22 Powerful Foods For Boosting Your Immune System

A healthy immune system benefits a person’s health. Is it feasible to boost immunity by the use of certain foods?

Organs, cells, tissues, and proteins form the immune system. The body’s defense mechanisms combat pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and other foreign substances that cause illness or disease.

When a pathogen comes into contact with the immune system, it initiates an immunological reaction. Antibodies are created by the immune system and bind to antigens on pathogens, effectively neutralizing them.

Certain foods can help enhance a person’s immune system. Continue reading to discover 22 Foods That Boost the Immune System

22 Foods That Boost the Immune System

Consuming certain meals may help maintain a healthy immune system.

If you want to learn how to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections, your first stop should be at your neighborhood grocery store.

Plan your meals around these 22 Foods That Boost the Immune System.

Spinach

Spinach is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene, which may help our immune systems battle infections.

Like broccoli, spinach is best cooked briefly to maintain its benefits. Light cooking helps absorb vitamin A and releases nutrients from oxalic acid, an antinutrient.

Blueberries

Anthocyanin, a flavonoid found in blueberries, has antioxidant characteristics that can help enhance the immune system of those who eat them. Flavonoids, according to a 2016 study, are critical to the respiratory tract’s immunological protection.

People who ate a diet high in flavonoids were shown to have a lower risk of developing an upper respiratory tract infection, more commonly known as the common cold.

NEED EXTRA IMMUNE BOOST?

Citrus fruits

When cold strikes, most people reach for vitamin C. It strengthens your immune system.

Vitamin C is known to boost white blood cell production, which helps fight infections.

Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits. With so many options, you can easily cram this vitamin into every meal.

Citrus varieties include:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Tangerines
  • Grapefruit 
  • Clementines

Because your body doesn’t make or store vitamin C, you need it every day. Adults should consume:

  • 75mg for women
  • 90mg for men

Avoid taking more than 2,000 mg of supplements each day.

Also, while vitamin C may help you recover from a cold faster, there is no proof that it might help you fight the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Read also: 16 Benefits Of Lemon Ginger Tea For Health

Broccoli

Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients, thanks to its high concentration of vitamins and minerals. Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies you can eat, thanks to its high concentration of vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, and several antioxidants.

To preserve its potency, boil it only briefly or not at all. Steaming is the greatest method for retaining more nutrients, according to research conducted by a reputable source.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that contributes to the orange color of the potato skin.

Beta carotene is a vitamin A precursor. It promotes skin health and may even give some protection against ultraviolet (UV) ray-induced skin damage.

Red Bell Peppers

Contrary to popular belief, citrus fruits do not have the highest levels of vitamin C. 

Compared to a Florida orange (45 mg), red bell peppers provide roughly three times the amount of vitamin C (127 mg) per ounce ). As an added bonus, they’re a fantastic source of the antioxidant beta carotene.

Vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin as well as boost your immune system. To keep your eyes and skin healthy, the body turns beta carotene into vitamin A.

Turmeric

Many people cook with turmeric, a yellow spice that has a strong flavor. Alternative therapies may also contain this compound. An individual’s immunological response may be improved by consuming turmeric. Curcumin, a turmeric component, is responsible for these properties.

Several studies have found that curcumin possesses anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic

Garlic is a staple ingredient in practically every cuisine on Earth. It enhances the flavor of food and is necessary for good health.

Its antimicrobial properties were recognized by early cultures. Garlic may also help prevent artery hardening and there is some evidence that it can help decrease blood pressure.

Garlic appears to possess immune-boosting qualities due to a high concentration of sulfur-containing chemicals, such as allicin.

Ginger

Ginger is yet another remedy that many people turn to when they’re feeling under the weather. It’s possible that ginger can help soothe a sore throat and other inflammatory conditions by reducing swelling and irritation. Ginger can also aid with nausea, according to certain studies.

Ginger contains gingerol, a compound related to capsaicin that adds heat to sweet sweets.

It’s possible that ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-cholesterol qualities as well.

Oily fish

There are numerous oily fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These include salmon, tuna, pilchards, and many others.

Long-term use of omega-3 fatty acids, according to a paper from 2014, may lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

It’s important to note that RA is an autoimmune disease that develops when the immune system fights a healthy organ of the body.

Yogurt

Look for yogurts labeled with “live and active cultures,” like Greek yogurt. These cultures may help boost your immune system.

Rather than flavored and sugary yogurts, opt for plain yogurt. Instead, sweeten plain yogurt with fresh fruit and honey.

Yogurt is a fantastic source of vitamin D, so look for ones that contain it. Vitamin D is known to improve our body’s natural defenses against illnesses.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds offer a delicious crunch to salads and breakfast bowls. They contain a significant amount of vitamin E, an antioxidant.

Vitamin E, like other antioxidants, promotes immunological function. This is accomplished by combating free radicals, which can cause cell damage.

Almonds

Almonds are another high-vitamin E food. Additionally, they are rich in manganese, magnesium, and fiber.

A modest handful or a quarter cup of almonds is a nutritious snack that may be beneficial to the immune system.

Dark chocolate.

An antioxidant found in dark chocolate, called theobromine, may help enhance immunity by shielding cells from harmful free radicals.

As a result of digesting food or coming into contact with contaminants, the body creates molecules known as free radicals. It is possible that free radicals contribute to disease by causing cell damage.

In spite of its possible health benefits, dark chocolate is heavy in calories and saturated fat and should only be consumed in small amounts.

Green Tea

Green and black teas both contain flavonoids, which are a form of antioxidant. Green tea truly shines when it comes to its content of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another potent antioxidant.

EGCG has been found in research to strengthen the immune system. Black tea’s fermentation process degrades a significant amount of EGCG. In comparison, green tea is steamed rather than fermented, which preserves the EGCG.

GREEN TEA RECOMMENDED FOR IMMUNE BOOST

Additionally, green tea is high in the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine might help your T cells produce germ-fighting chemicals.

Related: 28 Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Adults.

Papaya

Papaya is yet another vitamin C-rich fruit. One medium fruit has more than double the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

Papayas contain the anti-inflammatory digestive enzyme papain, which is found only in papayas.

Papayas are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and folate, all of which are good for your health in general.

Poultry

When you’re unwell and turn to chicken soup for comfort, it’s not simply the placebo effect at work. The soup may help reduce cold symptoms by reducing inflammation.

Vitamin B-6 is abundant in poultry, such as chicken and turkey. Nearly one-third of your daily necessary B-6 intake is found in three ounces of lean turkey or chicken meat.

Many chemical reactions in the body require vitamin B-6 to take place. New and healthy red blood cells are formed because of it.

Gelatin, chondroitin, and other beneficial elements can be found in stock or broth produced from simmering chicken bones.

Kiwi

Kiwis, like papayas, are loaded with nutrients like folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

Kiwi’s other nutrients keep your body running smoothly while the vitamin c in it boosts your white blood cells to fight infection.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented beverage that contains helpful bacteria cultures.

Kefir consumption may strengthen the immune system, according to a preliminary study. A 2017 review found that frequent use of kefir can help with a variety of health issues, including:

  • Combating microorganisms
  • Boosting antioxidant activity while decreasing inflammation

Animals and laboratories are where the majority of the study was done. Kefir has to be studied more in humans to see if it can prevent disease.

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is the interior part of the wheat kernel. As the name implies, it’s the grain’s most nutrient-dense component. In addition to B vitamins, zinc and vitamin E are found in abundance in the germ. Add wheat germ to yogurt, cereal, or a shake for a healthy twist.

The addition of wheat germ to baked goods is a simple way to boost their nutritional value. Add extra vitamins and minerals to recipes by replacing some of the white flour with wheat germ.

How to Use Wheat Germ.

Everyone knows wheat germ is good on fruit, yogurt, and cereal, but did you know there are more ways to use it? There are numerous ways to incorporate wheat germ into your cooking.

  • To prepare a breaded covering for baked chicken and fish, combine wheat germ, herbs, and spices.
  • Meatloaf and meatballs taste better when made with wheat germ instead of breadcrumbs.
  • Baked apple crumble and other similar sweets are a good candidate for sprinkling with wheat germ.

Shellfish

Many people don’t think of shellfish when trying to enhance their immune system, although some shellfish are loaded with zinc.

Zinc isn’t as well-known as other vitamins and minerals, yet it’s essential for healthy immune cells.

Zinc-rich shellfish include:

Remember not to consume more zinc than the daily recommended amount

  • 11 mg for males.
  • 8 mg for adult females.

Too much zinc might suppress the immune system’s function.

Mushrooms

Want to strengthen your immune system? Consume more button mushrooms. They are abundant in selenium and B vitamins. The immune system relies on these minerals and vitamins to function optimally.

Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, sugar-like compounds that enhance the immune system. They are flavorful and may enhance many recipes.

Have trouble eating mushrooms? See how to prepare these wonderful mushrooms in the following recipes.

  • Mushrooms are best prepared by sautéing, grilling, or roasting.
  • Vegetable burgers with a Portobello mushroom topping
  • sliced mushrooms in soup, salad, or lasagna.
  • Scrambled eggs and omelets are delicious with mushrooms.

Other ways to boost the immune system

Proper handwashing may help strengthen the immune system.

The following lifestyle choices may help strengthen an individual’s immune system:

  • Not smoking.
  • Avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Obtaining adequate sleep.
  • Keeping a healthy body weight.
  • Hand-washing and mouth hygiene.

Conclusion

Proper nutrition requires variety. Because the immune system is complicated, eating just one of these meals won’t be enough to help fight the flu or other diseases.

You must follow serving sizes and suggested daily consumption to avoid getting too much of one vitamin and not enough of others.

Eating healthy is a good start, but there are additional things you can do to protect yourself and your family against sickness.

Some are above. In the meanwhile, anyone who frequently suffers colds or other ailments should see a doctor.

Related: Best Daily Routines for a Healthy Life

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