15 foods that boost the immune system

Posted by Nutrition pro on

15 foods that boost the immune system

Have you ever wondered how to boost your immune system ?

Eating certain foods can help maintain it and even strengthen it. 

If you're looking for ways to prevent winter colds, the flu, or any other virus or illness, your first step should be a trip to your supermarket.

Plan your meals to include these 15 powerful immune system boosters .

1. Citrus fruits

Most people turn to vitamin C after catching a cold. This is because it helps strengthen our immune system . Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells . These elements are essential to fight against infections.

Popular citrus fruits include:

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Clementines

Because your body does not produce or store it, you need vitamin C daily for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. With so much variety, it's easy to add a pinch of this vitamin to any meal.

2. Red peppers

If you think citrus fruits contain the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again.

Red peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. They are also a rich source of beta-carotene. In addition to boosting your immune system, vitamin C can help maintain healthy skin. Beta-carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Filled with vitamins A, C, and E, along with many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table . The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible - or better yet, not at all.

4. Garlic

Garlic is found in almost every kitchen in the world.

It enhances dishes and remains a must for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. According to National Trust for Complementary and Integrative Health Trusted Source , garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow the hardening of the arteries. Garlic's immune-boosting properties seem to come from a high concentration of sulfur compounds, such as allicin.

5. Ginger

Ginger is another ingredient that many turn to after getting sick. Ginger can help reduce inflammation, which can help reduce the sore throat and other inflammatory diseases. Ginger can also help reduce nausea .

Although it is used in many sweet desserts, ginger contains heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. Ginger can help reduce chronic pain and may have cholesterol-lowering properties .

6. Spinach

Spinach made our list not only because it 's high in vitamin C.

They also contain many antioxidants and beta-carotene, which can increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune system .

Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when cooked as little as possible to retain its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

7. Yogurts (some)

Look for yogurts that have "live and active cultures" printed on the label, such as Greek yogurt. These cultures can boost your immune system to help fight disease. Try to get plain yogurts rather than those that are pre-made and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruit and a drizzle of honey instead.

Yogurt can also be an excellent source of vitamin D , so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is believed to strengthen our body's natural defenses against disease.

8. Almonds

When it comes to preventing and fighting the common cold, vitamin E tends to take precedence over vitamin C.

However, vitamin E is essential for a healthy immune system . It is a fat- soluble vitamin , which means it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly.

Nuts, like almonds, are packed with vitamins and also contain healthy fats. A half-cup serving, or about 46 whole shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E.

9. Turmeric

You may know that turmeric is a key ingredient in many dishes.

But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis .

Also, high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, may help reduce exercise-induced muscle damage.

10. Green tea

Green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. 

the green tea really excels in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to improve immune functions . 

The fermentation process that black tea goes through destroys much of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and unfermented, so the EGCG is retained.

Green tea is also a good source of amino acid L-theanine . L-theanine can aid in the production of germ-killing compounds in your T cells.

11. Papaya

papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in just one papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain which has anti-inflammatory effects.

Papayas contain decent amounts of potassium , B vitamins and folate, all of which are good for your overall health.

12. The kiwi

Like papayas, kiwis are naturally packed with a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K , and vitamin C.

Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells to fight infection, while the other nutrients in kiwifruit keep the rest of your body functioning properly.

13. Poultry

When you're sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve the symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you against illness in the first place. 

Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is rich in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your recommended daily amount of B-6.

Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many chemical reactions that occur in the body. It is also essential for the formation of new Red cells healthy. Broth or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients useful for gut healing and immunity .

14. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients, including phosphorus , the magnesium and vitamin B-6 . They are also incredibly high in vitamin E , a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin E is important for regulating and maintaining the function of the immune system. Other foods rich in vitamin E include lawyers and dark leafy green vegetables.

15. Seafood

Not all shellfish boost the immune system, but some types of shellfish are loaded with zinc.

Zinc doesn't get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it for our immune cells to function as intended.

Zinc-rich shellfish varieties include:

  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Lobster
  • Molds

Keep in mind that you should not consume more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet. 

For adult men, it's 11 milligrams (mg) and for women, it's 8 mg. Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.

More Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Vitamin complexes are an excellent way to strengthen our immune system, in fact, taking vitamins daily will only be beneficial.

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