The immune system is human body’s defense against the disease, infection, and impacts of the injury. A strong immune system shuns away many illnesses like cough and flu. It also helps with a speedy recovery. Several foods can play a significant role in strengthening the immune system—all thanks to the nutrients present in them.
Here are the immune system boosters that must be in your daily meals.
Red Bell Peppers
With a water content of 92 percent, red bell peppers are loaded with several vitamins and minerals. In fact, these peppers have twice as much vitamin C as the citrus fruits. You may already know that vitamin C is the primary immune booster among the nutrients.
Apart from vitamin C, the red bell peppers are also a great source of beta-carotene. It has been known to boost the immune system. Several studies have shown an association between diets rich in beta-carotenoid and a reduced risk of different forms of cancer.
Vitamin C is deemed as the legit immune booster. People would resort to this vitamin when they catch a cold. This popular perception is back entirely by scientific evidence. And the citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C.
Vitamin C builds up the immune system. It is known to contribute to the production of white blood cells, which are significant in fighting infections. The common citrus fruits include lemons, grapefruit, oranges, limes, and clementines.
The human body can only attain vitamin C through food or supplements. It does not produce or store it. Hence, foods rich in this vitamin should be a part of a person’s daily diet.
Garlic is a sine qua non of almost every cuisine in the world. It is very popular in ayurvedic and ancient medicine. Not only that it adds flavor to food, but it also holds immense benefits for human health(best information today). Ancient civilizations used it to fight infections. Scientific research also supports the ancient wisdom. It maintains that garlic strengthens the immune system—all thanks to its compounds containing sulfur. It also helps regulate the blood pressure and reduce the hardening of the arteries.
Ginger is another natural remedy for sickness. It is known to alleviate inflammation, because of which it is used to cure a sore throat and other inflammatory conditions. It is also known to relieve chronic pain and has been associated with low cholesterol. It manifests immune-boosting properties and has a traditional use for fighting illness.
Yogurt stimulates the immune system and prevents diseases. It contains vitamin D, which helps regulate the immune system. It is known to fortify the body’s natural defense against the illness. Plain yogurt is a better option than the flavored one, which is full of sugar. Moreover, Greek yogurt or other that’s label reads as, ‘live and active cultures’ is more beneficial for health.
Dark chocolate is filled with the antioxidant, theobromine, which protects the cells against free radicals. It boosts the immune system by tackling oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is caused by the free radicals—the molecules produced by the body while breaking down food or being exposed to external stimuli, like pollution or ultraviolet rays.
Oxidative damage can lead to the contraction of a disease. Dark chocolate offers protection against free radicals. However, it should be consumed in moderation because it is high in saturated fat and calories.
Almonds are loaded with vitamin E—which is vital for a properly functioning immune system. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, i.e., it needs fat to get absorbed. Almonds have not only ample amounts of the said vitamin but also have healthy fats. This way, they provide a complete package.
In fact, around 46 whole, shelled almonds are enough to provide 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.
Turmeric is one of the most favorite spices in Asia. It is a major ingredient in curries and has a warm, bitter taste. This bright yellow spice has traditional use as an anti-inflammatory, dating back to thousands of years. It can help with both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Moreover, it is loaded with curcumin, which is responsible for the spice’s unique color and can reduce the muscle damage caused by exercise.
Bio: Jacob Junior is a nutrition expert and blogger at HerbaChoices. He writes on nutrition and dietary supplement related topics. He is a certified Yoga instructor and professional mountaineer.