The immune system is very crucial for any organism because it protects the host body from infectious agents existing in the environment or the body. The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and other essential proteins that can fight against pathogenic organisms. The immune system must be strong enough to fight any pathogen by releasing antibodies to keep you in a healthy and fit state. Therefore, you can use such foods that can boost your immune system.
The human immune system varies from person to person depending upon many factors like age, gender, genetics, habits, stress level, vaccination, exercise activities, diet, smoking habits, and early life history, etc. Besides these factors, the immune system can be improved through clinical medication and healthy food intake.
The easiest way to boost the immune system is by eating immune-friendly foods. This article will make you familiarize yourself with foods that can boost your immune system.
Continuous research that was thoroughly conducted and still in the process has indicated that probiotics foods are best for the human immune system. Yogurt is the best source of probiotics. It also contains Vitamin D that helps fight against diseases. Some brands have included Vitamin D fortification to make it a rich source of vitamins. Adding honey or healthy fruits can increase its effectiveness.
Here is an advice that prefers plain yogurt instead of flavored or sweetened sugar.
Soup is an old poultry product taken as an effective source of nutrients against many illnesses. The soup lowers the inflammatory effect and protects you from cold. Poultry is rich in vitamin B-6 that is necessary for chemical reactions of the body to fight against degenerative diseases.
The poultry can increase the number of red blood cells in the body. When you eat boiled chicken, it contains gelatine, and other nutrients to fight against diseases.
Green leafy vegetables
The bright colored or green leafy vegetables are the best sources of immune booster nutrients. These vegetables contain beta-carotene which is one of the most necessary antioxidants that can boost the immune system. Carotenoids mainly beta-carotenes are present in green and yellow parts of food and are the best nutrients for the immune system.
Spinach falls in the category of foods for immunity due to its high content of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants. This green leafy vegetable enhances immunity and makes the body fight against many infections.
It is well-known fact that nutrients of vegetables are more available to the body when these are cooked as little as possible. The minimum cooking of spinach makes vitamin A more available and releases other essential nutrients from oxalic acid.
Also Read: Top 8 Health Benefits Of Spinach
Fruits are high in nutrition as well as taste. Most fruits like banana, guava, citrus, mango, berries are well known for their health benefits. Recently the concept of antioxidants and polyphenols has led to the discovery of many new aspects of fruits that were once ignored. Kiwi is one of them
Kiwi is full of nutrients including folic acid, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C and Vitamin K are immune booster and can be used as foods to boost immunity in COVID pandemic to help resist virus attack.
The citrus family contains many varieties including lemon, oranges, grapefruits, lime, and tangerines, etc. Citrus fruit is a rich source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Many people find it effective against cold or cough as it helps boost the immune system. Vitamin C for immunity helps by helping in the production of white blood cells that are pillars of the immunity system. Nearly all citrus fruits are rich in ascorbic acid so it is necessary to include any one of these families in your daily diet. RDI for vitamin C is;
- 70-75 mg for women
- 85- 90 mg for men
Garlic is historical food being used in nearly all types of cooked food. The extract, as well as whole clove pieces, are used frequently throughout the world. Garlic is full of antibacterial effects, vitamins, and minerals.
Garlic is found to be helpful in arteries functioning and reducing infections. The blood pressure controlling effect of garlic is also reported but still, it is under research. It is advised to include garlic in all cuisines to enjoy meals with immune boosters.
Green tea has flavonoids which are essential antioxidants. Another important antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is present in bulk amounts in both green and black tea. In black tea, fermentation takes place which destroys EGCG, but in green tea, this antioxidant remains preserved due to the absence of the fermentation process. Other than antioxidants, green tea is rich in L-theanine. L-theanine amino acids help produce pathogens fighting cells in the immune system.
Nuts are often called as a protein-packed powerhouse for the body as it contains essential minerals and vitamins. Besides this, they also contain omega-3 fatty acids. These nuts are also zinc-rich foods for immunity.
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for the immune system. Among the nuts family, almonds are packed with vitamin E and other healthy fats. Mix fruits are that foods to increase immunity in pregnancy. The defined portion size of nuts can minimize the risk of chronic diseases and keeps you healthy and fit. The RDI for adults is only 15 mg of vitamin E per day so it must be taken within limits.
Foods to improve immunity in babies
Babies have a developing immune system that is frequently vulnerable to seasonal infections like flu, fever, influenza, etc. If your child takes solid and functional foods according to recommended daily intake, the risks of these seasonal infections will get reduced. Probiotics foods for immunity are best for all age groups. Besides this, other foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins can help keep your child safe and healthy. These foods are;
Foods to increase immunity in one-year-old baby and three-year-old carry different portion sizes. These foods must be given in recommended portion size according to particular age groups.
Foods that weakens the Immunity
Where some nutrients are found to be effective in immune activation, others may lead to impairment of the immune system. There are few kinds of foods that are frequently used but may act as immunity killer foods. These are
- Fried foods
- Refined added sugars
- Artificially sweetened beverages
- Fatty foods
- Fast foods
- Processed meat
- Alcoholic beverages
It is suggested to start avoiding these foods or at least take them in very small portion size to reduce their negative effect on the immune system.
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