Top 10 Immune-Boosting Foods You Need to Take
“You are what you eat”, is a well-known proverb. A well-balanced diet rich in nutritious foods is your best defense against acute and chronic diseases such as chest infections, flu, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
But did you know that the foods you eat also aid in boosting your immunity against infections like the flu? Certain foods such as green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits are well-known immune system boosters. That is why they assist your body in fighting diseases. Keep on reading this article till the end to know more about immune health foods and how they boost your immunity.
Benefits of a Healthy Immune System:
The immune system is responsible to defend your body against outside threats. When any pathogen enters your body, such as the flu virus, this complex system of cells, tissues, and organs of the immune system recognizes it as a harmful substance and counter-attacks it to kill these particles and protect you from its harmful effects as well as reduce inflammation.
Your body is better prepared to fight illness when your immune system is strong. You are more likely to become ill if your immune system is compromised.
Superfoods-Immune Boosting Foods:
We've all heard the term "superfoods" many times in recent years. Superfood signifies foods that are "nutrient-dense," and contain all the essential nutrients in adequate amounts.
These foods can improve your health and help your body function properly. However, it's also crucial to keep in mind that they cannot cure disease, but help reduce the risk of getting sick.
Here are 10 different foods that are well-known to strengthen the immune system. Get your body to benefit from these nutritious foods.
1. Citrus Fruits
The majority of citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, and limes, are high in vitamin C and are considered to boost your white blood cells and aid in the fight against infections. Therefore, don't forget to include these tangy fruits in your regular diet, whether you enjoy them as a whole or drink their juice.
2. Colorful Vegetables
Although we frequently associate citrus fruits with being a source of vitamin C, vibrantly colored vegetables like red and yellow peppers also have a high amount of vitamin C. The high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene found in dark vegetables like spinach, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and carrots are all renowned to aid in the fight against infections. Additionally, they are advantageous for your gut, brain, and heart health.
3. Protein-rich Diet
Protein is the structural nutrient and is majorly involved in the formation of antibodies, and immunoglobulins which are part of our defense system. When a foreign particle enters the body, antibodies are produced to fight them. Protein-rich diet plays a major role in boosting immunity by stimulating the production of antibodies.
In winter, you can take chicken soup that contains significant amounts of zinc, which boosts the production of immune cells, and vitamin B6, which can reduce inflammation and is necessary for the production of new red blood cells. Therefore, don’t wait for your flu or recurrent infections to enjoy the hot bowl of chicken soup, in winter.
4. Zinc-rich Foods
Meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and fortified cereals are zinc-rich foods. By consuming those, you can maintain your immune health. Because zinc is a major nutrient and active participant in boosting immunity and fighting infections.
Add these tiny, nutrient-rich, sweet & sour fruits to your regular diet from its wide range of species such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. These are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and prebiotics to give you the boost of immunity you need. Additionally, these can be taken as a perfectly advanced sweet alternative. So, add it to your yogurt or smoothie as a natural sweetener.
6. Fish Oils
Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are examples of fish high in Omega 3 fatty acids that are known to increase the activity of white blood cells, which fight infection. These beneficial fats support your immune system, help reduce inflammation, and are also beneficial to your heart and brain.
7. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are good sources of healthy fats such as MUFAs, and PUFAs, and also contain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium; that help regulate your immune system. You can either add them to your salads or take them as a healthy and energizing snack.
8. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a superfood and a crucial component of the Mediterranean diet. It contains healthy fat that is advantageous to your heart and brain. Through its capacity to lower inflammation in your body, it also strengthens your immune system.
With the presence of beneficial microorganisms and vitamin D, this fermented food may boost your immune system and aid in the prevention of disease. Choose organic yogurt without added sugar, then naturally sweeten it with honey or fruits like berries, for an additional boost.
Garlic, ginger, turmeric, and clove are ancient and remarkable condiments that have long been thought to have immune-boosting properties and fight against infections. They also add flavor to your food. So, when it comes to adding flavor to your food, don't be afraid of adding these condiments but only within the suggested dose, and they will give you double action benefits such as flavor and a healthy immune system.
In the end, to boost your immunity, it is recommended to consume the above-mentioned foods every day. Along with this, adding vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D supplements can be a good choice to give a boost to your immune system, particularly in winter.