Our immune system is our defense mechanism against the outside virus and hence must be extremely strong to fight the diseases. Our daily habits, lifestyle as well as the food we consume all build our immunity.
While boosting immunity may sound like an exciting idea to many, the ability to do so has given rise to many questions. Foods to boost immunity help in enhancing the immune system which in turn requires balance and harmony to function properly.
Foods to Boost Immunity
With a healthy diet and foods to boost immunity, it is important to understand the needs of the human body properly to ensure the diet regime supports in building better health. These immune system booster foods help in fulfilling the nutritional deficiencies and enhancing the metabolism which ultimately makes you feel more energetic and healthy.
The following are the perfect food for the immune system:
Known as the best source to boost your immunity, citrus fruits are full of antioxidants and help in the production of white blood cells which are helpful for fighting infections. Being high in vitamin C which the body is not able to produce, citrus fruits fill the deficiency. The ideal vitamin C intake for both males and females is as follows:
- 75 mg for women
- 90 mg for men
The most commonly recommended citrus fruits are:
Red Bell Peppers
Compared to citrus fruits, red bell peppers contain almost three times vitamin C and are also a great source of beta carotene. These play a great role in maintaining healthy skin, and the body converts the same into Vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
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Being supercharged with vitamins and minerals, and packed with Vitamin A, C, and E, along with essential nutrients like fiber, antioxidants which make this vegetable one of the healthiest options to be included in the regular diet.
Garlic is found in almost all the cuisine items in the world and adds a little zing to the food as it is a must-have for your health. It has great values in fighting infections and also slows down the hardening of the arteries. The immunity-boosting properties of Garlic are derived from the heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin.
Another health ingredient that people opt for when they fall sick is ginger. As it may help decrease inflammation, relieve a sore throat, inflammatory illnesses, and nausea. It is also known as a great health booster as it reduces chronic pain and even possesses cholesterol-lowering properties.
Not only is it rich in vitamin C but is also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of the human immune system. Since it is similar to broccoli, spinach is the healthiest when it is cooked for as little time as possible in order for it to retain its nutrients. Light cooking makes it easier to absorb vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid – which serves as an antinutrient.
One can consume plain yogurt too which are healthier as they are not loaded with sugar. You can add healthy fruits along with a drizzle of honey instead of sugar. Serving as one of the best sources of vitamin D, one must try to select the brands fortified with the vitamins, as it regulates immunity and boosts the body’s natural defenses against the diseases.
In order to prevent and fight off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. the powerful antioxidant is the key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, like almonds, are packed with vitamins and have healthy fats too. Adults only need about 15mg of vitamin E per day which can be fulfilled with half-cup of serving of almonds.
Full of nutrients, like phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E, it is important in regulating and maintaining the immune system function. The other foods which have high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens. The sunflower seeds are also high in selenium.
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Turmeric is the key ingredient in many curries as the bright yellow spice is also used for years as an anti-inflammatory which helps in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. High-concentration of curcumin gives turmeric a distinctive color and can help decrease muscle damage following excessive exercise. Curcumin is a promising immunity booster which is based on the findings from animal studies and serves as a great antiviral.
Both green and black teas are loaded with flavonoids which is a type of antioxidant. The flavonoids present in green tea are 100 times more powerful as an antioxidant than even vitamin C and 25 times more powerful than vitamin E. These also give green tea powerful antibacterial properties.
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The daily recommended dose of vitamin C in a single medium fruit, papayas also have a digestive enzyme which is called papain containing anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have a digestive enzyme which is called papain which has an anti-inflammatory effect. With a decent amount of potassium, magnesium, and folate, Papayas are overall beneficial for health.
Kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, which include folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. This nutrient boosts the white blood cells in order to fight infections and other nutrients that keep the rest of the body functioning properly.
Chicken soup is advised by medical practitioners when someone is suffering from a disease as it not only helps in lowering inflammation but also improves symptoms of cold. Poultry is high in vitamin B-6 and about 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains nearly one-third of the daily recommended amount of B-6. Vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells, chicken bones contain gelatin, chondroitin, as well as other nutrients helpful for a healthy gut and strong immunity.
Shellfish, in some varieties, is packed with zinc which doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that the immune cells can function as intended. Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:
The ideal quantity of zinc in the daily dose is as follows:
- 11 mg for adult men
- 8 mg for most adult women
An excessive quantity of zinc can hamper your immune system more than it heals. Although the above mentioned immune system booster foods can have a great positive impact on your health, these foods for strong immune systems can do wonders when taken with the right consultation.