The immune system protects the body from infection and if you are often sick, feeling fatigued or have other nagging symptoms you can’t figure out, that could be as a result of a weakened immune system and research has shown that many fruits and vegetables provide nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E that can boost immune function and also in a time like this, where there is an ongoing pandemic disease, named coronavirus (COVID19), healthy food and lifestyle is highly essential.
Your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms but sometimes it fails and this leads to a successful germ invade, this process requires boosting your immune system, some certain foods can help achieve this and this also means changing some certain lifestyles in regards to health.
Can all kinds of food boost your immune system? Can certain changes in lifestyle help produce a near-perfect immune system? This article contains 10 foods that are a healthy source of selenium, antioxidants vitamins, and other ways to strengthen your immune system and fight off disease.
10 Immune Boosting Foods To Eat Often
A healthy balanced diet plays a vital role in staying well, the immune system is your natural body defense system against bacteria’s and with the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), it is essential to ensure your immune system stays healthy and we have got the right food for that.
Mushrooms are high in selenium and B vitamins like riboflavin and niacin which healthy nutrients for the immune system to work in a tip-top form. Oyster and shiitake mushrooms are the healthiest types of mushroom, they have the highest fiber too and are also enhanced with vitamin D.
Any choice of mushroom is an antioxidant powerhouse (1).
Mushrooms are one of the best ways to boost your immune system, they are high in polysaccharides, which are sugar-like molecules that boost the immune system, they are also known as a natural source of beta-glucans which stimulates the immune system (2).
2. Low Fat Yogurt
The process that occurs when making yogurt enhances it to be filled with millions of probiotics organisms which boosts the good bacteria in the gut, yogurt is known as the best dietary source of probiotics that can give you immune system a boost and help you stay healthy and it’s also quite high in protein. A bit of zinc and vitamin A are also contained in yogurt. Plain yogurt is more nutritious and you can make it more healthy by adding toppings like nuts, berries and just a little honey (3).
Watermelon is an immune-boosting fruit, this fruit was once considered as only a summertime treat but this immune-boosting food has been discovered to help ward off winter’s illness, it is a good source of lycopene which gives watermelon it’s red fresh color and offers other benefits. Watermelon also contains an antioxidant called glutathione which strengthens the immune system and fights unhealthy bacteria in the gut system (4).
4. Wheat Germ
One of the most chosen immune-boosting foods is a wheat germ, not only is this food a key source of fiber but is packed full with protein, vitamins, and vitamin E, and also a great source of zinc. it is a dietary essential that keeps your body healthy and it reduces respiratory inflammation which prevents infection. Wheat germ can be added to your bread, muffin and cookie recipes, you can also sprinkle it over your yogurt and fresh fruit.
Greens such as kale have always been known to be great for boosting the immune system, it contains high levels of vitamins and packs a powerful antioxidants punch. Kale is a leafy green vegetable with a wild range of nutrients that help fight off infections and regenerate other antioxidants in the body. It also contains folate which is another immune booster. Other benefits of kale include helping manage blood pressure and boosting the digestive system (6).
Spinach is packed full with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene which may help increase the infection-fighting ability of the immune system, it is also rich in vitamin c but the antioxidants level in it helps boost the immune system. Spinach contains vitamin c which is associated with boosting the immune system and can protect against infection (7).
Spinach gets ranked as a superfood due to its high content of folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, fiber and iron which all prevent illness. The nutrients in spinach boost the immune system and provide the body with the necessary nutrients for cell repair and DNA division
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, which is a carotenoid that converts into vitamin A which in turn helps boost the immune system and lowers the risk of various diseases. Sweet potatoes may help improve brain function and helps fight off infection to your body. Sweet potatoes are often touted as being healthier than white potatoes but research has shown that both are very healthy and highly nutritious but not to be eaten in excess to avoid excess weight gain (8).
Broccoli is another powerhouse of antioxidant, a compound found in it can help boost the immune study and according to study, broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals, a compound found in broccoli and related vegetables has more health-boosting tricks up its sleeves compared to some foods. One cup of broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange (9).
9. Miso Soup
Miso supplies the body with several vitamin B and as well and vitamin E, both of which are vital for a strong immune system. Miso soup is a well-known staple for the Japanese cuisine for centuries, miso is a salty paste made from fermented soybeans and it is quite rich in probiotics and these are beneficial for the gastrointestinal health and boosting the immune system. Miso can help fend off flu, keep you healthy and boost your immune system as well (10).
10. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is another great substitute to miso soup, it can help you get over a cold really fast when cold viruses invade the upper respiratory part of your body, the body responds to this by triggering inflammation and this inflammation signals white blood cells to move to the area and stimulate the production of mucus and here is where your chicken soup might come in handy. The ingredients in chicken soup appear to halt the movement of white blood cells thereby decreasing mucus associated with cold (11).
Healthy Ways To Boost Your Immune System
Choosing a healthy diet plan is important and so also is a healthy lifestyle, every part of your system including the immune system functions properly when protected from environmental assaults and a healthy living strategy is adopted. Here are some healthy living guidelines to help boost your immune system:
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables
- Exercise regularly
- Get adequate sleep
- If you drink alcohol, try drinking in moderation
- Don’t smoke
- Keep clean hygiene by washing your hands regularly and cooking meats thoroughly
- Try to reduce stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle may strengthen one’s immune system and improve their ability to fight off infections however anyone who has frequent colds or other illnesses and is concerned about their immune system should speak to a doctor.
You can stay healthy and keep your immune system healthy when you know which foods to eat, because many vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce oxidative stress, helps fight cold, flu and as well as viruses like the coronavirus (COVID-19). Make sure your immune system is in top shape not just with healthy foods but other simple tips like reducing alcohol intake and exercising regularly.
Read more on health and the Coronavirus:
- 6 Ways to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Coronavirus Quarantine Checklist: All The Things to Shop For Incase Of A Lockdown