You’ve heard it forever: “Eat your vegetables.” Could Mom have been on to something other than wanting you to clean your plate? The truth is that a plant-based, vegan diet that is naturally high in veggies has a number of excellent health benefits. One is something we can all use: it can boost your immune system. Who wouldn’t like a little jump in immunity?
The Basics of the Immune System
A healthy immune system is vital for survival. Our bodies naturally keep us safe from all matter of things in the environment that are looking to attack us: viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins top the list. The medical community refers to these, collectively, as pathogens or antigens. The immune system is made up of many parts (thus, a system), and those parts work in harmony to keep us safe. There’s not just one thing you can do to boost your immune system; instead, it’s a series of things working together.
A Healthy Immune System Starts with a Healthy You
Everything you’ve heard your entire life about being healthy is important to boost your immune system. Harvard University points out that eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep are a good start. Don’t smoke or do drugs and only drink alcohol in moderation. Maintain a healthy weight and minimize stress. Load up on nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Reduce your chances of getting infections by washing your hands and keeping clean. And stay up to date on your vaccines, which prepare your body to fight off those infections.
These are the basics of getting—and staying—healthy. Supplements are also a good choice if you feel that your diet is lacking in vital nutrients. But you know what’s even better than supplements? Eating delicious, whole foods that pack a punch.
How a Vegan Diet Can Boost Your Immune System
Did you know that the majority of your immune system is in your gut? Yep, nearly 80% of what keeps you healthy is centered there, so what you eat becomes vitally important to boost your immune system.
Vegans naturally eat more fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods in their diet. Those fruits and veggies are loaded with antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage caused by oxidation. We already know that oxidation results in free radicals in the body, and those free radicals lead to aging and illness. A diet high in naturally occurring antioxidants will go a long way toward helping curb free radicals.
Eat Well as a Vegan
It’s important to note that a plant-based eater needs to be aware of the foods they’re eating. While fruits and vegetables are essential to nutrition, to really boost your immune system as a vegan, you need a well-rounded diet. That means quality sources of protein, whole grains, and essential fatty acids.
For some vegans, supplements are a necessity. Some you may want to consider include vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, zinc, and iodine. In most cases, a quality multivitamin will meet these requirements and round out a thoughtful, balanced vegan diet. Altogether, you’ll find that you are able to boost your immune system naturally.
Veganism Is a Delicious Way to Feed Your Immune System
At Vegan Taste, we are committed to delicious plant-based meals prepared by an award-winning chef and delivered straight to your door. Not sure what’s for dinner tonight? We take the guesswork out of planning with our weekly menus. Check out what Chef Jason is cooking and place your order now. Your immune system will thank you.