If you want to lead a healthy life, then you need a healthy immune system too. Ideally, the immune system features our organs, tissues, proteins, and cells. When these elements come together, they carry out bodily processes that help fight off pathogens that include bacteria, viruses, and foreign bodies that cause infection or ailments.
After the immune system comes in contact with a pathogen, it mainly prompts an immune response. The immune system discharges antibodies that are linked to antigens present on the pathogens and wipe them off.
Foods That Improve Your Immune System must be added to your diet to strengthen your immune response. A regular balanced diet plays an essential role in staying fit and healthy.
Some of the Immune System Boosting Foods are:
Ideally, blueberries comprise a type of flavonoid known as anthocyanin loaded with antioxidant properties, which boost a person’s immune system.
As per a recent study, flavonoids play a crucial role in the immune defense system’s respiratory tract. Researchers have concluded that people who ate flavonoid-rich foods are at a minimum risk of getting an upper respiratory tract infection or cold compared to those who didn’t consume these foods.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate most likely features an antioxidant known as the bromine that boosts our immune system by shielding the body cells from free radicals. We mean molecules that our body produces when it breaks down food or when pollutants come in contact with it by free radicals. Free radicals not only damage the blood cells but also add a share to ailments. Even though dark chocolate is one of the best Immune system boosters foods, it is high in calories and saturated fat, so it is recommended to consume dark chocolate in moderate quantities.
The yellow spice is a crucial ingredient for almost all curries, and the majority of the people use it in cooking generally. Turmeric is used for years now as it is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that help treat ailments like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. You might be wondering why turmeric features a yellow hue; the answer to your dilemma is the presence of curcumin. The presence of this element is known to help in reducing exercise-induced muscle damage. Additionally, curcumin also claims to be an immune booster, and it contains antioxidant properties.
4. Oily fish
The oily fish, including salmon, pilchards, and tuna, are known to be loaded with omega-three fatty acids. Consuming oily fish as experts reveals that the long-term intake of omega-three fatty acids helps minimize the risk associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition under which the immune system damages the healthy part of the body unintentionally.
One of the best foods to boost the immune system is broccoli, as it is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is also supercharged with Vitamins, including A, C, and E. Besides amazing vitamins, healthy vegetables consist of both fiber and antioxidants. You can keep its power intact if you cook it as little as possible or even not cook it at all. If you want to keep the nutrients in the food, then there is nothing like steaming.
6. Citrus fruits
The majority of the people choose to consume citrus fruits even after catching a slight cold. It is because it helps in building up the immune system. Vitamin C is known to increase white cell production as they are essential for fighting infections. The majority of the citrus fruits have a high content of Vitamin C. It is simple to squeeze in Vitamin C in any of your meals as you have an array of sources to choose from. Some of the prominent citrus fruits include lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, etc. It is recommended to consume Vitamin C regularly as the body doesn’t store this vitamin.
7. Red bell peppers
You need to think again if you believe that citrus fruits contain the maximum amount of Vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable. Hence, you should know that red bell peppers have the amount of vitamin C thrice compared to oranges. These are also known as a great source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy immune system and healthy skin. The body converts or transforms Beta carotene into Vitamin A that helps in keeping the skin and eyes healthy.
Be it any cuisine in the world, garlic is found in almost all cuisines. It integrates a small amount of zing to your food, so it is a must-have for your body to maintain the immune system. People from early civilizations have eaten garlic as it has been known for its infection-fighting property. It might also help in slowing down the hardening of arteries. Garlic comprises high sulfur-containing compounds, including allicin.
Ginger is another substance that the majority of people choose to consume after they fall sick. It also helps in minimizing inflammation, which helps in reducing inflammatory ailments and sore throat. Additionally, Ginger also helps with nausea. Though it is used in several sweet dishes or desserts, Ginger in gingerol packs some heat. Besides relieving the chronic pain, Ginger is also known to possess some cholesterol-lowering elements.
Spinach should be added to your diet not only because it is rich in Vitamin C but also loaded with several antioxidants and beta carotene. These substances enhance the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Like broccoli, spinach is also one of the healthiest foods to consume when it is least cooked to retain the nutrients. Above all, less cooking makes it easier to absorb Vitamin A.
One thing you need to know for sure is that whenever you happen to buy a tin or a pack of yogurt, then you should always look for a label that states “live and active cultures.” It would be good if you looked for these labels as these cultures stimulate the immune system when fighting different ailments. Furthermore, it is recommended that you should consume plain yogurts instead of flavored yogurts as they contain a high amount of sugar. If you like sweet yogurts, then you can flavor it with healthy fruits and dribble some honey. Yogurts are a fantastic source of Vitamin D, so try and select brands that cover this vitamin. Besides regulating the immune system, Vitamin D gives our body a natural boost to fight against diseases.
Vitamin E is most likely to take a backseat to Vitamin C when it comes to fighting off and preventing colds. But this vitamin plays a key and crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system. If you are confused about what foods to boost the immunity system? Then it would be better, in fact, best if you didn’t miss out on almonds as it features a Vitamin E, which is fat-soluble, which means it requires the fat to be present to be absorbed correctly. Nuts, including almonds, are both packed with Vitamin E and also have healthy fats.
13. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are super packed with nutrients like magnesium, Phosphorous, Vitamins E, and B-6. Vitamin E tends to play a crucial role in maintaining and regulating the immune system. Some of the foods that contain a high amount of Vitamin E include green leafy vegetables and Avocados. Additionally, sunflower seeds are also high in selenium.
14. Green tea
Flavonoid is a type of antioxidant which is found both in green and black tea. Green tea has a high amount of epigallocatechin gallate, which is also a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that epigallocatechin gallate helps in enhancing immune function. Additionally, green tea is also a fantastic source of the amino acid L-theanine, which helps produce germ-fighting compounds found in your T-cells.
Are you confused about which foods to eat for improving immunity? Then you need to add Papaya to your list as it is loaded with Vitamin C. You can find a double amount of Vitamin C in a single fruit. Papain, a digestive enzyme, is also found in Papaya that features anti-inflammatory properties. Papayas also contain some amount of magnesium, potassium, and folate. All these elements offer an overall health benefit.
Just like papayas, Kiwis are also naturally loaded with a lot of nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, and folate. Vitamin C boosts the white blood cells in our body, which helps fight infection, while other nutrients of the fruit help in the proper functioning of the body.
Many people enjoy chicken soup while they are sick, and it is more than merely a placebo effect that readily makes you feel good. The soup is useful because it helps in reducing inflammation as it improves cold symptoms. Poultry includes chicken and turkey, which is high in Vitamin B-6. Vitamin B6 is an essential player in various chemical reactions that take place in the body. It is even a necessary component and element in the formation of new as well as healthy red blood cells.
Not many people remember shellfish when it comes to including foods that boost the immune system. You need to know that only some types of shellfish are loaded with zinc. Some varieties of shellfish that contain zinc include crab, lobsters, and mussels.
19. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene, which is a rich source of Vitamin A. It protects our skin from harmful ultraviolet ways. Additionally, it also makes the skin look healthy.
So here we have discussed the immunity system booster foods. Thus the key to proper nutrition is to consume a variety of healthy food. Eating the same category of foods won’t help you fight ailments. So it would be more beneficial if you focus on both – the proper nutrition serving sizes and avoid taking too much of a single vitamin while ignoring other food items.