED FOODS

Last but not least, for the Top Foods for your immune system.

Can you boost your immune system with high probiotic foods? Of course, and this is exactly what fermented foods can do. They also reduce the risk of infections.

Some example of fermented foods:

  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Kimchi
  • Tempeh
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Apple cider vinegar (the mother)

Its immune-boosting benefits:

  • Increase antibody volume, which increases the body’s immunity
  • Can treat candida (antifungal)
  • Provide vitamins A, B, C, K to the body
  • Contains minerals calcium, sodium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper
  • Provides gut-friendly probiotic bacteria
  • Supports bone health
  • Helps reduce cholesterol

So that was the top 15 foods for your immune system to make it strong and sustain it.

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a PATTERN. A lot of those foods for your immune system are PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS or antioxidant-like activities. These antioxidant effects are a big deal and are vital for our body’s health and wellness.


FOODS THAT TRIGGERS AUTOPHAGY

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Autophagy is the process of degradation and recycling of the body’s own damaged cellular components and toxins. It’s basically a self-cleaning process (a crucial chemical reaction to maintain our body) to bring about homeostasis (regulation of internal environment aka balance).

Autophagy is also triggered by fasting for a long period.

It enhances health and longevity.

These foods and spices are amazing for your immune system and as a bonus, some of them also trigger autophagy.

  • Green tea
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Ceylon cinnamon
  • Ginseng
  • Garlic
  • Bergamot
  • Resveratrol compound
  • MCT oil
  • Coconut oil

Some factors that can affect and STOP autophagy

  • Glucose (sugar)
  • Protein
  • Stress (cortisol)
  • Eating

IMMUNE BOOSTING MORNING DRINK

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The ingredients you’ll need:

  • Distilled water
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Raw honey
  • Pieces of ginger and garlic
  • Fresh lemon (or grapefruit)
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Star anise and cloves

OTHER WAYS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

The right food is essential, but your daily routine and environment are as important.

  • Exercise regularly
  • 7-8 hours of deep sleep
  • Minimize alcohol and smoking cigarette
  • Reduce stress (the best you can)
  • Stay positive and be in a positive environment

BEAUTY & HOME REMEDY RECIPES

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Now that we’ve covered the top foods for your immune system, let’s play with those foods to make efficient Skin Care Concoctions for beautiful skin!

MOISTURIZING FACE MASK

Leave for 10-15 minutes, then rinse. Follow by your serum, then moisturize.

FACE TONER

Toner restores skin’s pH, hydrates, and helps clear skin blemishes.

Apply the toner, then your serum, and then moisturize.

Store your DIY toner in an amber or cobalt glass spray bottle in your fridge.

BODY SCRUB

Get that glowing and soft skin!

FACE SCRUB

Cleanse your face, then scrub your face in a circular motion. Then, rinse. Apply your serum, then moisturize.

  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • A smush blueberry (optional)

LIP SCRUB 💋

Gentle lip scrub!

  • 2 tsp of cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

HAIR RINCE (Detox)

Spray in your hair and scalp, then leave it in for 20 minutes. Rinse and then wash your hair.

3 parts water: 1 part apple cider vinegar

MOSTURIZING HAIR & SCALP OIL

Depending on your hair type, you can apply it on your hair, on your scalp; before you wash your hair, as a hair mask, or as a hair and scalp moisturizer.

  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 5-7 drops of rosemary essential oil

COLD SORE LIP BALM

Check out more Cold Sore Recipes with Essential oils


I HOPE YOU’VE ENJOYED THIS NUTRITIONAL POST & LEARNED A LOT!

In the comments below, let me know which ones of the foods are your favorite. Mine are honey, citrus fruits, cinnamon and, ginger.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK! ✨✨✨

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Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed above are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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3 Comments

  1. michelle
    May 3, 2021 / 8:30 PM

    As always, full of valuable Infos!

  2. June 2, 2021 / 1:09 PM

    Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

    Love,
    Alexandra Ferbena.com

    • MilknHoneyLifeStyle
      July 2, 2021 / 1:37 AM

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post!