A person’s immunity consists of cells, organs, tissues, and proteins. These elements collectively perform processes that eliminate pathogens from your body. These include harmful bacteria, viruses, and other foreign organisms that cause disease and infection.
When a strong immune system come across pathogens, it generates an immune response. It involves the release of antibodies that attaches themselves to pathogens’ antigens, thus killing them.
Therefore, you should strengthen your immune response by incorporating certain foods into your meals. These plant-based foods will boost your immune system, thus minimize diseases and infections.
The following are the best foods to build your immune system.
Ginger root has abundant antioxidant compounds that have high immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Toxins, infections, or even ordinarily metabolic processes can produce free radicals that contribute to oxidative stress.
On the other hand, ginger produces antioxidants that fight the radicals and prevent diseases like neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, and arthritis, among others.
For many years people have been using garlic due to its immune-boosting properties such as anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial.
Garlic breaks down free radicals with high antioxidant content, thus controlling medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s, cancers, heart diseases, and many other conditions.
Further, due to its antiviral properties, garlic gloves minimize the severity of COVID-19 infections, flu, and colds.
3. Citrus Fruits
All citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, an essential component for building your immune system. The element increases white blood cell production, which keeps infections away.
Therefore, you should make various citrus fruits, your friend, for they are among the best foods to build your immune system.
The body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C; thus, it’s vital to take it daily for continued health. Some of the popular citrus fruits are oranges, tangerines, limes, lemons, grapefruit, and clementines. Most people may opt to take vitamin C supplements; however, they shouldn’t go beyond 2,000 grams each day.
Kiwi has a ton of vital nutrients like potassium, folate, vitamin C and K. Vitamin C is essential because it supports the production of white blood cells that fights infections and diseases. Like papayas, the fruit contains other nutrients that keep the body functions running smoothly.
The fruit is rich in vitamin C and papain, which is a digestive enzyme with anti-inflammatory effects. Other minerals are magnesium, potassium, and folate, which are vital for your general health.
The vegetable is packed with nutrients that support your immune system. Broccoli has vitamin C, an array of vitamins B and E, and minerals such as potassium, beta-carotene, zinc, magnesium, iron, and fibres that boost the immune system. Further, the veggie has antioxidants known as glutathione and sulforaphane.
The best way of cooking broccoli is steaming because it preserves more nutrients in the vegetable.
The vegetable contains several essential nutrients and antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamins C, E, and E. These nutrients support your immune system, DNA repair, and cell division.
Like broccoli, spinach should be cooked as lightly as you can or eat it raw to preserve its nutrients.
8. Red Bell Peppers
Many people believe that citrus fruits are the only foods with the highest levels of vitamin C. However, red bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C as much as an orange and lemon.
Further, the vegetable has beta carotene, which the body changes to vitamin A to maintain the skin and eyes healthy, just like vitamin C.
9. Sweet Potatoes
The root has a high content of vitamins A and C. These vitamins are essential for your skin and immune function. Further, sweet potatoes are both fat and cholesterol-free food in addition to a large portion of the fibre.
10. Chicken Stock
When viruses invade your upper respiratory tract tissues, the body responds by prompting inflammation. The event triggers the white blood cells to invade the area and fuel the mucous production.
On the other hand, chicken soup has ingredients that prevent the movement of the white blood cells, which decreases the production of mucus, thus relieving cold symptoms quickly.
Chicken and turkey are rich in vitamin B-6, which supports various chemical reactions, and the formation of red blood cells.
Therefore, you should consume broth or stock made out of boiling chicken, for it provides you with nutrients such as chondroitin and gelatin that are helpful for immunity and gut healing.
Vitamin C is an essential element that fights off and prevents infections, while vitamin E seems to do little in this case.
On the other hand, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that maintains a healthy immune system. It’s also fat-soluble, which means that it’s only appropriately absorbed in the presence of fat.
Nuts have plenty of vitamin E and healthy fats; thus, you should consume a half cup of almonds to get 15 mg of the said vitamin, which is a key component to a healthy immune system.
12. Sunflower Seeds
The seeds are incredibly high in magnesium, phosphorous, vitamins E and B-6. As stated, vitamin E maintains and regulates the immune system’s function, such as fighting off free radicals that damage cells.
Lifestyle Ways of Boosting the Immune System
Eating a balanced diet is an excellent way of obtaining nutrients that can boost your immune system. However, specific lifestyle strategies can work along with a healthy diet to improve your immune system further.
- Regular exercises
- Avoid smoking
- Drink alcohol in moderation or avoid it altogether
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Minimize stress
- Get enough sleep
The 12 best food to build your immune system discussed in this article can strengthen your immune system and enhance your ability to ward off diseases and infections.
Building a robust immune system is extremely complex; however, eating a healthy, balanced diet is a single way of building your immune health.
Therefore, you should also consider other lifestyle factors that affect your immune system negatively. Thus, you should reflect on the amount of alcohol you consume, physical activity, and BMI.