It’s crucial to keep in mind your immune system’s importance in keeping you healthy as the dreaded cold and flu season is upon us. The immune system’s main objective is protecting your body from noxious substances, pathogens, and cell alterations that could make you unwell. Incorporating a range of immunity booster food items into your diet will help you feel your best throughout the cooler months by optimizing the function of your immune system.
In this Article
Why Do We Need an Immune System?
We have regular exposure to several kinds of possibly hazardous bacteria on a daily basis. Our immune system is a network of complex pathways and intricate bodily processes that guard against these dangerous bacteria and some diseases. It immediately identifies foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, and parasites and takes action against these pathogens. A robust immune system is essential for our survival. The immune system must always be on high alert, looking out for any indications of invasion or danger.
Immunity and Nutrition
People often turn to special immunity booster food items or vitamin supplements that are believed to strengthen our immunity during flu season. Citrus fruits, chicken soup, and tea with honey are examples of common foods that people may add to their meals when sick. However, not just adding any particular food or vitamin, or simply nutrition, can significantly impact the workings of our immune system. The best way, on the contrary, to prepare the body to fight illnesses and infections is to take a balanced diet that includes food for immune system which is rich in vitamins and minerals, together with healthy lifestyle choices like exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress.
9 Immunity Booster Food Items
- Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C is the first choice of consumption when people develop a cold, as it strengthens our immune system. Vitamin C must be an integral option of foods that increase white blood cells (essential for battling infections). This is because the production of white blood cells increases in the presence of vitamin C.
You need vitamin C every day for continued health because your body cannot make or store it. Most immunity booster fruits are citrus, and Vitamin C levels present is in abundance. Remember not to exceed 2,000 mg per day if you opt to use supplements. The typical adult dose is 75 mg for women and 120 mg for males.
This vitamin can be easily incorporated into our diet as there is a plethora of citrus fruits. Some common examples of immunity booster fruits include
- Green Tea
The antioxidant flavonoids, which are present in both green and black teas, are abundant. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant, found in green tea, makes it a top choice for a natural immunity booster food.
EGCG has been found to improve immunological performance. The most amount of the EGCG in black tea is destroyed during the process of fermentation. However, EGCG is maintained in green tea because rather than being fermented, it is steamed.
L-theanine, an amino acid, which facilitates your T cells’ production of antimicrobial substances is also present in good amounts in green tea.
When you grab chicken soup when you’re sick, it doesn’t merely make you feel better due to the placebo effect. This immunity booster food might lessen inflammation, which would assist with cold symptoms.
Many chemical processes that take place in the body involve the vitamin B-6. Turkey and other poultry are excellent sources of vitamin B-6. The quantity of B-6 in 3 ounces of lean turkey or chicken meat is almost one-third of your daily recommended intake.
Vitamin B-6 is also essential for the growth of new red blood cells.
Gelatin, chondroitin, and other minerals that are beneficial for gut healing and immunity can be found in stock or broth produced from simmering chicken bones.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory qualities make it one of the go-to natural immune boosters. Turmeric contains curcumin, an orange-yellow substance. This organic anti-inflammatory substance aids your body’s defense against harmful microorganisms and repairs cell damage.
The primary active component of turmeric is curcumin, which has a wide range of amazing advantages. According to research, this immune-stimulating component also improves brain function, lowers the risk of heart disease and brain disease, and may help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Yogurt is not only a breakfast staple but also a powerhouse food for immune system. It makes a great addition to your daily smoothie or a delicious topping for your breakfast. Yogurt is a fantastic source of probiotics, often known as “friendly bacteria,” which support gut health and boost immunity. Zinc is yet another immune system builder found in yogurt. According to research, zinc can shorten the duration of cold symptoms.
It is advised to avoid yogurts with additional additives like sugar, flavors, and preservatives to reap the many health benefits of this nutrient-rich food.
Garlic is a common culinary ingredient that not only improves the flavor of your food but is also good for you. Garlic helps lower blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, and lower your risk of developing heart disease.
The substances allin and allicin, which give garlic its distinct flavor and aroma, are responsible for these incredible health advantages. Garlic should also be added to the list of foods that increase white blood cells.
Specific types of white blood cells in the body have been revealed to have increased disease-fighting abilities when they come into contact with viruses like the common cold or the flu.
Nuts are a fantastic method to increase your diet’s nutrient intake. Nuts include vitamin E, which helps the body fight off free radicals and maintain its immune system. Vitamin is found in abundance in nuts, like almonds, which also contain good fats. Only about 15 mg of vitamin E is required daily for adults.
Approximately 46 whole, shelled almonds, or half a cup, offer 100% of the daily recommended intake of almonds. Potent antioxidants found in almonds are essential for a healthy immune system.
- Leafy vegetables
Green veggies are natural immune boosters as they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that we need to stay healthy, which improves digestion, bone health, and cognitive function.
Another justification for consuming green veggies has been discovered by researchers. According to research, green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are the source of a chemical signal essential to a robust immune system.
It is advised to lightly steam your vegetables rather than boiling or frying them, which might result in nutrient loss, in order to maximize the release of nutrients and improve the antioxidant capacities of green vegetables.
Another food for immune system that many use when they are ill, is ginger. Ginger not only helps with sore throats, but it might also alleviate nausea and may have cholesterol-lowering qualities.
Though ginger is commonly used as an ingredient in sweet foods, ginger contains gingerol, a compound related to capsaicin which adds a considerable amount of heat to it.
Additionally, according to research, ginger may lessen chronic pain, and discomfort
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which diet is beneficial for boosting immunity?
A plant-based, low-fat diet may strengthen the immune system as it mostly incorporates foods that increase white blood cells, which are crucial to the immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders. A low-fat diet may also be beneficial. Studies have demonstrated that reducing dietary fat helps to improve immune systems. Additionally, studies suggest that high-fat diets may change the gut flora that supports immunity and that oil may damage the function of white blood cells.
2. How does sleep affect our immunity?
To rejuvenate and rest, our bodies require sleep. Without enough sleep, we are more likely to experience significant health issues like obesity, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. Immune system suppression has also been connected to inadequate sleep. According to one study, people who sleep for less than five hours a night are more likely than those who sleep for more hours to have recently experienced a cold.
3. Which Vitamins and Minerals help with Immunity?
Research has demonstrated that fruits and vegetables contain minerals like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E that can strengthen the immune system by reducing oxidative stress because they are high in antioxidants.
Beta-Carotene – Reduces inflammation and strengthens the immune system.
Vitamin D – Reduces the incidence of viral infections, such as respiratory tract infections.
Vitamins C and E neutralize free radicals and aid the body’s defense mechanisms.
White blood cells, which protect against invaders, are boosted by zinc.
Maintaining a strong immune system requires more effort than simply eating a combination of vitamins and minerals in the form of a tablet or powder.
There are things you can do to assist give your immune system what it needs to perform efficiently, though, whether you’re battling a cold, the flu, or COVID-19. A healthy immune system must be maintained by proper nutrition. An individual’s immune system is strengthened by a balanced diet, which supplies vital nutrients.
Your immune system is kept functioning at its best by eating immunity booster fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin A (or beta-carotene), and other minerals. Other healthy lifestyle suggestions, such as consistent exercise and enough sleep, are also crucial for maintaining a strong immune system.