15 Foods That Boost The Immune System
1. Citrus fruits
Most people turn to vitamin C after a cold. This is because it helps build your immune system. Vitamin C is believed to increase white blood cell production. These are the keys to fighting infections.
Popular citrus fruits include:
your body doesn’t make or store it, so you need vitamin C daily to stay healthy. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, with such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to squeeze this vitamin into any meal.
2. Red Peppers
If you think citrus fruits contain the highest vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Ounce for ounce, the red peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They are also a rich source of beta-carotene. In addition to boosting your immune system, vitamin C can help maintain healthy skin. Beta-carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Broccoli is packed with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can have on the table. The key to keeping your strength intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
Garlic is in almost every dish in the world. It adds a little spice to food and is essential for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infection. According to the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health, garlic can help lower blood pressure and harden blood vessels. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties are highly derived from sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin.
Ginger is another ingredient after you get sick. Ginger can help reduce inflammation, which can help reduce sore throats and other inflammatory diseases. Ginger can also help reduce nausea.
Though it’s used in many desserts, ginger contains some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. According to recent animal research, ginger may help reduce chronic pain and have cholesterol-lowering properties.
Spinach isn’t just on our list because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with antioxidants and beta-carotene, which can improve our immune system’s ability to fight infection. Like broccoli, spinach is healthier as long as it is cooked in moderation so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking increases vitamin A and allows it to release other nutrients from oxalic acid.
Look for yogurt with ‘live and active cultures’ on the label, such as Greek yogurt. These cultures can boost your immune system in fighting disease. Try getting yogurt instead of those that are already repulsive and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten yogurt with healthy fruit and a drop of honey instead.
Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, so try to choose fortified brands with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is believed to promote our body’s natural defenses against the diseases.
When it comes to preventing and fighting the common cold, vitamin E replaces vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that the presence of fat must be well absorbed. Nuts, like almonds, are packed with vitamins and also contain healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides about 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E.
You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in the treatment of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, research-backed sources suggest that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its signature color, may help reduce exercise-induced muscle damage.
10. Green Tea
Both green and black tea are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea is actually at the level of excelocatechin gallate, or EGCG, is another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to improve immune function. The fermentation process causes a lot of destruction of black tea EGCG. On the other hand, green tea is steamed and not fermented, thus preserving EGCG.
Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine can help produce germ-fighting compounds in your T cells.
Papaya is another fruit filled with vitamin C. You can get 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papaya also contains a digestive enzyme called papain, which has anti-inflammatory effects.
Papaya contains good amounts of potassium, B vitamins and folic acid, which are beneficial for your overall health.
Like papaya, kiwis are naturally packed with essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin C. Vitamin C increases white blood cell counts to fight infection, while other nutrients in the kiwi work well for the rest of your body.
When you’re sick, chicken soup is just a good meal with a placebo effect. It helps improve the symptoms of a cold and also helps prevent you from getting sick in the beginning. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended intake of B6.
Vitamin B6 is an important player in many chemical reactions that take place in the body. It is also important for the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stocks or broths made by cooking chicken bones contain gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut irritation and immunity.
14. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower Seeds Sunflower
seeds are packed with nutrients, including phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B6. They contain an incredible amount of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
The vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining the function of the immune system. and Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.
Shellfish are not something that comes to mind for many people trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are full of zinc.
Many other vitamins and minerals are not provided in zinc, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function.
Shellfish with high amounts of zinc include:
Keep in mind that you don’t want to exceed the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet. For adult men it is 11 mg (mg) and for women it is 8 mg. Too much zinc can actually inhibit the functioning of the immune system.