Certain foods can aid in the maintenance of a healthy immune system. If you want to stay healthy and avoid colds, flu, and other illnesses, your first stop should be at the grocery store. Be sure to include these 14 immunity-boosting foods in your diet.
1. Citrus fruits
Most people turn to vitamin C first after a cold. This is because it helps in the development of your immune system. Vitamin C is believed to promote the formation of white blood cells, which are important in the fight against disease. Vitamin C is abundant in almost all citrus fruits. With so many options, it’s easy to add this vitamin to every meal.
Popular citrus fruits – grape fruit, oranges, clementine , tangerines, lemons, limes
Broccoli is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, containing vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants.
Cooking it as little as possible — or better yet, rarely — is the key to maintaining its potency. According to research from Trusted Source, steaming is the single greatest technique for preserving more nutrients in food.
3. Red bell peppers
If you thought citrus fruits have the highest amount of vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable, think again. Paprika provides almost three times as much vitamin C (127 mg) as an ounce (45 mg) of a Florida orange. They are also rich in beta carotene.
Vitamin C can help you maintain healthy skin in addition to strengthening your immune system. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Garlic is used in almost every cuisine on the planet. It gives a slight tingling in food and is beneficial for your health. Early cultures recognized its importance in the fight against diseases. Garlic may also help prevent hardening of the arteries, and there is some evidence that it may help lower blood pressure.
Garlic has immune-boosting effects due to its high concentration of sulfur-containing substances such as allicin.
For example, Greek yogurt should say “Live and Active Cultures” on the label. These cultures can help fight diseases by stimulating your immune system. Plain yogurt is better for those that are full of flavor and sugar. Instead, you can sweeten plain yogurt with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of honey. Yogurt can also be a good source of vitamin D, so look for products that are fortified with it. Vitamin D is believed to help regulate the immune system and improve the body’s natural defenses against disease.
Many people also resort to ginger after getting sick. Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation, which can help with sore throats and inflammatory diseases. Ginger can also help with nausea. While ginger is most commonly used in sweet desserts, it also contains gingerol, a cousin of capsaicin. Ginger can also help relieve chronic discomfort and can also help reduce cholesterol levels.
Spinach made our list not only because it’s high in vitamin C, but also because it’s high in antioxidants and beta-carotene, which can help our immune system fight off infections.
Spinach, like broccoli, is cooked as little as possible to preserve its nutrients. Light cooking, on the other hand, makes it easier to absorb vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from the antinutrient oxalic acid.
Vitamin E is often overshadowed by vitamin C when it comes to preventing and treating colds. On the other hand, this powerful antioxidant is essential for a healthy immune system. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is needed to absorb fat effectively. For example, almonds are high in vitamin E and contain healthy fats. Adults only need 15 milligrams of vitamin E per day. One-half cup of almonds (about 46 whole, peeled almonds) provides almost 100 percent of the daily required intake.
9. Green tea
Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, are abundant in both green and black tea. Green tea’s levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another strong antioxidant, are where it really shines. EGCG has been proven to improve immunological function in tests. Most of the EGCG in black tea is destroyed during the fermentation process. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed instead of fermented, which makes EGCG safer. Green tea is also high in L-theanine, an amino acid. In your T cells, L-theanine can help with the synthesis of germ-fighting chemicals.
10. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are high in phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E, among other minerals. Vitamin E is essential for the regulation and maintenance of the immune system. Avocado and dark leafy greens are two more foods that are rich in vitamin E. Sunflower seeds are rich in selenium. One ounce contains about half the selenium that the average adult needs daily. Several researches, mainly on animals, have looked at its ability to fight viral diseases such as swine flu (H1N1).
Turmeric is a well-known ingredient in many curries. This bright yellow, bitter spice has long been used as an anti-inflammatory to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to research, high amounts of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, may help reduce muscle damage caused by exercise. According to animal research, curcumin shows potential as an immune booster and antiviral.
Another fruit rich in vitamin C is papaya. In one medium fruit, you can get twice the daily required amount of vitamin C. Papaya also contains papain, a digestive enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties. Papaya contains a good amount of potassium, magnesium and folate, which are good for your health.
Kiwis, like papayas, are packed with important minerals like folate, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps white blood cells fight disease, while the rest of the minerals in kiwi keep the rest of your body running smoothly.
It’s much more than a placebo effect that helps you feel better when you go for chicken soup when you’re sick. Soup can help reduce inflammation, which can help ease cold symptoms. Poultry like chicken and turkey are rich in vitamin B6. About a third of your daily required dose of B-6 is found in 3 ounces of mild turkey or chicken meat.
Vitamin B6 is involved in various chemical processes occurring in the body. It is also necessary for the growth of new, healthy red blood cells. The gelatin, chondroitin and other minerals found in stock or broth prepared by boiling chicken bones aid in intestinal healing and immunity.
Exercise Regularly (Outdoors, When Possible)
According to a review published in April 2018 in Frontiers in Immunology, regular exercise reduces the risk of chronic diseases (such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease) as well as viral and bacterial infections.
Exercise increases the production of endorphins (a group of chemicals that reduce pain and promote feelings of pleasure), making it an excellent stress reliever. “Since stress has a detrimental effect on our immune system, this is another way exercise can help us to enhance our immune response,”.
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