We all are familiar with some people around us, who fall sick quite often. On the other hand, there are these people who stand tall against infection. Whereas, their family members are ailing with the same. The difference between these two groups of individuals, is the level of immunity. Diet is an important player in strengthening immune system. There fore, we all should have an idea regarding foods that boost immune system.
Our immune system is the foremost defence against germs and foreign bodies. By virtue of it, we are infection free, inspite of being surrounded by innumerable pathogenic germs.
Our immune system is extremely complicated. As, varieties of immune cells and proteins regulate it. Each cell or protein has a specific, yet intricate function.
In lay man’s term, we have white blood cells which are the ‘immune cells’. These cells act against microbes and protect us.
There are these vitamins like vitamin C, E, D, A and minerals like selenium, iron, zinc, copper etc. These are imperative for our immune system. Moreover, antioxidants play a compelling role, as it checks free radicals.
Below I have listed some foods that boost immune system.
1. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, grapefruit and gooseberry are abundant in vitamin C. Due to this vitamin C, white blood cells function properly. Additionally, it acts as an antioxidant. Since ancient times people consumed goose berry or ‘Amla’ as fresh fruit or juice or dry powder to augment immunity.
Apart from citrus fruits, red bell-pepper and papaya are also rich sources of vitamin-C.
Meta analysis has shown that, vitamin-C shortens duration of flu, cold and cough. However, it has no effect on reducing severity of flu.
In recent times, a message circulated in social media that, vitamin C prevents corona virus infection. But this is a myth. The fact is, yet there is no evidence to prove it.
2. Green leafy vegetables
Broccoli is a green vegetable. It is loaded with vitamin C, A, E, fibres and other antioxidants. Steamed broccoli has most of it’s nutrients preserved.
Spinach has considerable amount of vitamin C, A, Iron and other antioxidants.
3. Indian spices
Indian spices like garlic, ginger, turmeric and pepper reinforce immunity. Garlic is used since ages, for its anti-microbial property. This is attributed to a constituent, named ‘Allicin’. Ginger has anti inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
Furthermore, turmeric carries antibacterial and some antiviral effects. It is due to an element ‘curcumin’ in it. Similarly germicidal property is present in pepper too.
There is again a myth that garlic and pepper fight against coronavirus. As per some social media messages, these can avert coronavirus infection. The fact is that, both are healthful for your body. Yet, neither of the two has been proved to defend from covid-19. So, everything that we come across in social media is not true
4. Dry nuts
Dry nuts like almond, date and walnut are opulent source of vitamin E, fibres and other antioxidants.
Besides, walnut has omega-3 fatty acid as well. Consequently, these dry nuts are great immunity boosters.
Further, dry nuts are also healthy snacks for children.
Blueberry is abundant in flavonoids. As a result, it enhances immunity power.
Yoghurt has decent vitamin D content. As per research vitamin D is beneficial in few respiratory infections. Also, yoghurt is an easy food for kids.
Human gut holds natural bacterial flora. It is because of this, many disease causing agents can not intrude into our body. Yoghurt acts as ‘probiotics’. It is owing to some favourable live bacteria in it. So, yoghurt ingestion promotes growth of ‘gut flora’.
Zinc, selenium and vitamin B are the nutrients found sufficiently in mushroom. Particularly, zinc and selenium maintain immune cell function.
Likewise, shellfish such as crab, oyster, lobster etc. also contain zinc and selenium. These are excellent source of iron too.
9. Green tea
Many does not prefer green tea. It is due to it’s bitter taste.
Nonetheless, green tea has most of antioxidants preserved. It is because, green tea does not under go fermentation during ‘tea processing’. So, it is distinct from any other variety of tea.
Flavonoid and polyphenol are two principal antioxidants, which also augment immunity.
10. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolates have a chemical ‘theobromine’. In fact, this helps in boosting immunity.
Other factors :
Overall, a good diet nurtures a healthy immune system. But, there are other factors too. Collectively, these factors determine degree of immunity someone posses. These are listed below.
It should be noted that, sedentary lifestyle affects immunity adversely. So, we should add moderate exercise to our daily routine. Morning walk is a good option indeed.
Undoubtedly, adequate sleep builds strong immunity. Thus, chronic sleep deprived persons have suboptimal immunity power.
A person needs to maintain appropriate body weight. Overweight or malnutrition both have negative impact on immunity.
Every single day, we face loads of stress. As a consequence, a hormone called ‘cortisol’ is released inside our body. This ‘stress hormone’ suppresses immune cells. Hence, a person exposed to chronic stress is more prone for infection. So, manage stress level properly.
People with particular genes are more infection susceptible.
Body defence system weakens with advancing age.
To sum up:
We should incorporate foods that boost immune system into our diet. But, it does not imply that we should consume excess of these foods. Rather, we should always focus on taking a ‘balanced diet’. We need to add immune boosting foods proportionately to our diet regime.
I hope this blog will guide you to choose appropriate food. Do apply this knowledge in your day-to-day life. Also, share it with others and benefit them. Mention your views in the comment box below.
Other related posts :