Immunity-Boosting Foods That You Must Include In Your Diet
A healthy immune system that helps the person fit and fine. Can immunity-boosting foods help the immune system?
The immune system contains cells, tissues, proteins, and organs. Collectively, they fight with pathogens, which are the bacteria, virus, and foreign bodies that cause disease or infection.
When the pathogen comes to contact with the immune system, it activates the immune response. It releases the antibodies, and it connects antigens on the pathogens and kills all the pathogens.
What is the Immune System?
The immune system identifies itself and kills potentially harmful cells and molecules from the body. It also has the ability to see and eliminates abnormal cells that obtain from the host tissues. Any pathogens or abnormal cells identified by the immune system are known as an antigen (AG) that destroys the pathogens.
The cornea, mucosa, and skin of the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and respiratory tracts create a physical barrier, and it is the body’s first line of defense.
What are Immunity Boosters?
Immunity boosters are products that claim to support your immune system so that you do not get sick. Also, they generally suggest that taking the boosters will make the disease pass faster if you get sick.
Some popular examples of immunity boosters include Emergen-C and Airborne, although there are many related products you can get on the market. The main active ingredients may vary, but common elements that are zinc, ginger, vitamin C, and echinacea. But we will tell you how to boost your immunity by food.
Some of the Top Immunity-Boosting Foods
It is a type of dry fruit which is mainly consumed to prevent you from colds. Almonds are small in size but also have lots of nutrients which are beneficial to your body. It can be consumed in different ways. You can make almond milk, or it can be used as a topping in oatmeal or yogurt.
The benefits of almonds come in:-
- It controls blood pressure
- Lowers the blood pressure
- It has vitamins C and E, which are the best immunity boosting food
- Manage cholesterol level
- It also helps in hair growth and repair and dental care and strength
- Almond contains 5gm of carbohydrates that keep low-carb levels in the diet
It is another source of vitamin A, C, E, and also contains potent antioxidants, like sulforaphane. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables that you can put on the plate.
- Broccoli is rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins
- It has vitamin A, C, E, with many many antioxidants
- To get all the nutrients from broccoli, you can use it raw or cook it for a short time
Many people go for vitamin C after they have caught a cold well. Vitamin c helps to build-up the immune system. Citrus fruits that contain vitamin c are known for the production of white blood cells, and they are the key to fight infections.
- Vitamin C food helps mainly in treating cold and flu.
- Citrus fruits boost the immune system by increasing the white blood cell, which are the main elements involved in fighting and protecting infections in the body.
- Citrus fruits include oranges, limes, lemons, clementines, tangerine, and grapefruit.
- It is important to eat citrus fruits every day to boost immunity because it does not naturally produce vitamin C.
- It can be consumed whole or can be squeezed into a meal.
- It is a bush tree whose flowers and berries have been studied and known for their health benefits for ages now.
- Elderberry is used to make jams, wine, lozenges, and syrups.
- It also proved to have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties.
- The elderberry plant helps manage flu, and it might also help provide a stronger immune system against COVID-19.
Garlic is mostly found in every cuisine in the world. We all know the value of garlic in fighting infection. It also slows down the hardening of the arteries, and there has been some evidence that it helps lower blood pressure. (source)
- Garlic is one of the popular supplements, and it is well known for its ability to boost immunity.
- It has been used to manage systemic and superficial infections. Garlic has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
- During this season of the COVID-19 outbreak, garlic is best for increasing immunity.
- The consumption of garlic helps to shorten the period of cold and flu infections.
- Garlic also plays a major role in reducing the hardening of arteries and blood pressure.
Ginger is also used in every cuisine globally; it helps to decrease inflammation and reduces inflammatory illnesses and sore throat. Ginger helps to increase immunity.
- It helps to reduce nausea
- It contains gingerol, which helps to reduce cholesterol levels and also helps to reduce chronic pain.
- Ginger has also been studied and proven that it has antiviral and antibacterial effects.
Green Tea and Black Tea is full of flavonoids and it is a type of antioxidants. Although green tea surpasses its level of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), it is also a powerful antioxidant. According to research, EGCG has shown to enhance immune function.
- Green tea is a natural antioxidant and has many polyphenols with anti-inflammatory, which helps to prevent aging.
- It has L-theanine and caffeine that provide the calming effect; it enhances memory and optimizes brain function, cognitive performance, and elevates mood.
- L-theanine helps in the making of T-cells that kills germs.
- Green tea protects the skin from the ultraviolet rays and reduces skin aging.
Kiwi is made up of many essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, K, and potassium. Vitamin C boosts the white blood cells to kill the infections.There are also other nutrients in kiwi that are essential for maintaining proper body functions.
Mushrooms are edible fungi and natural saprophytic, obtaining their nutrients from the dead animals and plants. There are so many varieties of mushroom species, which vary in shape, size, texture, properties, and color. However, 10% of these mushrooms have studied for their health benefits.
- Mushrooms have large quantities of vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and folate), magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, and calcium, which are essential in boosting the immune system.
- Choline mineral is also an antioxidant that is known to reduce the risks of prostate cancer.
- Selenium mineral has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, and anticancer properties. Hence, selenium minerals in mushrooms help in reducing cancer, such as prostate cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.
- Selenium also prevents and reduces thyroid disease and heart disease risks.
- Mushrooms are well famous for the immune-boosting properties. They have amino acid known as ergothioneine, and it is a powerful antioxidant that provides protection from free radicals at the time of infection and also boosts immunity.
- Many mushrooms have natural antibiotics that hinder microbial growth and many fungal infections.
It is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. Papaya also has the digestive enzyme called papain, which has anti-inflammatory effects. It also has a decent amount of magnesium, folate, and potassium, and these all minerals are beneficial for your overall health.
- Papaya is a nutritious fruit, and it is made up of huge quantities of vitamin C. Also, it helps in increasing your immunity and protects you from getting COVID-19.
- It also acts as a laxative, reducing constipation.
- It is not only rich in vitamin C but also in vitamin B, folate, and potassium, that improve overall health.
Pomegranate tree is a shrub that produces red color fruits. It’s scientific name is Punica granatum. Pomegranate benefits have been studied and still going on, but here are some of the benefits of this fruit.
- These fruit seeds have a bright red color obtained from the polyphenols. It is a powerful antioxidant that is three times higher than red wine, green tea, and even other fruits. The antioxidants remove the free radical that might cause due to inflammation and lower cell damage.
- Pomegranate has an active antibacterial activity against yersinia, e.coli, shigella, salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, listeria, shigella. These are the bacteria that go in the mouth and cause plagues, periodontal disease, and gingivitis.
- It also has antiviral activity against herpes and viral flu.
- Pomegranate also promotes the beneficial growth of gut flora that increases immunity like bifidobacterium and lactobacillus.
- Pomegranate is rich in vitamin C. Consuming a single pomegranate can give you about 40% of vitamin C a day. Also, this fruit juice can break down vitamin C and provides more nutrients.
- It improves digestion and reduces gut inflammation; therefore, it is beneficial to people suffering from Crohn’s diseases, bowel diseases, and ulcerative colitis.
- The pomegranate juice slows systolic blood pressure that promotes heart health.
- Pomegranate also increases testosterone levels in women and men and reduces the risk of infertility in a woman.
Red Bell Peppers
If you think that citrus fruit has the most vitamin C of any vegetables or fruits, then think again. The red bell pepper contains three times more vitamin C than Florida orange does. They are also a rich source of beta carotene. Red Bell Pepper is best to boost your immunity; also, it helps to maintain healthy skin. However, there are several healthy foods that contain high vitamin C that you can see.
- It contains three times more vitamin C than any citrus fruits
- They are best for boosting immunity and have beta carotene to maintain skin and eyes health.
Turmeric is a very common ingredient. It is yellow in color, with a bitter taste famously used as an anti-inflammatory effect. Turmeric is used as a medical plant and as a spice. It is a very nutritious food mostly used as a supplement. Turmeric also has major benefits for brain and body development.
- Curcumin is a main active ingredient in turmeric, works as powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and that blocks inflammation at the molecular level.
- Turmeric also has very strong antioxidants that help to reduce skin aging and prevent disease by blocking free radicals.
- Turmeric is used to relieve the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- It has high quantities of curcumin, which contribute to a decrease in exercise-induced muscle damage.
Spinach not only contains vitamin C, but it also contains many beta carotene and antioxidants. Both these contents strengthen the pathogen killing ability of our immune systems. It is similar to broccoli; spinach is also healthiest when cooked as little and slow as possible to retain its nutrients. But excess consumption of spinach can produce an increase of potassium that might damage the underdeveloped kidney.
- Spinach is one of the richest green vegetables. Moreover, it is known as a superfood for its richness in beta carotenes, magnesium, vitamin A, C, iron, calcium, and other antioxidants that increase the body’s ability to kill.
- Spinach is a dark, leafy green vegetable that benefits hair, bone, and skin health.
- It also has important nutrients to mediate the cell division process and DNA repair.
- Spinach is healthy when it is cooked in medium or low heat that allows the release of oxalic acids and vitamin A to preserve the vegetable nutrients.
Bonus:- How to Make Immune System Boosting Smoothie at Home
Green Smoothie For Immunity Booster
This is a creamy and healthy immunity-boosting green smoothie. It is made with almond milk and frozen fruits, loaded with antioxidants and vitamins to help keep colds at bay.
- 1 ½ cups of Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup of spinach and kale chopped
- ½ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1 ½ cups of frozen mango, kiwi chunks, and pineapple
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Add kale and spinach to the blender with the almond breeze now blend it until it becomes smooth.
- Now add the ginger, lemon, and frozen fruit and blend until it becomes smooth. Check if the smoothie is too thick, then add some more almond milk one tablespoon at a time.
Well, it is essential to remember that all these foods are helpful in boosting immunity. These foods also help in maintaining the immune system and fight against any kind of diseases & infections. They also relieve many types of symptoms and signs of chronic diseases. It is advisable to eat these supplements every day to minimize the risk of diseases and infections. If you find this information useful, drop a comment below this section.