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10 Foods That Boost the Immune System

10 Foods That Boost the Immune System

It's high time we took care of our immunity and prepare the body to fight pathogens.

The human body's immune system comprises of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, these carry out bodily processes that fight off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease. Therefore, a healthy immune system is a non-negotiable for a healthy body and life.

When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them, claims Medical News Today.

As we are going through a phase of self-isolation right now to fight off the global pandemic, it is important to keep your body ready for any outward changes. While it is being said that isolating will go a long way in breaking the chain of this pandemic, staying healthy and making sure your bodily functions are in place will make sure you are formidable against pathogens.

A healthy diet has a lot to with the proper functioning of the immune system as it enriches and reinforces the cells. So here is a list of food items that will help you sail through this phase of a health crisis.

1. Blueberries

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Blueberries are rich in flavonoids. A 2016 study noted that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system. Researchers found that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection or the common cold than those who did not. And as we all know it by now, maintaining good respiratory health is a prerequisite to fighting off the current crisis.

2. Dark chocolate

Some good news here! Dark Chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals, reports Medical News Today. Free radicals are molecules that break down food and comes in contact with pollutants which can affect your cells and subsequently weaken your immunity. While dark chocolate is a recommended food item to boost immunity it is also full of saturated fats, so moderation is the key here!

3. Turmeric

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The yellow spice massively used in the south-eat Asian cuisines has many health benefits too. Consuming turmeric may improve a person’s immune response. This is due to the qualities of curcumin, a compound in turmeric. A 2017 review showed that curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

4. Broccoli

This green cruciferous vegetable is a rich source of vitamin C and potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. Therefore, regular consumption of broccoli will help strengthen your immune system. While there is no right or wrong time to start the consumption of broccoli, its benefits on your overall health could be noticeable when you eat it for a long period of time.

5. Spinach

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Spinach might be good for boosting the immune system, as it contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E. Vitamins C, and E can help support the immune system. And like earlier stated, flavonoids may help to prevent the common cold in otherwise healthy people.

6. Green tea

Green tea can efficiently replace your morning cup of coffee or tea, in fact, it can go on to be a better replacement as it contains only a small amount of caffeine. Drinking it may also strengthen the immune system. As with blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of a cold.

7. Oranges or kiwis

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These two fruits are a rich source of vitamin C, that's why you could have seen people turn towards these fruits when they start to develop a cold. While scientists are still not sure exactly how it helps, a study has shown that vitamin C may reduce the duration of common cold symptoms and improve the function of the human immune system.

8. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant. They can make a healthy addition to your breakfast bowl of oats or muesli. A study has shown that in the same way as other antioxidants, vitamin E improves immune function. It does this by fighting off free radicals, which can damage cells.

9. Almonds

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Almonds are another excellent source of vitamin E. They also contain manganese, magnesium, and fiber. Almonds can serve as a healthy snack every time you crave for something in the middle of the day. A quarter cup of almonds a day could help you strengthen your immune system.

10. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a type of antioxidant. Beta carotene is a source of vitamin A. A study related to nutrition and skin has established that it helps to make skin healthy and may even provide some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863266/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23830380

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322412#which-foods-boost-the-immune-system

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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