7 Best Foods to Boost Your Immune System

13 Aug
2014
By Max Jones

All human beings get affected by acute and chronic diseases. When we have immunity, our body is able to fight against diseases and infection on its own. But in simple words, being immune means that the body has already fought against the diseases without any symptoms. Sometimes, the immune system is unable to protect us from germs entering the body, which indicates that our system is weak and special care should be taken. The immune system must remain alert and resist invasion from harmful organisms. The immune system is made up of different types of cells and proteins and each play their specific role in fighting against the foreign invaders. Any type of stress, poor diet, alcohol consumption or lack of sleep may weaken the immune system.

Immune system

How to maintain good healthy Immune system

It becomes really essential to maintain a good and healthy immune system that provides protection against various viruses and bacteria causing cold and flu. The question arises on how to strengthen immunity system? One must eat plenty of fruits and vegetable, have enough sleep and maintain body weight. Managing stress is also important to maintain a good immunity system. Physical exercise and keeping a check on the diet are two other immune system boosters.

  • While exercising, our metabolism improves and we get a lot of benefits. Our heart becomes much stronger and starts pumping blood throughout the body. Muscles and bones become strong as well. Doctors say that regular exercise helps boost cells of the immune system that fights against the disease causing bacteria. Comparatively, these cells work much slower in people who do not exercise. On the other hand, too much exercise can also effect the immune system.
  • Diet is important to maintain a healthy immune system. Relying on junk or fat rich foods depresses the immune system, thus enhancing the risks of developing infections. It also reduces the tendency of cells to fight against bacteria, viruses or tumour cells.

Foods- boosting immune system

Following the right and healthy diet plan plays a big role in strengthening of the immune system. Healthy food not only provides energy but also gives essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to the body. Some of the healthy foods are: lemon juice, broccoli, salmon, potatoes, walnuts, avocados, beans and spinach. These foods provide fats, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamins. Let us have a look at some power foods which help boost our immune system.

  • Honey – Honey is popular for soothing sore throat. It not only has medicinal properties but also has antioxidants and antimicrobial properties to fight against infections from viruses, bacteria and fungi. Honey is a powerful immunity booster. It also helps in improving our digestive system. A healthy yet tasty concoction, you simply have to mix a spoon of honey and lemon juice in a cup of lukewarm water and drink it. The mixture is really beneficial in fighting against diseases and building up the immune system.

  • Fruits and vegetables – Having a nutrients rich diet provides a boost to the immune system. Garlic is useful in fighting against all types of diseases. As per a study, it has been shown that people who eat garlic don’t fall sick too many times. They even face few cold symptoms as compared to others. Kiwi fruit is a rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is very effective in protecting the body from viral and bacterial infections. Also, vitamin C in oranges helps to strengthen immunity. One can also eat sweet potatoes or carrots as they are full of beta-carotene. For best results, one should have raw carrots.
  • Yogurt – Yogurt contain probiotics or live active cultures which are a type of healthy bacteria that keep gut and intestinal tract free from disease causing germs and bacteria. Research says that people who consume live culture yogurt have a higher immunity level. It is also a good source of calcium and provides nutrients to the body.
  • Zinc – Zinc is an effective mineral that leads to the production of white blood cells. It is also used to increase the number of infection fighting T-cells in older people whose immune system is weak and deficient in zinc. In fact, too much of zinc in supplements form i.e more than 75 milligrams a day may hinder immune functioning. So one should have zinc in his diet ranging from 15-25 milligrams a day.
  • Fermented foods – Adding fermented foods to your daily diet is essential in improving the immune system. Fermentation is a process of exposing foods to bacteria and yeasts through air. Some fermented foods are: cheese, pickles, olives, yogurt, coffee, chocolate and wine. Kefir is an enzyme rich fermented food and the micro-organisms present help to balance the inner ecosystem and works as an immune system booster.
  • Omega-3 fats – In order to stay healthy and strengthen the immune system, one must consume omega-3 fats. These fats are powerful immune system boosters. They help improve the activities of white blood cells called phagocytes that kill bacteria. Omega-3 fats also strengthen the cell membranes by boosting up heal resistance against infections present in the body. Best omega-3 fats includes seeds, walnuts, flax oil and seeds, hemp, wild fish and cauliflower. In order to boost omega-3 fat in the diet, one can add flaxseed to yogurt or baked goods.
  • Turmeric – Turmeric is a healthy food containing an active ingredient called Curcumin which is responsible for its yellow colouring and various health benefits. Curcumin has been found to be beneficial for digestive health due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and its detoxifying properties. Turmeric is a good food that helps in preventing cancer growth cell and provides protection from diseases like arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel diseases. It is a rich source of Vitamin B and contains minerals like zinc, iron and manganese that help in strengthening the immune system.

Some other healthy foods that improve the immune system are ginger, papaya, apple, berries, carrot, citrus, crabs, oyster, red meat, almonds and green tea.

Final words

Having a healthy immune system protects the body from several diseases. If one is worried about suffering from daily bouts of cold and flu, follow a healthy diet. Natural foods like nuts, green tea or apples strengthens the immune system, thus defending the body from micro-organisms causing germs and bacteria. Wash hands before eating, have a sound sleep and take multivitamins to remain healthy, active and fit. Have a diet rich in vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and fats because eating healthy is the easiest and the most effective way to say kill off diseases.

Know someone who’s constantly battling the common cold or other infections, then share this blog with them. You can also use the comment boxes if you have any health-related queries.

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Max Jones

A compulsive reader and a writer with a diploma in nutrition and diet. In my free time I love to explore my city while I promote pedal-biking.

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