Hey there, my health hustler! So, finally, your quest to live a healthy, fulfilling life has brought you to the realm of Immunity! You might have many questions regarding the immune system, especially the foods that boost the immune system.
Understanding all the aspects of being healthy while trying not to disappoint your taste buds feels like navigating through a vast maze. It could get confusing sometimes, and we get that, especially with the numerous healthy food options available in today’s time. It’s easy to fall into the trap of false health foods.
Which ones actually work? Can I have whole foods that boost my immune system naturally? How can I include them in my daily diet in an easy manner, or better, can they be taken as snacks? But you don’t need to worry about all that. We have done the work for you. Read on to find out tips to boost your immune system and top 10 foods that boost your immune system.
What builds our Immune System?
Basically, our immune system’s work is to protect and heal us from foreign germs, bacteria and viruses which can make us ill. There are two subsystems which make up our Immune System. Imagine your health as a fort. And you have built two layers of protection to save and fight for it in case of attack.
One layer of protection stands at the walls of the fort, protecting it from outside, resisting it from coming inside. That’s our ‘Innate Immune System,’ which protects us by creating physical barriers through skin, mucus, even our sweat and tears, and through our stomach acid and enzymes, once bacteria and viruses enter inside our body.
And then, there’s an army of soldiers that stands inside the walls, ready to fight in case of an attack. That’s our ‘Acquired Immune System,’ which protects us by fighting against foreign invaders. If you want to know the term for that, it’s called ‘antibodies,’ a particular type of protein which recognizes foreign bacteria and viruses and kills them. The acquired immune system comprises a complex collection of cells and organs. Don’t worry; we are not going into specifics about that.
Now that you understand how the immune system works fundamentally, it will become easier for you to understand the possible solutions you can go for and prioritise them accordingly.
How do we boost our Immune System?
There are plenty of options available in the market which claim to boost your immune system. However, be wary of those. Not everything is meant to suit everyone in the same manner. Therefore, before experimenting with products, wouldn’t it be wiser to build a rock-solid immune system foundation naturally?
The first line of defence to your aid is a healthy lifestyle because it covers most factors that directly or indirectly affect the immune system. Elements comprising lifestyle can be majorly categorised into:
- Healthy sleep cycle.
- Healthy diet.
- Good hygiene.
- Regular exercise.
- Minimal stress levels.
One of the most dreaded parts by many here is the healthy diet. You might even complete your exercises but find that following a healthy diet is the real challenge. What if we told you that nature’s got a pantry full of goodies that not only taste fab but also give your Immunity the high-five it deserves?
Let’s explore the top 10 foods that boost your immune system:
Foods that Boost Immune System:
Got a cold? Think vitamin C! It’s like a personal trainer for your immune system, pumping up those white blood cells to fight harmful bacteria and viruses.
Citrus fruits are your go-to, whether it’s oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, limes or lemons. Remember, our bodies can’t make or store vitamin C, so regular intake of citrus fruits is necessary.
Ladies, 75 mg is your daily goal; gents, it’s 90 mg. And if you’re eyeing supplements, don’t go overboard. But honestly, why not enjoy a fresh slice instead?
Green leafy vegetables
Have you ever pulled a face at spinach or broccoli? We get it, but these green giants are nature’s multivitamins! They’re jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and E and other excellent nutrients that boost your immune system.
Especially broccoli, it’s like a mini health store on its own. And spinach? Beyond its vitamin C, it’s got antioxidants that help fight infections.
A quick tip: To keep all that goodness in, don’t overcook them. Lightly steamed or raw is the way to go. And if you think spinach might need some cooking, remember - keep it brief. A quick sizzle releases more nutrients, making it a super snack. So next time you see these greens, think less “Yikes!” and more “Yes, please!”
Dry Fruits and Nuts
Have you ever thought of nuts as little vitamin E bombs? Well, it’s time! While vitamin C gets the limelight, vitamin E is the unsung hero keeping our immune systems robust. And since it’s fat-soluble, it loves being in the company of fats found in nuts, especially almonds.
A handful of these cover your daily vitamin E needs. Almonds, walnuts, and cashews aren’t just vitamin powerhouses; they’re also rich in proteins and fats that keep your energy soaring. Next snack break, go nutty and give your immune system that Rewynd kick!
Hey, don’t overlook those tiny seeds on your plate! Sunflower seeds, for instance, are bursting with vitamin E. Plus, they’ve got selenium, a mineral with potential flu-fighting properties. And did we mention avocados and leafy greens are in the vitamin E fan club, too?
But let’s not stop there. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc and other nutrients, speeding up wound healing and fighting off nasty bacteria and viruses. And chia seeds? Beyond being a fibre superstar, they’re known to keep you fit, radiant, and robust.
As for sesame seeds, think of them as mini nutrient-packed parcels. With a mix of calcium, zinc, vitamin E, and more, they’re on a mission to boost those white blood cells.
Feel a cold creeping in? Grab some ginger! This root is a champ at tackling sore throats and calming sick tummies. It’s not just a treat for your taste buds with its spicy kick, thanks to gingerol, but it’s also a powerhouse of health benefits.
From ancient remedies to modern kitchens, ginger’s been the go-to for boosting health. So, whether you’re sipping tea or spicing up a dish, a dash of ginger is all you need to keep things lively and healthy!
Have you ever noticed how garlic turns any dish from ‘meh’ to ‘wow’? But this tiny powerhouse does more than just add zest.
Packed with sulphur-rich compounds like allicin, garlic spices up your meals and amps up your immune defence. And for the fitness folks among us, a dash of garlic can also be your ally for bone health and balanced blood sugar.
Turmeric isn’t just the vibrant hero that turns our curries golden. Beyond the culinary world, this dazzling spice has been celebrated for ages for its healing touch, thanks to its superstar component, curcumin.
Whether you’re watching over the sore muscles post-workout or seeking a natural immune shield, curcumin steps up with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant prowess.
In the tapestry of Indian spices, turmeric holds a special place, fortifying our body’s defence mechanisms and keeping our hearts in rhythm. So, next time you sip on that warming cup of kadha, know that you’re toasting to health.
When you spoon into that velvety yogurt, know that you’re diving into a world of “live and active cultures.” These friendly bacteria aren’t just good for the gut; they’re champions for our immune system, too.
Opt for the unsung heroes - the plain or Greek yogurts. Why? You can mix them with fruits and a hint of honey, keeping them tasty and healthy. But there’s another secret ingredient in some yogurts: vitamin D. Known to amplify our body’s defence mechanisms, vitamin D is the unsung guardian against unwanted health invaders.
If your mug had a superpower, it’d be green tea! Beyond its calming aroma and refreshing taste, it’s a treasure trove of antioxidants. Green tea’s secret weapon? A potent antioxidant called - EGCG. It acts like a shield against harmful invaders, and research hints at its antiviral properties, making it a star player in the immune-boosting game.
Unlike its cousin, black tea, green tea keeps its EGCG levels high because it skips the fermentation dance. So, every sip is like giving your body a protective cloak. Next time you brew a cup, remember: It’s not just tea; it’s a wellness potion!
Amla, or our beloved Indian gooseberry, isn’t just a treat for your taste buds! This powerful little gem is a wellness wonder, bursting with Vitamin C to supercharge your Immunity.
But that’s not all the berry goodness out there. Whether you’re team blueberry, mad about blackberries, or an açai aficionado, these delightful bursts of flavour are nutrition powerhouses. And hey, they’re the perfect sweet-but-not-too-sweet addition to your smoothie, yogurt, or even as a cheeky dessert.
1. Which vegetables are good for our immune system?
Green leafy veggies like spinach, broccoli, and kale are champions for Immunity, packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
2. How can I boost my immune system quickly?
Well, we are afraid, my friend, not everything in life has a shortcut. All we can say is - sleep well, stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet rich in whole foods, manage stress, and engage in regular physical activity, and you’ll start seeing results in less than 3 months.
3. Do bananas help the immune system?
Yes! Bananas provide essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, which aids in immune support.
4. Which fruit is best for the immune system?
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and kiwis are some of the best fruits you can have, thanks to their high vitamin C content.
5. What are some of the signs of a strong immune system?
Quick recovery from illnesses, fewer colds, and good energy levels indicate a robust immune system.
6. How can I check my immune system?
A blood test can provide insights. Consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive immune system evaluation.