Immunity-boosting Foods That You Need to Include in Your Diet ASAP
We all have had those days where we felt so sick that we had to cancel an important meeting at work or miss out on our best friend’s birthday party. This situation is especially true when seasonal changes are going on. Of course, we can’t have a hand in controlling the weather, but we can definitely prepare our bodies to face disease-causing microbes. How do we do that, you ask? Well, we do that by planning our diet and including various types of immunity-boosting foods in it. Moreover, with proper diet, we can even prevent the COVID-19 virus from entering into our body and making us sick.
Today, we are going to take a look at the food items you have to indulge in to strengthen your immune system. But, before we do that, let us understand how changing your diet can bring about a whole lot of difference to your health.
How Do Immunity-boosting Foods Help Our Body?
Our bodies are most vulnerable during seasonal changes, whether it is the arrival of the summer or winter. Most of us fall sick while adapting to the changing temperature. Also, disease-causing microorganisms lurk on every imaginable item, whether it is the doorknobs or the keyboard of your computer. Not maintaining proper hygiene such as washing hands before eating or not clipping nails from time to time also infects us, leading us to suffer from cough, cold, fever, and diarrhea, among others.
If you are one of those who think that these are simple, harmless diseases and can be easily treated with medicine, let us tell you where you are going wrong. When you get dependent on medication for a prolonged period, your body loses the ability to naturally heal itself and is in constant need of a foreign object (in this case, your medicines) to conduct its daily functions.
Therefore, precaution is better than cure, and you need to take preventive measures so that these diseases don’t occur in the first place. As we stated above, a natural way to do this without incurring any side-effects is by simply altering your diet. Don’t worry! We are not asking for some dramatic changes in your diet. We just want you to add some immunity-boosting foods to your existing diet.
These food items are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that strengthen your immune system. The presence of zinc, probiotics, curcumin, selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and D in these foods helps in providing a protective layer to your body. They not only kill the harmful microbes but also decrease inflammation and accelerate the activities of white blood cells so that you live a disease-free life.
Best Immunity Boosting Foods That You Need to Bring Home
Oddly enough, most of the foods that improve the immune system are simple, affordable items that are available throughout the year. These are not magic elixirs! It is very well possible that these food items are lying in your refrigerator, getting ignored by you. Take a look to find out.
When it comes to the question of what to eat to increase the immune system, our first recommendation is broccoli. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, broccoli is almost like your natural medicines. Their antioxidant properties along with the fact that they are highly fibrous make them the top-most priority of many nutritionists and dietitians.
Make sure you cook them as little as possible so that they retain their natural properties. In fact, we even suggest you have them raw.
Yogurt can be a pretty polarizing food item. You either love them or you absolutely hate them, especially those who are not a fan of dairy products. But whichever side of the fence you stand on, you can’t deny its immunity-boosting power.
When you are hitting the grocery store to buy yogurt, please ensure that you buy the ones that have “live and active cultures” printed on their labels, such as Greek yogurt. Besides, avoid pre-flavored yogurts that come loaded with sugar. Try and consume the plain yogurts instead. If you have a sweet tooth, just add in honey or some sweet fruits to your yogurt.
Of course, if you are lactose intolerant, you need to ignore yogurt.
Next up in our list of immunity-boosting foods are papayas. Rich in papain (a digestive enzyme), these fruits have anti-inflammatory effects that are extremely beneficial to your health.
They are also rich in vitamin C, which improves the immune system. Believe it or not, papaya contains 224% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Besides, they also contain vitamin B, folate, and potassium, all of which helps in fighting off harmful diseases.
A mandatory item in almost every cuisine in the world, garlics are not only healthy, but they make our foods delicious. So, it means you will get to increase your immune system while gorging on those yummy dishes. What more can you ask for?
Since garlics contain allicin, a sulfur compound, they help in healing infections, lowering blood pressure, and in slowing down the hardening of arteries.
Whether it’s decreasing inflammation or taking care of sore throats and even nausea, gingers have been valued since the dawn of time for their multi-beneficial properties.
It has been found that gingers have heating elements in them in the form of gingerol. Besides, they are recommended for people with high cholesterol levels and those who are suffering from chronic pain.
Another anti-inflammatory food item, turmeric helps in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, alongside strengthening your immune system.
The bright yellow color of this spice is due to a high concentration of curcumin, which helps in preventing muscle spasms, and other exercise-induced damages. This means that this is a mandatory food item for all fitness freaks. So, next time you make a curry for your lunch, add in a dash of turmeric in it.
An average sweet potato contains 120% and 30% of the daily recommended value of vitamins A and C respectively. This makes them one of the popular immunity-boosting food items in the market.
The best part about sweet potatoes is that they are fat and cholesterol-free foods, which is music to the ears of patients who have diabetes and high sugar level since they allow you to enjoy sweetness without facing the ramifications from it.
The most nutritious portions of wheat grains are the wheat germs, which are the innermost part of their kernels. They are rich in zinc and vitamins B and E, which help your body in combating disease-causing microbes.
Wondering how you should eat them? Just sprinkle them on your morning cereal, afternoon yogurt or dinner dessert. You can also use them in place of breadcrumbs while making any dish that involves meatballs or meatloaves.
Spinach is rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, and vitamin C, thereby making it a mandatory item in our immunity-boosting foods list. Having spinach frequently increases the chances of your immune system in successfully fighting off infections.
Much like broccoli, cook them as little as possible so that they don’t lose their nutritious properties. Mastering the art of cooking them lightly enhances their vitamin A proportion as well as helps in releasing other beneficial nutrients from oxalic acid that is present in them.
One of the most underrated food items that people just pass off as a delicacy, oysters are powerhouses that contain a whole bunch of important vitamins and minerals that help improve the immune system.
They contain 190%, 45%, and 20% of the daily recommended value of selenium, iron, and vitamin C respectively. This seafood also contains decent proportions of vitamin A and zinc. So, have them raw or cook them in a stew or have them scalloped, whichever you want.
Poultry items such as chicken and turkey have a high content of vitamin B-6 in them that plays a major role in all the chemical reactions that take place in your body. They also help in generating new red blood cells.
Having chicken in stock or broth form is extremely healthy since chicken bones are rich in chondroitin and gelatine that help in fast healing.
Green tea contains various types of antioxidants such as flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that helps increase the immune system. We recommend green tea over black tea because the fermentation process of the latter destroys a lot of the ECGC.
Besides, green tea is rich in the amino acid L-theanine that helps in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.
Sunflower seeds are great immunity-boosting foods since they contain magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins E and B-6. They help in regulating our immune system, thereby keeping off disease-causing germs away.
Now, we understand that sunflower seeds are a bit difficult to get hold of in comparison to the other food items listed here, but we are sure you can buy them online if the nearby grocery store doesn’t keep them.
Summer afternoons are incomplete without a healthy slice of watermelon. These juicy fruits contain potassium, glutathione, and vitamins A, B-6, and C, all of which help improve your immune system.
Since they are water-based foods, they help you in staying hydrated in those scorching summer heats.
Much like watermelon, you can’t make a diet chart without throwing in some nuts in it. When it comes to boosting your immune system, no nut can outperform almonds.
Almonds have a high presence of vitamin E, which help increase your immune system. Many food items contain vitamin E, but you can’t take in the benefits from them since it is a fat-soluble vitamin that requires fat to be absorbed. Almonds are rich in healthy fats, which mean they will help you in absorbing the much-needed vitamin E.
You need to remember that just one single immunity-boosting food won’t suffice. You need to have a combination of these aforementioned food items. We have picked these items in consultation with our in-house nutritionists and dietitians because we believe in dishing out only the information that comes straight from the expert’s mouth. Being one of the best multi-gyms in the country, our goal is to improve the overall health of our clients and to do that, we take in all the necessary professional help. So, eat healthily, stay hydrated, and improve your immune system.