Eating a variety of healthy foods high in vitamins and minerals, such as citrus fruits, garlic, and spinach, can assist in enhancing one’s immune system. The immune system is a complicated network of cells, tissues, and organs that cooperate to defend the body against organisms that attempt to enter it from the outside.
Therefore, including these powerful immune system booster foods in your meal plan is essential to avoid colds, flu, and other infections.
Overview of 18 Immune-Boosting Foods
Citrus, garlic, red bell peppers, broccoli, ginger, spinach, yogurt, almonds, sunflower seeds, turmeric, green and black teas, Papayas, Kiwis, Poultry, Shellfish, Dark chocolate, blueberries, fatty fish
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which aids in developing the immune system and producing white blood cells. Almost all citrus fruits, including lemons, grapefruit, oranges, limes, tangerines, and clementines, are high in vitamin C, making it simple to squeeze some into any meal.
Garlic is used in almost every cuisine and has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Early civilizations knew its importance in warding off diseases, and there is some evidence that it can also aid in decreasing the hardening of arteries and reducing blood pressure.
Its immune-boosting properties are attributed to a high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin.
3. Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers have nearly three times the vitamin C content of a Florida orange and are high in beta-carotene. Vitamin C has been shown to strengthen the immune system and keep healthy skin, whereas beta carotene, which can be turned into vitamin A, has been shown to enhance the immune system and preserve healthy skin and eyes.
Consuming broccoli is equivalent to eating one of the healthiest veggies available. However, if you want to keep its medicinal value, cook it as little as possible. Research indicates that steaming food is the most effective method for retaining nutrients.
Many people turn to ginger when sick because it can help reduce inflammation, soothe sore throats, and alleviate nausea. It also contains gingerol, a close relative of capsaicin. In addition, it may have cholesterol-lowering properties and help with common cold symptoms.
Spinach contains many vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and beta-carotene. It is healthiest when cooked as little as possible to preserve its nutrients, but light cooking also improves the absorption of vitamin A and releases other nutrients from oxalic acid.
Yogurt can be a good source of vitamin D, so look for brands fortified with this vitamin. This vitamin aids in regulating the immune system and enhancing our bodies natural defenses against disease. Vitamin D is also present in probiotic properties, which helps to strengthen bones and teeth. Yogurt is also high in probiotics, which can help strengthen bones and teeth.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant required for a strong immune system. In addition, it is a fat-soluble vitamin that must be present to be absorbed appropriately. Almonds, for example, are high in vitamins and contain healthy fats. Adults require 15 mg of vitamin E daily; a half-cup serving of almonds provides 100% of that amount.
9. Sunflower seeds
Among the nutrients in sunflower seeds are phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E. The immune system’s regulation and maintenance depend on vitamin E. Sunflower seeds also contain a lot of selenium, which benefits the immune system in two ways. It first alerts the immune system when there is a threat and then instructs it when to slow down, preventing the body from long-term inflammation. Its potential to fight viral infections like the swine flu has been studied (H1N1).
An essential component of curries, turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In addition, high levels of curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its distinctive color, have been shown in studies to lessen the damage that exercise causes to muscles. More research is necessary, but it has potential as an immune system booster and an antiviral.
11. Green and black teas
Black and green teas contain many flavonoids, but green tea has more epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It has been demonstrated that this potent antioxidant improves immune performance. In addition, green tea is steamed rather than fermented, preserving the EGCG, whereas black tea is fermented. L-theanine, abundant in green tea and may help T cells produce antimicrobial compounds, is also a good source of antioxidants.
Vitamin C, papain, potassium, magnesium, and folate are all abundant in papayas and are suitable for your health. They contain potassium, magnesium, and folate and are anti-inflammatory.
Folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C are abundant in kiwis. This is because the white blood cells are strengthened by vitamin C to fight infection. On the other hand, other nutrients keep the body in good condition. For example, vitamin C may shorten the duration of cold symptoms and enhance immune system performance.
Chicken soup may reduce inflammation and lessen cold symptoms. Vitamin B-6, crucial for the body’s chemical processes and producing new, healthy red blood cells, is abundant in poultry, such as chicken and turkey. Gelatin, chondroitin, and additional nutrients benefit gut healing, and immunity can be found in stock or broth made from simmering chicken bones.
The immune system benefits from zinc, which is abundant in shellfish. Shellfish with a high zinc content include oysters, crab, lobster, and mussels. A surplus of zinc, however, can compromise the immune system. Therefore, the daily recommended zinc intake is 8 and 11 mg for most adult women and men, respectively.
16. Dark chocolate
Theobromine, an antioxidant in dark chocolate, may strengthen the immune system by shielding the body’s cells from free radicals. However, it is crucial to eat it in moderation because it is high in calories and saturated fat. In addition, the body’s cells can be harmed by free radicals, which can also make people sick.
Anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in blueberries, can strengthen a person’s immune system. As a result, an upper respiratory tract infection, or common cold, was less common in people who consumed foods high in flavonoids in 2016 than in those who did not. This is because the immune defense mechanism of the respiratory tract depends heavily on flavonoids.
18. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fatty fish and lower the risk of coronary disease, heart failure, and death from heart disease. While flaxseed, walnuts, and chia seeds are plant-based sources of omega-3s, wild salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other oily fish are high in fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acid consumption over the long term may lower the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This chronic autoimmune disease develops when the immune system mistakenly targets a healthy body part.
You can strengthen your immune system and prevent colds, flu, and other infections by eating a variety of healthy foods high in vitamins and minerals, such as citrus fruits, garlic, red bell peppers, broccoli, ginger, spinach, yogurt, almonds, sunflower seeds, turmeric, green and black teas, papayas, Kiwis, poultry, shellfish, dark chocolate, blueberries, and fatty fish. For example, poultry soup reduces inflammation and eases cold symptoms, while vitamin C shortens the duration of cold symptoms and strengthens the immune system. At the same time, blueberries are rich in flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids.
LINKS TO RESEARCH REFERENCES
Dietary Selenium in Adjuvant Therapy of Viral and Bacterial Infections – ScienceDirect
Molecules | Free Full-Text | Immunomodulators Inspired by Nature: A Review on Curcumin and Echinacea (mdpi.com)
Regulation Of Innate Immune Recognition Of Viral Infection By Epigallocatechin Gallate – Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (jacionline.org)
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