15 Best Foods for Boosting your Immune System
Immunity is the key to lead a healthy life. The Immune system is the defence mechanism of our body. The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, these carry out bodily processes that fight off pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that enter into our body and cause infection or disease. When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. White blood cells (WBC) play an important role in the immune system.
In the modern days people often seek special interest in immune boosting foods or vitamin supplements. Vitamin C and foods like citrus fruits, chicken soup, and tea with honey are popular examples for immune boosters. The design of our immune system is complex and influenced by a balance of many factors, not just diet, and especially not by any one specific food or nutrient. But, a balanced diet consisting of a wide range of vitamins and minerals, combined with healthy lifestyle factors like adequate sleep and exercise and low stress, most effectively promotes the body to fight infection and disease.
Introducing some specific foods into the diet may strengthen your immune response.
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are rich sources of vitamin C. It helps to build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapes, lemons, and limes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts your immunity and reduces your cold, cough suffering duration by improving your immunity. your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. The recommended daily amount for most adults is 75 mg for women, 90 mg for men. If vitamin c is taken in the form of supplements, do not take more than 2000mg per day.
Garlic is a common home remedy for the prevention of colds and other illnesses that seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin which reduces the risk of getting cold. Garlic can easily be added to home-cooked meals and is a wonderful source of selenium, which reduces the oxidative stress in the body, decreasing inflammation and building immunity.
Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help with nausea as well. People use ginger in a variety of dishes and desserts, as well as in teas. Ginger may also decrease chronic pain and might even possess cholesterol-lowering properties Ginger is loaded with gingerols, paradols, sesquiterpenes, shogaols, and zingerone which are powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidants to boost your immunity. Daily a cup of ginger tea acts as a health tonic for you.
Turmeric is a bitter, yellow spice commonly used in cooking. It has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumin, a prominent compound in turmeric, is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help decrease exercise- induced muscle damage.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. It really excels in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another powerful antioxidant. In studies, EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. Green tea is steamed and is not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells. Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine, so people can enjoy it as an alternative to black tea or coffee.
Almonds are one of the best immune system booster foods. They are a great source of iron, vitamin E, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and fiber, all of which have been linked to better immunity. When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, this powerful antioxidant is key to a healthy immune system. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with vitamins and also have healthy fats. Adults only need about 15 mg of vitamin E each day. A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system a day.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes also have vitamin B6, which is essential for better immunity. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a type of antioxidant which is a source of vitamin A. It helps to make skin healthy and may even provide some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays. In addition, it also contains high amounts of protein, potassium, fibre, and vitamin A.
8. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds can make a tasty addition to salads or breakfast. They are full of nutrients, including phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E. Vitamin E helps in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Sunflower seeds are also incredibly high in selenium.
Spinach is not only rich in vitamin C. It contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin E and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. It is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. Just like spinach, the key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible or better yet, not at all. Steaming is the best way to keep more nutrients in the food. It is a good choice of vegetable to eat regularly to support immune system health.
Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, magnesium, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health. It is a natural source of vitamin A, apart from being beneficial for overall digestion.
Kiwis are full of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the white blood cells to fight infection and may reduce the duration of common cold symptoms and improve the function of the human immune system. while the other nutrients help in proper functioning of the body.
Button mushrooms are loaded with selenium, vitamin B complex, and minerals that help to boost your immunity. A good mushroom-omelette loaded with veggies works wonderfully to boost your immunity.
Amla is one of the best sources of vitamin C, which has been known to boost the immune system and reduce the duration of the common cold.
Raisins are another great source of iron, while also containing other nutrients like copper, magnesium, and potassium.