10 Immune-Boosting Foods You SHOULD Eat for Good Health
With the new COVID-19 wave causing a surge in covid cases, a lot of people are constantly searching for options to increase their immunity through various diets. If you’re wondering how you can improve your immunity, then the right answer is by eating the right foods that can help you fight infections and protect you from diseases.
Your immune system is the body’s defense mechanism. When any foreign body or germs enter your body, your body naturally activates your immune system to kill those germs.
Following are some immune-boosting foods you can eat to enhance your immune system:
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, Mustard Greens, Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage, etc., are a rich source of beta-carotene and other nutrients, dietary fiber, vitamins C and E, folate, ascorbic acid, and antioxidants.
These vegetables lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and cancer and increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune system. You can consume green leafy vegetables fresh in salads or minimally cook them to retain their nutrients.
RECIPE: Orange Spinach Banana Smoothie
1 cup spinach
¾ cup coconut water
½ lemon peeled
Honey as per taste (if required)
1 orange peeled
Slice the peeled oranges to help blend easier.
Blend coconut water, spinach and orange together until smooth.
Add banana and honey as per taste and blend again.
2. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and gooseberries are good sources of vitamin C and boost your immune system. They are well known for their folic acid, carotenoid content, flavonoids, and polyphenols.
Citrus fruits encourage your immune system to produce more white blood cells which are necessary to fight infections. Whether you eat them as a whole, blend them or just squeeze them into your food, make sure to add these tangy fruits to your everyday diet.
3. Dry Fruits and Nuts
Dry fruits and nuts like almonds, pistachios, dates, cashew, walnuts, raisins, and figs are nutrient-rich foods that deliver health-promoting bioactive compounds.
They contain a high amount of potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and various vitamins like vitamins A, D, B6, K1, and E which are essential for a healthy immune system. Handful consumption of dry fruits and nuts is recommended to obtain the full benefit of the nutrients and antioxidants they contain.
Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is commonly consumed as a spice and herbal medicine for a long time. It is used to treat several common diseases, such as headaches, colds, and nausea, and has been found to possess biological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer activities.
It contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidants like gingerols, shogaols, and zingerone that boost your immunity.
You can consume ginger in many different ways. For example, you can make ginger paste or add smashed ginger in food with garlic to form the base of Indian food dishes.
You can also add whole, unpeeled ginger in water to add flavor to it and can use it soups and rice, whereas dried ginger powder can be added to baked goods.
Garlic is an easy way to amp up any dish with power-packed flavor and is packed with key nutrients to benefit your health. Garlic is rich in nutritious compounds allicin and alliinase which help boost the immune system.
As per a review conducted in 2015, garlic fortifies the immune system by stimulating immune cells like macrophages, lymphocytes, and natural killer cells and may also help keep away cold and flu because of the plant's antimicrobial and antibiotic properties. Make sure to add one or two cloves of garlic a day to your diet as eating more than that can cause bad breath, upset stomach, diarrhea, or bloating.
6. Curd or yogurt
Fermented foods such as curd contain probiotics which are live bacteria in food that have a positive impact on gut health and can prevent numeric diseases. It contains lactic acid and a perfect balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water which boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation.
Some studies also suggest that curd is effective in the treatment of AIDS, cancer, diabetes, insomnia, and hepatic diseases and is very effective in the prevention, management, and treatment of these diseases.
Turmeric has been a popular ingredient and has been used in all Indian foods starting from curries to all savory dishes. Turmeric, or Haldi, as it is commonly known, is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity.
It is a powerful herb that contains nutrients like beta-carotene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), calcium, flavonoids, fiber, iron, niacin, potassium, zinc, and curcumin among others that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut.
One active compound present in Turmeric that has caught the eyes of many scientists and supplement industries is Curcumin which is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. According to a study published, the absorption of curcumin from turmeric is enhanced by 2000 times by piperine, a compound present in black pepper.
RECIPE: Immune-Boosting Turmeric Tea (Serves 2)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp honey (optional)
2-inch piece of turmeric root grated
Take a saucepan and add water to it. Add all the ingredients except honey into the saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Turn off the heat and allow the contents to sit for a few minutes.
Pour the tea into a mug through a strainer and add honey to enhance the taste. Enjoy your warm cup of turmeric tea!
8. Green Tea
Green Tea protects the body against oxidants and radicals and contains a powerful antioxidant EGCC or Epigallocatechin that protects cells from damage. It also contains catechins, flavanols, and flavonoids that are linked to helping with weight loss and blood sugar level regulation. It also has the highest concentration of polyphenols as it is one of the less processed teas.
Green tea is beneficial for a variety of ailments including different types of cancer, heart disease, and liver disease and long-term consumption of it can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
A study conducted from 1998 to 2009 showed that women who drank green tea had a 30% lower risk of developing breast cancer. Therefore, do not limit yourself and enjoy your cup of green tea today to boost your immune system and keep your body in good shape!
Eggs contain vitamins A, B, and K along with selenium and amino acids that keep the body healthy and boost the immune system. To support the immune system, one needs to consume adequate amounts of protein and there is nothing better than eating eggs.
They also contain nutrients like unsaturated fatty acids, folate, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin E that the body needs to strengthen the immune system along with managing hormonal imbalances. As per the American Heart Association, it is recommended to eat up to two eggs a day for older people with normal cholesterol levels and who eat a healthy diet.
Berries like cranberry, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, and raspberry are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants and host an abundance of nutritional benefits that benefit your health. They contain phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes, lignans, and tannins which are antioxidants that enhance your immunity.
Berries contain a variety of other nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, organic acids, and dietary fibers, consuming berry fruits every day has proved to significantly decrease the occurrence of cancer, heart disease, cardiac stroke, and other degenerative diseases.
Healthy food is what your body needs to stay strong enough to fight off any infections that may attack you.
Get our expert diet consultations at Assurance by NanoHealth and learn which foods or drinks you should consider including in your diet to help ease the effects of any disease and get back to your normal self sooner.
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