Feeding the right foods gives your body the needed nutrients, which keep your immune system strong. Our immune system is made up of cells, tissues, and organs that form the whole body. Overall, when you’re healthy, your body can easily fight off foreign bodies that cause diseases or infections such as viruses and bacteria.
Incorporating well-organized meal plans into your diet almost guarantees that your immune response to pathogens is strengthened. If you’re looking for ways to boost your immune system, visit your nearest grocery store and get shopping. Alternatively, check companies like green chef vs. sun basket to see which offers the best meal kits for your preference.
Foods that act as immune system boosters
Certain foods work wonders by boosting the immune system. Read on to discover what these powerful immune boosters are:
- Green tea
Green tea is packed with flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a type of antioxidant. Green tea is steamed instead of fermenting, so the EGCG is preserved. This makes it a great alternative to black tea or even coffee. The fermentation that occurs during the making of black tea destroys a lot of EGCG.
- Citrus fruits
The vitamin C found in citrus fruits helps build up the immune system as it’s believed to increase the production of white blood cells – these are key to fighting infections. Citrus fruits are oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes.
The minerals and vitamins are essential for the immune system to work in its best form. Button mushrooms are high in selenium and B vitamins like niacin and riboflavin. Mushrooms are also high in polysaccharides that help boost immune function.
This leafy green superfood is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene, which plays a crucial role in increasing the immune system’s infection-fighting ability. Spinach also contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, folate, fiber, magnesium, iron, and vitamin E. These nutrients also provide the body with the necessary nutrients for cell division and DNA repair.
Spinach is healthiest when cooked as little as possible because it retains the most nutrients.
Like spinach, you reap the maximum from broccoli when you eat it raw or lightly cooked. Steaming is the best way to keep all the nutrients. This nutrient-packed powerhouse is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, E, and B vitamins and fiber and contains potent antioxidants such as sulforaphane. Another healthy compound gotten from broccoli is glutathione, the master antioxidant in the body.
As with green tea, blueberries contain flavonoids shown to enhance immune function. The type of flavonoids contained in blueberries is known as anthocyanin. Its antioxidant properties are very helpful in boosting a person’s immune system, especially the respiratory tract’s immune defense system. This makes it harder for you to get a cold.
- Sweet potatoes
These are rich in beta carotene, yet another type of antioxidant responsible for the orange color on the sweet potatoes’ skin. Beta carotene is a source of vitamin A which protects the skin from UV rays and helps it look healthy. Sweet potatoes also serve up a healthy portion of the fiber.
- Sunflower seeds
Some other nutrients found in sunflower seeds are selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin B-6, and vitamin E. Vitamin E helps regulate the functioning of the immune system. These are tasty and great for salads or even breakfast cereal bowls. Apart from being delicious, they are a rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, improves the immune function by helping fight off free radicals that damage cells, sometimes leading to cancerous growths.
Ginger has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. So if you’re already sick, you can turn to ginger to help you decrease inflammation or a sore throat if you have one. It also helps reduce the feeling of nausea.
Ginger may also decrease chronic pain and might even have cholesterol-lowering properties.
This is commonly used as the go-to home remedy for preventing colds and other illnesses. The best part about garlic is that you can use it to prepare many different meals, and it’s found in almost all cuisines globally. Its immune properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin. Apart from its invaluable advantage in fighting infections, garlic also helps slow down the hardening of arteries.
While a balanced diet is critical in staying healthy, kindly note that these foods don’t necessarily cure diseases. They work by making your body fit enough to keep some disorders at bay. It’s also important to remember that the immune system is complex and eating a balanced diet is just one way to support its functioning. The ten immune-boosting foods that we’ve covered in this article will strengthen your immune system and improve your ability to fight off infections.