Treating your body with kindness isn’t just about doing what feels good in the moment. In fact, truly caring for the needs of your body is often much more about thinking long-term. It’s no secret that even in the short term — but especially over time — eating junk food can take a serious toll on the body.
Too much sugar can make you feel sluggish, processed meats can increase your risk of cancer and salt can elevate your blood pressure. Alternatively, there are so many foods that you can use to fuel your body for healthy longevity and immunity. There are so many amazing, natural sources of nutrients that you can turn to — from the fresh and sweet to the savory. Here are a few of those foods that can truly have a profound impact on your life and your body.
Raw leafy greens in general are great for the body, and spinach is one of them. Not only does spinach contribute to heart health and anti-inflammatory responses, but it’s also a great source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, folic acid, iron and vitamin K. It’s essentially your one-stop shop for so many vitamins.
Turning to another leafy green vegetable, many of the same health benefits apply to kale. You may already be familiar with kale’s superfood qualities — in it, you’ll find an abundance of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins.
Blueberries are another superfood to keep an eye on. Not only are they chock full of antioxidants, you will also find vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E and B vitamins in them. Eating blueberries every day — or even with some regularity — has been shown to improve the immune system and the body‘s metabolism. They are also a great food for weight loss and reducing inflammation.
Pomegranate might seem like a bit of a unique choice, but pomegranate can actually be an amazing source of antioxidants. Specifically, drinking pomegranate juice has been proven to encourage all kinds of health benefits, from heart health to cancer prevention and even increased brain health.
Although there are plenty of different kinds of nuts to choose from, there are a few qualities that they share that make them a fantastic choice both for longevity and for immunity. Nuts are a source of healthy fat and plant protein. They are extremely filling, and yet, extremely nutritional. Nuts are also often associated with lower body weight, diabetes prevention, lower cholesterol and heart health. Plus, with so many different varieties to choose from, you can mix it up regularly and still get your daily dose.
For many of the same reasons that nuts are a great choice for health and longevity, seeds are also a great choice to go along with them. In addition to the many vitamins and minerals that different Seeds provide, they are a great source of healthy fat and plant-based protein.
You may not know this, but mushrooms are actually considered a superfood. Mushrooms are another fantastic source of antioxidants, and they also come packing potassium, B vitamins, vitamin D and beta-glucan fiber. Mushrooms have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer, anti-inflammatory effects and even hormone balancing. To make matters even better, there are so many different kinds of mushrooms that you can try out — your recipe book will likely never run dry!
Onions are a fantastic source of antioxidants, and can contribute to serious anti-inflammatory responses. There is a reason why many of the best recipes to make when you’re sick often happen to include onions! Not only that, but they are a fantastic source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6. Additionally, they taste fantastic, so it often isn’t too much of a challenge to include these in a few recipes a week.
Garlic might just take the cake when it comes to the best common food to increase immunity. Not only does garlic contain vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium, iron and potassium, but it also has been proven to contain significant antiviral and antibacterial properties. While of course, if you are sick and in need of antibiotics, you should see a doctor about that, eating garlic on a regular basis can help to prevent bacterial and viral-related infections. Plus, this is another food that’s extremely tasty and easy to incorporate into your daily recipes.
Last but not least, rounding out this list with a fruit, apples are a common but mighty food that certainly deserves a bit more attention! High in vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin B6, it might be true what they say — an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
There are so many amazing ways that you can fuel your body — and choosing the right foods for your immunity and longevity is certainly one of them. There are plenty of foods that can help you get started — do you have a favorite already on this list?