If you have been falling sick very often it could be because of a weakened immune system. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is perhaps more important than ever to maintain a healthy immune system. One of the best ways to maintain it is by having a healthy diet. Your body requires certain foods that have the adequate nutrients to keep your immune system strong. In this article, we shall explore some immunity-boosting foods.
Foods That Boost Immune System
The food that we eat plays a very important role in determining your immunity and health. The first thing you need to avoid is a diet high in carbs, sugar and salt. This diet will help you control your blood sugar levels, keep blood pressure at lower levels, and help you lose weight effectively, whilst boosting your immune system. An ideal diet for a healthy immune system consists of citric fruits, green leafy vegetables, poultry, nuts and seeds, and yogurt among other things. Let’s look at some of these immunity-boosting foods below.
We all know turmeric as the superfood spice that helps heal pain, spasms, and inflammation, courtesy its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. But did you know that consuming it is also an effective way of how to strengthen your immune system. It is used to naturally help bolster the immune system by enhancing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. By immunomodulation we mean the body’s natural ability to regulate the immune system. So how do you do that? Simple - just ingest turmeric in your food. If you show symptoms of cold and cough, simply add a teaspoon of the spice to a hot cup of milk or brew yourself turmeric tea. The spice is also known to calm your nerves during instances of stress, thereby preventing the immune system from weakening.
Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic are the quintessential condiments predominantly used in the Indian cuisine. Not only do they enhance the flavour of the food in question, but also help boost the immune system. While ginger gets its immune-boosting properties from an important antioxidant known as gingerol, garlic seems to get it from the concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, commonly known as allicin. Individually and together, they help in fighting infections and reducing inflammation, which invariably strengthens the immune system, improving the body’s overall health.
Green leafy vegetables
There is hardly a thing that green leafy vegetables can’t help with. That is why, it doesn’t come as a surprise to know that they are one of the immunity boosting foods, which you must include in your diet. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, bokchoy, collards, and kale among others contain micronutrients like vitamin A, C and K, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium and phytochemicals such as zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and lutein, that bolster the immunity and help the body to fight all kinds of infections. If your diet doesn’t comprise sufficient amounts of greens, you can try out Well Being Nutrition’s Daily Greens, a multivitamin from 39 farm-fresh greens, veggies, fruits, and antioxidant-rich superfoods. This will give your immunity the boost it requires. Just drop a tablet into your glass, watch it fizz, and sip on the delicious drink to get your daily dose of nutrients!
Citrus fruits contain high doses of vitamin C, which is known to give your immune system a boost. This micronutrient is known to aid the immune system to produce white blood cells, which help fight all kinds of infections. While it may not prevent symptoms of cold completely, it may help bring down the severity and duration of the cold. The list of fruits rich in vitamin C exceed well beyond the list of oranges and lemons. Some of the most common sources include grapefruit, all kinds of berries, black currants, kiwi, papayas, and vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and potatoes.
When we are sick, we seek comfort in a warm bowl of chicken soup. That is because it soothes sore throat and relieves you from symptoms of cold as well. Poultry such as chicken is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, manganese, selenium, niacin, folate, vitamin B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 and B12 help in the formation of new red blood cells. Chicken broth or stock that is prepared by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin and chondroitin that helps in healing the gut and bolstering the immunity.
Green teas like chamomile, ginger lemon, or peppermint tea contain phenols and antioxidants that act as powerful immune system boosters. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent free radical activity ( which is known to create oxidative stress) and keeps chronic diseases at bay.
Fermented foods and probiotics like yogurt are also the perfect example for immunity-boosting foods. They help in restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Not only does that improve nutrient absorption, digestion, but also impacts the overall immune system of the body, by keeping harmful pathogens away that create different kinds of infections. Furthermore, they help reduce pathogen-modulated inflammations in the body that could result in the advent of serious health ailments. If you are not in the habit of consuming natural probiotics through foods, you can try out supplements as well. Wellbeing Nutrition's Probiotic + Prebiotic improves digestive balance with a combination of six active probiotic cultures and prebiotic fibre obtained from Apple Pomace and Chicory root (inulin) for complete gut health.
While the aforementioned are some of the immunity-boosting foods that you must consume, you should also inculcate some healthy habits. These include exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, limiting or steering clear of alcohol, managing or minimizing stress, maintaining proper hygiene, and getting enough sleep. All these will help protect you from different kinds of infections further strengthening your immunity.