From recurring flu seasons to a global pandemic, it is no secret that keeping a strong immune system is key to staying healthy – which makes it easy with these seven immune-boosting superfoods!
With flu season fast approaching, the strength of our immune system will once more be put to the test. Our immune systems defend our bodies from external pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and germs, which can make us ill. It is made up of a number of different organs, cells and proteins – all working together to keep us healthy and well. While our immune systems are undeniably a vital part of our health, day-to-day lifestyle choices can severely impact its ability to function effectively.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Wei Qi – or Defensive Qi – serves as the first line of defence against foreign invaders. Qi is generated by yin (functional aspects of the body such as blood) and yang (material base of the body, like organs) and is at peak production when there is balance between yin and yang. Just like any battle, when pathogens invade your body, more wei qi is needed to protect it from further harm and illness. Luckily, there are many traditional medicinal herbs that can boost your body’s wei qi production naturally. Here, we name seven superfoods to boost your immune system and how you can incorporate them into your diet.
Cordyceps, is a known immune-boosting food both in TCM and increasingly among the general public as well. It is believed that Cordyceps stimulate certain cells and chemicals within the body that lead to increased immunity functions. Evidence also suggests that Cordyceps may have beneficial effects on cancer – in particular, skin and lung cancers – by fighting cancer cells and reducing the size of tumours. TCM practitioners also use Cordyceps to address yang deficiencies. By promoting the production of yang, Cordyceps can combat fatigue and improve your respiratory system.
With Eu Yan Sang, you can now consume Cordyceps in a variety of ways, click here to find out more.
More than 2000 years ago, a doctor visited a village where inhabitants lived well over 100 years old. In looking for the cause for their long-life, he found a well surrounded by goji plants and surmised that as the berries fell into the well, its age-defying nutrients seeped into the water that was then drunk by the villagers, associating the goji berry to longevity.
Legend aside, the goji berry has long been an anti-aging wonder in TCM. However, it is also known to be an effective immune booster. Our gut is key to maintaining a strong immune system, and goji berries support good gastrointestinal functions while delivering essential vitamins A and C to our bodies. It is also high in antioxidants, the purpose of which is to fight harmful free radicals, thereby reducing our risk of cancer and heart diseases.
The neutral flavour of goji berries lends itself well to both savoury and sweet cuisines, and makes great on-the-go snacks. For more info, click here.
Ginseng is another popular herb in TCM herbal remedies. Believed to heal many of the ailments that we struggle with today, it has been labelled as the “all-healing” ingredient of TCM.
For centuries, people have taken ginseng to increase their body’s natural resistance to illnesses. Research suggests that ginseng can enhance the effectiveness of influenza vaccines thereby increasing our immunity to the flu . Additionally, some research has found evidence that Ginseng may control inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, arthritis, and microbial infections2.
Ginseng can be incorporated into your diet very much in the same way as Cordyceps. However, it is better suited to savoury dishes than sweet. With a wide array of Ginseng products available on Eu Yan Sang, you can now have the liberty of consuming it based on your personal preferences.
Lingzhi, also known as Reishi or Ganoderma lucidum, is hailed as the immortal mushroom. Prized for its anti-aging and vitality boosting effects, it has been a favourite among those seeking for both beauty benefits and good health. Furthermore, Lingzhi has strong immune-boosting effects.
The mushroom contains bioactive peptides that are known to support the body’s fight resistances to bacteria and promote wound healing. It is also believed to increase immune function on multiple levels, while simultaneously improving communication between the respective components of the immune system, enabling it to respond more quickly to infections3 .
While you can get Lingzhi in its raw form, Eu Yan Sang Lingzhi Cracked Spores Series is more readily-absorbed by our body and regarded far more effective.
While edible bird’s nest has long been sought-after for its beauty benefits – namely wrinkle and acne reduction as well as brightening effects – it is becoming increasingly known for its immune-boosting abilities as well. Recent research has linked edible bird’s nest consumption to improved immunity. Evidence suggests, it can enhance cell’s antibody-secreting functions, while boosting the production of B-cells that are crucial to our immune system . Edible bird’s nest has also shown promise as an anti-viral agent against influenza .
Eu Yan Sang offers a diverse range of high quality bottled bird’s nest, and has become a daily must-have for many individuals. Click here to browse the selection!
The white fungus, otherwise known as the snow fungus, is an edible coral-like mushroom found commonly in Asia and tropical climates around the world. It’s yin-nourishing properties have been known to reduce heat in the body as well as promote overall health and longevity. This has been supported by research, which suggests that white fungus may be anti-inflammatory, while its high antioxidant properties help protect our bodies from free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage .
As for our immune system, the white fungus may increase a type of white blood cell activity that enhances our body’s ability to fight bacteria . Likewise, white fungus contain polysaccharides that have shown promise in regulating immune response and reducing infection-related mortality .
White fungus is often cooked in soups, both sweet and savoury. Sweet white fungus dishes mainly involves boiling of the fungus alongside a myriad of ingredients such as red dates, dried longan, goji berries and lotus seeds with sugar. On the other hand, if you prefer a savoury taste, white fungus can also be added into recipes like chicken soups.
Last, but certainly not least, is the sea cucumber – a type of marine invertebrate. Research supports the significant fatigue-fighting properties of sea cucumbers as well as their values in immune regulation . High in collagen, these marine wonders are also considered beneficial for maintaining youthful skin.
Sea cucumbers are incredibly nutritious, comprising of Vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc – making them a wonderful ingredient for health tonics . Sea Cucumber Essences are also readily available on Eu Yan Sang, making it easy to consume with zero fuss.