Food is one of the most effective tools we have to prevent disease, and a healthy body starts with a healthy immune system. With a few exceptions, it is best to obtain vitamins and minerals from food and not in tablet form. When I am a little stressed or when I am walking around with an immune system that is getting a little tired, I consciously try to improve the kind of food I get into my body.
Healthy foods provide many substances, including vitamins and minerals, that keep us strong and healthy. Unfortunately, many of us do not eat enough fresh fruit, vegetables and other foods to keep us healthy throughout the year.
How can food help in boosting your immune system?
One of the best ways to take care of your immune system and strengthen it is through food, not away from it. Focusing on the foods that matter when you’re sick, rather than focusing on what matters while you’re healthy, enables the immune system to do what it does best: get stronger when it comes into contact with harmful viruses and bacteria. Ideal for feeding the body in phases of immune and adrenal suppression, stress, fatigue, illness and infection as well as vitamin D deficiency.
A selection of healthy ketogenic and low carbohydrate foods with ingredients that can be prepared directly on the kitchen table. What you eat is largely out of your control, but with discipline and creativity you can add to your diet several immune boosting foods every day. You do not need to eat orange or grapefruit or take a vitamin tablet to expect a rapid outbreak of vitamin C, to prevent colds and to strengthen the immune system
How do different food elements help in boosting your immune system?
A balanced diet and regular exercise can help maintain your immune system strong, but certain foods contain vital nutrients and minerals that help your body fight pathogens (foreign bodies, bacteria and viruses) that can cause infections and diseases. Here’s a look at some of the types of nutrients your immune system needs to process them and the foods they can find.
- Specified nuts and vegetable oils contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is naturally derived from food. The body converts ALA into EPA and DHA, making it more efficient to consume these nutrients in food. These amino acids play an important role in supporting immune function in our intestinal cells.
- Antioxidants found in food include vitamins C and E and certain plant substances. Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables provide nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E that strengthen the immune function.
- There is evidence that this vital nutrient, Vitamin E, together with vitamin C, is helpful in strengthening the immune system of people under great stress. Vitamin C and vitamin E are powerful antioxidants that help the body fight infections.
- Vitamin C sources include peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, lemons and other fruits and vegetables.
- Vitamin D is essential for immune function and helps regulate the body’s immune response. An increase in Vitamin D in the blood has been associated with the prevention of other chronic diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis and cardiovascular disease.
- A 2016 study found that flavonoids play a key role in the immune defence of the respiratory tract. Researchers found that people who ate flavonoid-rich foods were more likely to develop upper respiratory tract infections such as colds than those who did not.
Some foods to eat to help boost your immune system
A strong immune system keeps people healthy by enabling their bodies to ward off bacteria, viruses and foreign bodies that can cause disease or infection. When our body comes into contact with a pathogen, our immune system triggers an immune response by releasing antibodies that help to kill the pathogen. The immune response is triggered when antibodies attach to antigens that attract cells that kill the pathogens.
The inclusion of certain foods in a diet can strengthen a person’s immune response. Adding certain foods to a diet can also help strengthen their immune response. Certain foods can be helpful in strengthening the immune system and preventing colds and flu. Below are 10 food items you should consume on a regular basis boost immunity system health, support immune function and feed the body with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Garlic is a well-known immune-boosting ingredient found in many over-the-counter dietary supplements and health products. Garlic not only contains fibre, but also nourishes the good bacteria in the gut that help with immune function, and there is plenty of evidence that garlic acts as an antifungal and antimicrobial agent.
Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called Theobromine that strengthens the immune system by protecting the body’s cells against free radicals.
Green tea contains amino acids that help to produce germ-fighting substances in your T cells, reduce inflammation and fight infections.
Yogurt is a source of vitamin D. You can choose a yogurt brand that is fortified with vitamin D as it regulates the body’s immune system and strengthens our natural defenses against disease.
Turmeric may help to boost a person’s immune system. This is related to the properties of curcumin, a turmeric component.
Blueberries have anthocyanin, a flavonoid which has antioxidant characteristics that can help enhance a person’s immune system.
Spinach provides a variety of vital nutrients and antioxidants that may help to enhance the immune system, including vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids, and carotenoids.
Almonds are another good source of vitamin E. Manganese, magnesium, and fibre are also present which enhance the immune system further.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C if you don’t want to eat fruit because of the sugar. This way you won’t compromise on the strength of your immunity.
Broccoli is also rich in Vitamin C. Sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant, is also present. As a result, it is an excellent vegetable to eat on a daily basis to boost immune system health.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat and food plays an important role when it comes to your health. The best way to support the immune system and an overall healthy lifestyle is to combine a healthy diet with other factors such as stress management, adequate sleep and exercise. Regular hand washing and social distance are key to stopping the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, and healthy eating can also play a role
The best nutrition tip is to never go overboard with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables of different colors. Eating a variety of foods and other food groups will help your body get the right combination of nutrients as different foods contain different nutrients. The reason we mention these 10 foods is that they are not only some of the best foods to boost immunity, but also some that have been readily available for years.