What food products can help boost up the immune system for a vegan?
Fruits, Veggies & Vitamin A, C
Considering that the immune systems are predominately influenced by the nutrients (or lack thereof) one consumes, it is understandable that fruits and vegetables are the most widely attributed foods for boosting immune systems. Studies have shown the correlation between vitamin C and an increased immune system. Thus, peppers, broccoli, guava and papaya are other such high vitamin C fruits and vegetables are ideal.
Vitamin A produces connective tissue, which composes human skin, as well as being credited for fighting infectious diseases. It is said (here) that those who are deficient in vitamin A can actually have an impaired immune system. To ensure sufficient vitamin A levels vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, canned pumpkin, and cantaloupe are recommended
More on Vitamin C: here
More on vegetables, fruit and their vitamin C: here
Mushrooms & White Blood Cells
Many health professionals encourage the eating either Shiitake, maitake, or reishi mushrooms once a day, as they are said to increase the production and activity of white blood cells (the cells of the immune system that protect against foreign bodies and infections)
More on mushrooms: here
More on white blood cells: here
Cereals & Zinc
Those who practice vegetarianism or veganism are more likely to be at risk of zinc deficiency. This can be concerning as zinc is directly linked to keeping a strong immune system, helping to heal wounds, and supporting normal growth. A bowl of cereal, such as Kellog's Smart Start, or any cereal high in zinc, low in sugar, is recommended daily if zinc is a concern. Other means of getting zinc is through pumpkin seeds (which are also great for mental health), chickpeas, cashews and spinach.
More on Zinc: here
More on Zinc foods: here
Garlic & Allicin
Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin, which is said to fight bacteria and infections. Cooking with garlic when you can is recommended, as there are many emerging studies supporting garlic's ability to fight the common cold amongst other flus.
Oats and Barley & Fibre
Grains such as oats and barley are said to boosts immunity, speeds wound healing, and help antibiotics work better. Whole grains are needed for their fibre, which helps the digestive track and clear residual toxicity in the body.
More on Barley: here