Our immune system is designed to fight those foreign invaders in the body, like pathogenic bacteria and viruses (coronavirus), but with age and poor nutrition, our immunity decreases. On top, stress, inflammatory foods, smoking, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle and external factors like pollution, UV rays, etc. can further make the chronic inflammation risk even greater.
By adding the immunity-boosting foods, you can boost immunity naturally to fight inflammation, infections, Flu, and viruses like coronavirus. Here are the top six immunity-boosting foods you can add in your diet:
Ginger Has long been used in traditional medicine to treat colds and flu, as it has potent antiviral activity due to its high concentration of plant compounds.
Bioactive compound ‘gingerol’ in ginger, inhibit the viral replication and prevent the viruses from entering host cells. Ginger also contains chemicals called ‘sesquiterpenes’ that target cold viruses.
Fresh ginger can also protect against HRSV (human respiratory syncytial virus) which is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections), by blocking the virus’s ability to attach to cells and activating the release of compounds that help counter viral infections.
Ginger also helps in relieving the cough and soothes a sore throat. It can also hinder certain types of bacteria and it has powerful pain-relieving properties.
Turmeric is a yellow spice with a strong, earthy flavor. It has received a lot of attention for its content of curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory, and immunity-boosting compound.
It is very commonly used to heal wounds, release mucus, repel insects, ease inflammation, and many other purposes. It also helps protect against infections, flu, virus and improve the overall health of your body’s cells.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that helps build up the immune function and thus protect us from cold, cough, flu and virus, etc. It also increases the production of white blood cells which is commonly known as ‘fighter cells’ as these cells fight with foreign invaders in the body, like pathogenic bacteria and viruses (coronavirus).
Citrus Fruits are enriched in vitamin C. such fruits are orange, lemons, lime, tangerine, grapefruits, etc. Being a water-soluble vitamin, our body cannot store vitamin C therefore, we have to daily incorporate in everyday diet. Add at least 1-2 servings of seasonal citrus fruits in your diet to get your 100% daily dose of vitamin C and thereby to maintain the healthy immune system.
Broccoli is a nutrient-packed superfood to boost your immunity. Broccoli is very high in Vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. It also provides a group of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, and B6).
Broccoli is also rich in antioxidants like glutathione, Kaempferol, to fight against free radicals. Together, these vitamins and minerals help to build and maintain the immune system to protect us from infections.
Green teas are packed with antioxidants like flavonoids (EGCG, Catechin) that boosts immunity, and have anti-inflammatory properties too. It is not only recommended for weight loss but also to fight off cold and flu.
Catechin also has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties and can fight off cold-starting bacteria, flu, influenza, and virus. Green tea also contains amino acid L-theanine which may help in the production of T-cells (germ-fighting white blood cells).
Regularly drinking 2-3 cups of green tea can help you boost your immune function and stay protected against bacteria, flu, and virus (like coronavirus).
Berries are typically high in immunity-boosting vitamin C. For instance, 100gm of fresh strawberries contains 58.8mg Vitamin C, which is almost 150% of daily dose of vitamin C. They are also rich in fiber, and antioxidants like polyphenols, bioflavonoids, anthocyanin, and phytochemicals. Berries also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Some common berries are Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, black current, cranberries, raspberries, etc. For an optimal immune system and to stay healthy during the flu season, eat at least one serving (1/2 cup or 100-150gm) bowl of berries (preferably mixed), or eat them in your favourite salads, smoothies or yogurt parfaits. And if you are unable to get fresh berries, use the frozen varieties.
Feeding your body with certain foods can help you boost your immune system to protect you and your family from infections and any other illnesses. If you are looking for natural ways to prevent winter colds, cough, and flu, your first step should be to stock up these immunity-boosting foods in your kitchen, before running to doctors!