When we think about boosting our immune system, the first thing that usually comes to mind is trying to get better sleep, having more vitamin C and exercising. We do not like to get sick (except when we miss having the attention of everyone though), so we would do anything to avoid it. However, when it comes to having an exceptionally clean Bill of health, helping your immune system is probably your best bet.
Everyday, the body comes in contact with pathogens that are capable of causing infections and diseases. With the immune system, the body is able to defend itself from getting infected. However, if the immune system isn’t strong enough, these pathogens can override the system and make your fall sick.
Since we know you do not enjoy being sick(who loves having to pass up food though) , we have compiled a list of foods that can help boost your immune system.
According to nutritionists, the body’s immunity is majorly associated with what goes on in the gut. Therefore, it only makes sense that you prioritise your gut flora. If you have read about the “surprising facts about your immune system “, you would have learned that your gut is the major part of the immune system. A healthy gut therefore means healthy immune system.
Foods That Can Boost Your Immune System
Almonds are an ideal source of the E Vitamin. They’re also great sources of fiber, manganese and magnesium. You can snack on a handful or have it as a side dish. However way you choose to eat it, it remains beneficial to your immune system.
Turmeric is a common spice used to boost taste and aroma of foods. It has a yellow colour and is often used as a natural remedy to several ailments and as a natural way to get better skin. Turmeric boosts the immune system as a result of its curcumin characteristic. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Green tea is a popular home remedy for lots of health, skin and hair treatments. It contains a little amount of caffeine, this makes it a better alternative to coffee or black tea. It also strengthens the immune system with its antioxidant properties which helps reduce your vulnerability to cold.
Garlic is also effective in the prevention of Colds. It has been used in ancient times for the treatment or prevention of not just cold, but lots of other ailments or infections. A study was carried out to find out if taking garlic supplements that contain allicin could help reduce the risk of catching a cold. It was found that those who did not take the supplements had more than double the number of colds. However, the research was left inconclusive.
Dark chocolate has theobromine, an antioxidant that helps boost the immune system, thus fighting against free radicals present in the body and protecting body cells from damage by free radicals. Since dark chocolate is high in saturated fat and calories, it’s best to take it in moderate quantities.
Blueberries also possess antioxidant properties that make them able to boost the immune system. It contains anthocyanin, a kind of flavonoid that helps fight against free radical damage. According to a study carried out in 2016, flavonoids play an important role in the immune defence system of the respiratory tract.
Researchers realize that people who ate more foods that contained flavonoids were not as susceptible to upper respiratory tract infection or cold.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in antioxidants. Beta carotene is a kind of antioxidant that gives the potato its colour. The antioxidant is also a rich source of the A vitamin which helps keep the skin healthy and protect it from the damage that may come from ultraviolet rays.
Ginger is often used for dishes, teas and desserts.
One review states that ginger possesses great antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it able to boost the immune system.
Mushrooms are a great way to enhance your immune system. We know you do not like it, but of course you hate being ill more, right? It contains antioxidant properties that has the ability to boost the immune system and combat free radical damage and formation. They also contain the D vitamin. You could get different varieties at a grocery store and could consume them in lots of creative ways. For example, you can have them sautéed, or use its powder for your smoothie, coffee or latte. In addition, it’s been found that mushrooms can help the liver to detoxify and keep the mitochondria supply of the body protected.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are a popular and well-known source of minerals, essential nutrients and of course, vitamins. They are also a chemical signal source that is used by the immune system in communication.
Not everybody is as excited about dark, leafy greens, still you could actually enjoy this in a variety of dishes. You can have them in salads, smoothies, soups, greens sautéed with onion and garlic, green juice with kale or dandelion greens. There are a whole lot of other ways to have your leafy greens and enjoy them, you just have to be creative and find the ones you enjoy eating.
This is one of the most important foods to have. Remember, your gut health is important. Roughly 80 percent of the cells of the immune system are found in the guts. Eating fermented foods keep your healthy gut bacteria thriving, thus boosting your immune system. Examples of fermented foods include yogurt, Kimchi, tempeh, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha. You can sauté tempeh in coconut oil and even Kimchi fried rice. If you cannot eat fermented foods for some reason, then you can purchase probiotic supplements.
There are lots of other foods that will boost your system. You can find the ones listed above at a nearby grocery store and get creative with your meals.
That way, your immune system is boosted and your body thanks you.