Foods That Boost the Immune System

The immune system does a remarkable job of defending our bodies against disease-causing microorganisms. However, whenever you catch a fever, it means that the immune system has failed to safeguard you against it. Therefore, you should take action and boost your immune system. Feeding your body certain types of food helps to boost your immune system. Here are the foods you should add to your diet for a strong immune system.

Turmeric

Turmeric is used as a key ingredient to add flavor to stew or tea. It contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin which helps in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, from a publication in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, curcumin activates the production of T-cells, which fight for your health in the immune system.

Curcumin is also responsible for the orange-yellow color in turmeric which decreases exercise-induced muscle damage.

Spinach

Spinach is a superfood that contains lots of nutrients such as folate that helps the body in the production of new cells and repairs DNA. A bunch of spinach packs numerous antioxidants and beta carotene which boost infection-fighting ability in the immune system. In addition to that, it has digestion regulating fiber with an excellent amount of vitamin C. Spinach should be eaten raw or lightly cooked to maximize on the release of the above nutrients and enhance its vitamin A activity.

Broccoli

Broccoli is termed as one of the healthiest vegetables you can add to your diet. It’s rich in fiber, antioxidant, and vitamin A, C, and E. To ensure it maintains all these nutrients cook it as little as possible or eat it raw. It helps to prevent colds and has been proven to boost immunity. According to research, sulforaphane in broccoli activates antioxidant gene and enzyme in specific immune cells, which combat free radicals in your body and prevent you from getting sick.

Garlic

Garlic is acknowledged for its aromatic taste which is a must-have item for your health and was recognized in the early days for fighting infections. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reported that garlic can lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. It also helps fight colds as stated in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Additionally, a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin and Garlic help with immune boosting.

Yogurt

Yogurt is home to probiotics, the healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs. Taking a daily seven-ounce dose of yogurt can be effective in boosting immunity than probiotic supplements. Check the ingredients list when buying yogurt to avoid products with excess added sugar. Even better, go for plain varieties and add cinnamon or fresh fruit. If you prefer flavored yogurt, then buy the one with less than eight total grams of sugar. Yogurt provides vitamin D to our bodies and therefore, you should buy brands fortified with vitamin D.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented drink with “live and active cultures” which provide uncountable benefits to the body. At first, research only found that kefir helps to boost immunity. After further studies kefir was found to fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and increase antioxidant activity. When buying kefir supplements, look for the products with Lactobacillus reuteri such as perfect12 and low-fat kefir beverages.

Fish

Fish containing omega 3 fatty acids or healthy fats helps to increase the activity of white blood cells. These types of fish enhance the production of compounds that regulate immunity and helps protect the body against overreaction to infections. Omega 3 fatty acids act as immune modulators. However, be careful to avoid high mercury fish like king mackerel and swordfish. Kids should be fed salmon or tuna which are healthy and free of mercury. Alternatively, krill oil capsules are also nice supplements. Other sources of omega 3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax oil, and flax seeds.

Mushrooms

Most of the time these stellar vegetables are often dismissed. However, mushroom contains anti-viral and antibacterial properties which help with immune boosting. Giving your child mushroom soup can help decrease their rate of getting sick since it contains a mineral called selenium. Also, it’s rich in zinc and vitamin D. The recommended daily amount is a quarter to one ounce a few times for maximum immune-boosting benefits.

Conclusion

Eating all the above foods can help strengthen your immune system and improve your ability to fight off infections. Apart from that, boosting the immune system also requires you to eat a balanced diet. Furthermore, you need to be mindful of other lifestyle factors that might affect your immune system such as smoking and exercising.

All images by Pixabay

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