With the Covid-19 Pandemic leaving the whole world shell-shocked, the importance of good immunity has become the talk of the town. Some people might say that there is nothing that non-scientists can do to make it go away, but we say otherwise. Good immunity is key not only to beat Covid-19 but also hundreds of thousands of other viruses and bacteria.
We all know that as of now no food in the world will help you avoid any virus, but we have curated the list of the best immunity boosting foods that will enhance your recovery period and reaction against malignant cells, harmful foreign bodies like bacteria, viruses, toxins and, make you less prone to autoimmune disorders. Read on to learn everything about these immunity boosting foods.
12 Foods that boost immunity
Curcumin, a key component of turmeric gives turmeric its distinct yellow colour and decreases exercise-induced muscle damage in our body because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is used as a key ingredient in cooking daily-foods in many households all over the world. Apart from being a great immunity response booster and anti-viral, it is also said to help in the treatment of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Studies have found out that those who consume garlic regularly either in food or as supplements, recover from the common cold faster than others. Garlic is known to slow down the hardening of arteries and boosting the immunity and body’s response to infections. Some evidence even suggests that garlic can lower blood pressure even though the research for that is limited.
Citrus fruits like oranges, kiwis, grapefruit, tangerine, limes, lemons, clementines, and others have a high content of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is not produced by our body itself but is very important for the body’s development. Vitamin C helps to boost immunity because it helps in the production of white blood cells. Vitamin C also helps to make the symptoms of the common cold go away faster. It is recommended that 75-90 mg of Vitamin C be consumed every day for an improved immune system.
Spinach is full of immunity-boosting components like Vitamin C and E, carotenoids, flavonoids, antioxidants, and many other essential nutrients. These components help to boost the infection-fighting ability of our immunity system and reduce the symptoms of illnesses such as the common cold.
It is advisable to cook spinach lightly to reap all its benefits because overcooking spinach may hinder its Vitamin A absorbing capacity.
Ginger is the go-to ingredient for many people when it comes to reducing inflammatory illnesses, nausea, throat infections, chronic pain, and cholesterol. Ginger also has many antioxidative properties and when used in desserts, it is said to pack a relative of capsaicin in the form of gingerol that helps in easing sore throat and some symptoms of cold.
All teas have one of the major components of good immunity-flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidants. Green tea, specifically, is packed with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) because unlike other teas, green tea is not fermented. EGCG enhances the immune system and its reaction time to infections. It also has amino acids like L-theanine that help the immune system to build its germ-fighting ability.
Some people prefer green tea over coffee because of the same reason and also because it contains less amount of caffeine which makes it a good source for the overall well-being of the body.
“Use me for boosting your immunity” should be the tag-line for almonds because of the presence of heaps of Vitamin E in them which is a fat-soluble vitamin and key to a healthy immune system. Vitamin E helps the body to ward off symptoms of cold and many other infections.
Apart from having a cornucopia of Vitamin E, almonds also have manganese, magnesium, and fiber. A small quantity of about half-a-cup of almonds daily is enough to fulfil our everyday requirement of 15mg of Vitamin E.
8.Oily fish and Shellfish
Oily fish like Salmon, Tuna, Pilchards, and others contain omega-3 fatty acids that are not produced in our body but have a good deal of health benefits like lowering the inflammation, triglyceride levels, risk of cardiovascular diseases and plenty more. Boosting immunity is an additional quality that adds five stars to the name of omega-3 fatty acids as they also prevent the body from autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
Shellfish too like oily fish is known to boost immunity with its zinc content. Zinc in Shellfish like oysters, crabs, mussels, and lobster help in easing the function of immune cells if consumed in desired quantities.
People use sunflower seeds in salads, breakfast bowls, granola, loaves of bread, sandwich spreads, pesto, etc. because of the amount of nutritional value that it holds. They contain essential nutrients like phosphorus, magnesium, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin E, selenium, and many other antioxidants.
Vitamin E in Sunflower seeds fights cell-damaging radicals and maintains immunity system functions. Studies conducted on animals suggest that sunflower seeds may be useful in combating diseases like H1N1
10. Red bell peppers
You will be surprised to know that red bell peppers have almost thrice the amount of Vitamin C as any other fruit or vegetable. Red bell has the richness of Vitamin C minus the sugar in fruits which makes it a healthier alternative for people who are trying to avoid sugar.
It also has heaps of beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A by our body. Vitamin C enhances our immunity and inner well being and Vitamin A enhances our skin and eyes. This makes red bell peppers the toughest contender for the top position of immunity boosting foods!
Blueberries are known to contain plenty of flavonoids which help in building the immunity of respiratory tracts. Flavonoids also boost the immune system’s response to infections and studies suggest that people who have more flavonoids in their diet recover from infections like the common cold, and throat problems faster than those who don’t.
Poultry is a great source of Vitamin B-6 which helps in lowering inflammation and boosting the response of the immune system in addition to helping with the formation of new red blood cells. Consuming broth made with poultry such as turkey and chicken gives our body nutrients like gelatin and chondroitin that enhance gut healing and immunity.
Some other foods like sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, kefir (a fermented drink), yogurt, dark chocolate, and papaya are fantastic sources for boosting immunity and have loads of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals that promote body healing and enhanced immunity response.
Regular consumption of all these foods for a healthy immune system in addition to inculcating habits like retaining from nicotine use, washing hands regularly, maintaining proper sleep cycle and oral hygiene, and maintaining a healthy weight by exercising regularly will make your immunity even more strong.
So, include these immunity boosting foods in your diet today to make yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy!