Here is our compilation of the top 10 foods to boost your immune system because – as they say – You are what you eat!!
Over the years, experts have discovered that certain foods can help your immune system remain strong and ready to keep you healthy. So, if you’re wondering how to stay ahead of the flu, colds, and related infections, a trip to the grocery store may be what you need.
But, what should you buy?
In the following paragraphs, we explore some research-backed foods that can help you reinforce your immune system and fight disease-causing pathogens. Not to worry, you won’t have to give up your favorite dishes!
Top 10 Immune-Boosting Foods
Are you wondering what foods you can add to your diet to boost your immune system? Don’t stop reading.
Citrus fruits contain some of the highest deposits of vitamin C, which earns them a spot on the list. You see, experts believe that vitamin C helps improve your body’s production of white blood cells. Since white blood cells are your body’s first line of defence against infections, it’s a great idea to add some citrus fruits to your diet.
Thankfully, with citrus fruits, you have a variety of options. This makes it so much easier to add them to your meals. Here are some popular citrus fruits:
Remember, your body does not produce or store vitamin C. So, don’t forget to add some citrus fruits to your diet.
Red Bell Peppers
While citrus fruits undoubtedly have healthy amounts of vitamin C, red bell peppers take the cake.
Let’s put this in terms of numbers — an ounce of red bell pepper contains almost three times more vitamin C than an ounce of any citrus fruit. Furthermore, red bell peppers also contain beta carotene, which helps protect your skin against UV rays while maintaining its healthy glow.
Besides, red bell peppers can also keep your insides healthy due to their beta carotene content!
Garlic is another top option when it comes to immune-boosting foods. So it’s no wonder many over-the-counter supplements contain ample helpings of garlic.
According to research, the immune-boosting properties of Garlic are likely because it contains high amounts of sulfur-containing compounds (including allicin). These sulfuric compounds have antibacterial and antiviral propers that help fight infections and may even help with lowering blood pressure.
The best part?
Garlic is a versatile spice that you can add to many dishes while cooking. Furthermore, you even add some garlic to your tea and drink it instead.
Generally, berries are great for your health. But, blueberries may just be the best because they contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a chemical compound with high antioxidant properties and can boost your body’s immune system.
According to a 2016 study, flavonoids are crucial to the immune defence system in your respiratory tract. In addition, further studies have shown that people who include foods rich in flavonoids in their diet were less likely to develop a cold or respiratory tract infection than people who did not.
If you’re going to take some chocolate, why not opt for one that offers your immune system more benefits.
Experts have discovered that dark chocolate contains an antioxidant known as theobromine, which can help boost your immune system by counteracting the effect of free radicals on your body’s cells.
Are you wondering what free radicals are? They are molecules that result from your body’s digestion process. Pollutants can also introduce free radicals into your body system. Unfortunately, they can destroy the body’s cells and lead to disease.
Pro Tip? While dark chocolate does have its benefits, it also contains high amounts of calories and saturated fat. So, go easy on them.
You probably know that “eating your greens” is a healthy habit. But why exactly is spinach on this list?
Spinach contains a wide variety of antioxidants and is also rich in vitamins. Furthermore, it also contains beta carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A.
However, if you’re going to cook your spinach, we recommend very light cooking so that it does not lose its nutrients.
Another excellent option for healthy diets is ginger.
Ginger has impressive anti-inflammatory properties, which can help ease a sore throat or treat inflammatory issues. Also, some signs indicate that ginger can also help with nausea.
Furthermore, experts believe that ginger can help alleviate chronic pain and may even help reduce cholesterol levels.
Like garlic, you can also use ginger as a cooking ingredient or add the powdered form to your tea.
You probably know that turmeric plays a vital role as a spice in many dishes. But did you know that this popular bright yellow spice has benefits beyond its taste?
Turmeric contains high levels of curcumin (also responsible for its distinct color), which can give your body an immune-boosting effect. Also, curcumin may have antiviral properties.
Besides, Turmeric is also anti-inflammatory and helps treat various types of arthritis.
Like black tea, green tea is also rich in flavonoids, an effective antioxidant. But, there’s more. Green tea also contains high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound with antioxidant properties.
According to research, EGCG can help enhance your body’s immune function. Additionally, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can aid your body’s production of infection-fighting compounds in your T cells.
Research has shown that sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients — from magnesium to phosphorus, and vitamins, including B-6 and E.
The vitamin E content of sunflower seeds can help you regulate and improve your body’s immune functions. Also, vitamin B-6 plays an important role in many of your body’s functions, including the formation of new red blood cells.
Finally, sunflower seeds also contain high amounts of selenium, which has anti-viral properties that can help keep you healthy.
Final Take – Best Foods To Boost Your Immune System
A proper diet is crucial to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy immune system. But, of course, good habits such as regular exercise also play a role. Just remember that without a proper diet, you may leave your body’s immune system with lower defences.
Hopefully, our compilation of these 10 foods to boost your immune system gives you the insight you need on your journey to eating healthily.