Sunday, April 14, 2024

The immune system is the body’s defence system that protects it from various infections and diseases by acting as a barrier. The immunity of a person can help them fight against colds, infections, and diseases. Regular consumption of foods that boost the immune system can enhance your health and prevent you from getting cold and illness. Some common foods that boost immunity are citrus fruits, turmeric, ginger, and garlic. Below is the list of immune system boosters foods. These foods, when included in daily eating habits, can significantly improve our immune health. They contain essential vitamins that strengthen the immune system.

Best vitamins for the immune system:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B6

List of greens and superfoods that are immune system boosters:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Fish oil
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Red bell peppers
  • Yogurt
  • Broccoli
  • Turmeric
  • Papaya
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Berries
  • Olive oil
  • Green tea
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggs
  • Sweet potato
  • Shellfish
  • Kiwi

Citrus Fruits 

The high amounts of vitamin C found in citrus fruits are renowned. They can help you build immunity by increasing the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infections. Some citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C are:

  • Tangerines
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges

An adult should consume citrus fruits on a daily basis to enhance their immunity. The recommended daily amount for adults is

  • Men – 90 mg
  • Women – 75 mg

Citrus fruits can help prevent colds, but there is no evidence that they can also prevent COVID-19.

Ginger 

Ginger is another superfood that boosts immunity and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming ginger can reduce inflammation and cure sore throats. It can also help with nausea and chronic pains.

Ginger contains a heat-packed substance called gingerol, and it can help in lowering high cholesterol levels.

Garlic

Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes since early ages. It also increases the flavor of food. Garlic contains high sulphur-containing compounds, such as allicin, that can help boost immunity.

Early civilisations used garlic to treat infections, decrease artery hardening, and treat high blood pressure.

Fish oil 

Some fish have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that can help increase white blood cell production. White blood cells can prevent and fight infections and boost the immune system. These healthy fats can keep the heart and brain healthy and effectively boost immunity.

Spinach 

Spinach is not only rich in vitamin C but also filled with antioxidant properties and beta-carotene. These both can increase infection fighting ability and boost the immune system.

Spinach is more effective when it is less cooked as more nutrients are retained. When spinach is lightly cooked it has vitamin A intact with easy absorption and oxalic acids can be easily released. Spinach is a rich source of vitamin C and beta carotene that comes under the greens and superfoods category.

Almonds

Almonds contain vitamin E, which is helpful in preventing colds because it provides assistance to vitamin C. Additionally, almonds have healthy antioxidants that can boost the immune system.

Vitamins present in almonds are fat soluble which means they require fats to be absorbed properly. Almonds contain healthy fats that can help in the absorption of vitamin E. Nuts like almonds are beneficial for boosting immunity.

The daily requirement of vitamin E in adults is 15mg which can be fulfilled 100% with half a cup filled with almonds which is around 46 shelled whole almonds.

Red bell peppers

Red bell peppers are a rich source of vitamin C as they contain around 127mg which is three times more than Florida orange.

They also contain beta-carotene that the human body converts into vitamin A, a vitamin that  enhances eyesight and skin health. Besides boosting immunity, vitamin C has the ability to enhance skin health.

Yogurt 

Yogurt with live and active cultures, such as Greek yogurt, is good for increasing immunity and helping us fight diseases. Plain yogurt containing no added sugar or sweetener and flavouring agents is better for consumption. Additional ingredients in yogurt, like berries and nuts, can enhance its vitamin content.

Yogurt contains vitamin D, which can help in boosting the immune system by protecting against various diseases. One should choose yogurt brands that have vitamin D included in it.

Broccoli  

Broccoli is a green superfood packed with vitamins and minerals. The main vitamins for the immune system present in broccoli are A, C, E, and fibres. Broccoli also includes some antioxidants, which further make it more nutritious.

Broccoli is best when cooked less or even uncooked. Steaming and microwaving are the best ways to cook broccoli to keep nutrients intact.

Turmeric 

Turmeric is the main ingredient in many curry recipes, and it has anti-inflammatory properties. For ages, it has been used as an antimicrobial agent and for muscle repair after gym or exercise.

Turmeric has a high concentration of curcumin that can boost the immune system. Some inflammations causing diseases such as arthritis can be treated with the use of turmeric.

Papaya 

Papaya is a fruit that contains 100% of the daily fulfilling vitamin C requirement of adults. Provided that it contains a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory properties. Consumption of one small papaya can activate good digestion and a healthy immune system. It also contains some amount of phosphorus, magnesium and folate that can improve overall health.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are rich in nutrients as they contain some amount of magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins for the immune system like B6 and E. Vitamin E is capable of maintaining and regulating functions of the immune system.

Treatment of viral infections is possible with the use of sunflower seeds as it contains selenium. Sunflower seeds contain nearly half of the daily needed selenium for adults.

Berries 

Berries are rich in nutrients and are like little sweet treats that one can consume easily. In the wide range of foods, berries are a good option for a healthy diet. Berries can be enhanced by adding them to yogurt and smoothies. Berries are not too sweet but can be consumed as desserts to keep them healthy and light.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a healthy fat that can be consumed in various ways. It can reduce body inflammation and, hence, boost the immune system. Vitamin E and Vitamin K are vitamins for the immune system and are the main constituents of olive oil.

Green tea

Green tea and black tea are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. Where green tea is more effective as it contains an extra antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Green tea supports the immune system as it contains EGCG, which has antiviral abilities.

Mushrooms 

Mushrooms are considered to boost immunity by activating and increasing the production of white blood cells in the body, which is beneficial during infectious diseases. They make white blood cells more aggressive to enhance immune mechanisms.

Eggs 

Vitamin D is the key content present in eggs that is responsible for assisting the absorption of calcium in the body. Apart from this, it also boosts immunity as immune cells have vitamin D receptors. These receptors are necessary for balancing immune system mechanisms. Deficiency of vitamin D can cause multiple infectious disorders in the upper respiratory tract. Some deficiency of vitamin D. can cause diseases like type 1 diabetes and sclerosis. This indicates that the consumption of eggs can fulfil the body’s requirements for vitamin D and prevent all such deficiency diseases.

Sweet potato 

Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene that can help in fulfilling the vitamin A requirements of the body. Vitamin A is required for healthy skin as skin is the first line of defence against bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted microorganisms. When skin has an adequate amount of vitamin A, it actively produces connective tissues to maintain proper skin texture and cells. Other foods that contain beta carotene also work for healthy skin as they contain vitamin A. Indirectly, the consumption of sweet potatoes can protect your body from microbes by serving skin as a barrier and hence protecting it from various diseases.

Shellfish 

Oysters, crabs, and lobsters are some of the types of shellfish that contain zinc. Zinc can improve the workings of the immune system. While the daily requirement of zinc is beneficial, more than that can have reverse effects on immunity. Accordingly, the daily needed zinc for adult men is 11 mg, and for adult women, it is 8 mg.

Kiwi 

Kiwi is a fruit that can help the body function properly. It contains many nutrients, such as potassium, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K (the best vitamins for the immune system). Vitamin C helps activate and produce white blood cells that work to improve immune responses and immune system mechanisms. These white blood cells protect the body when it gets infected with microorganisms.

Conclusion 

The information regarding the top 20 greens and superfoods that are immune system boosters. These foods contain vitamins for the immune system. The consumption of these foods can enhance immunity and prevent you from some diseases and colds. These vitamins, minerals and nutrient-rich foods are beneficial for the body. Some of these listed foods can fulfil daily requirements of vitamins and nutrients.

Enrichment of the body with necessary nutrients and enhancement of immunity by a balanced diet can be achieved, but protection and prevention of diseases require some medications and treatments.

 

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