20 Foods That Boost the Immune System


20 Foods That Boost the Immune System

A person's health is maintained by having a strong immune system. Nutrients that support the immune system can be found in foods like berries, oily fish, turmeric, kefir, and others.

Organs, cells, tissues, and proteins all make up the immune system. Together, these perform physiological functions that fend off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign objects that cause infection or disease.

Immune responses are triggered when the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen. When a pathogen's antigens are attached to an antibody produced by the immune system, the pathogen is killed.

A person's immune system may be strengthened by including particular foods in their diet.

Learn 20 foods that strengthen the immune system as you read on.


Here are the 20 Best Foods that Boost the Immune system?

20 Foods That Boost the Immune System

A balanced, healthy diet is essential for maintaining good health. The immune system may benefit from the foods listed below:


1. Blueberries

Antioxidant qualities in blueberries could help the immune system.

A type of flavonoid called anthocyanin is found in blueberries, and it has antioxidant properties that can help strengthen one's immune system. According to a 2016 study, flavonoids are crucial to the immune defense of the respiratory tract. People who consumed foods high in flavonoids had a lower risk of developing an upper respiratory tract infection, or common cold, than those who did not.


2. Dark chocolate

By shielding the body's cells from free radicals, theobromine, an antioxidant found in dark chocolate, may help to strengthen the immune system. When the body digests food or comes into contact with pollutants, it produces molecules called free radicals. The cells in the body can be harmed by free radicals, which can also worsen existing illnesses. Dark chocolate may have health benefits, but it's also high in calories and saturated fat, so it's best to consume it in moderation.


3. Turmeric

Many people use the yellow spice turmeric in their cooking.  Some complementary medicines also contain it.  An individual's immune response may be strengthened by consuming turmeric.

This is a result of the properties of the turmeric compound curcumin.  Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, according to a 2017 review.


4. Oily fish

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in abundance in salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other oily fish.  Long-term omega-3 fatty acid consumption may lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a 2014 study. When the immune system mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body, it can lead to RA, a chronic autoimmune disease.


5. Broccoli

Another source of vitamin C is broccoli. Strong antioxidants like sulforaphane are also present. In order to maintain the health of your immune system, it is a wise choice to consume this vegetable frequently.


6. Sweet Potatoes

Beta carotene, a class of antioxidant that gives potatoes their orange color, is abundant in sweet potatoes. Vitamin A can be found in beta carotene. It promotes the health of the skin and might even offer some defense against UV rays' ability to cause skin damage.


7. Spinach

Due to its abundance of vital nutrients and antioxidants, including, spinach may strengthen the immune system.

• Flavonoids.

• Carotenoids.

• Vitamin C.

• Vitamin E.

The immune system may benefit from vitamin C and E support. demonstrates that flavonoids may be useful in shielding healthy individuals against the common cold.


8. Ginger

In addition to being used in teas, ginger is used in many different foods and desserts.  Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so it probably has health benefits, claims a review. To confirm whether it can truly prevent illness, more research is required.


9. Garlic

Garlic may aid in the prevention of colds. The prevention of colds and other illnesses is frequently achieved at home using garlic. One study examined whether taking allicin-containing garlic supplements decreased the risk of contracting the common cold.

Compared to the group taking the garlic supplements, the participants taking the placebo group experienced more than twice as many colds overall. However, the researchers came to the conclusion that further study is required to establish whether or not garlic can aid in cold prevention.


10. Green Tea

People can use green tea as a substitute for black tea or coffee since it has less caffeine than those beverages. It can help to boost immunity if you drink it. Green tea contains flavonoids, which, like those in blueberries, may lessen the likelihood of getting a cold.


11. Kefir

The fermented beverage kefir contains live cultures of bacteria that are good for your health. Drinking kefir, according to preliminary research, may strengthen the immune system. Several studies have demonstrated that regularly consuming kefir can help with.

• Eliminating bacteria.

• Lowering inflammation.

• Enhancing antioxidant function.

The vast majority of the studies that back this up were conducted in labs or on animals. To fully understand how kefir might shield people from disease, more research must be done.


12. Sunflower seeds

Salads or breakfast bowls can taste good with sunflower seeds added. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E, is abundant in them. Similar to other antioxidants, vitamin E strengthens the immune system by scavenging free radicals, which can harm cells.


13. Almonds

Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and they also have fiber, manganese, and magnesium.  Almonds are a nutritious snack that may strengthen the immune system—just a small handful or a quarter cup.


14. Oranges or kiwifruit (kiwis)

Vitamin C, the vitamin that many people reach for when they feel a cold coming on, is abundant in oranges and kiwis.  Vitamin C may shorten the duration of common cold symptoms and enhance immune system performance, though it is unclear exactly how it works to help.


15. Red bell pepper

Red bell peppers are a fantastic alternative source of vitamin C for people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit. According to a study on cooking techniques, roasting and stir-frying red bell peppers preserve their nutritional value better than steaming or boiling.


16. Shellfish

For many people looking to strengthen their immune system, shellfish might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but some varieties of shellfish contain zinc, an element that supports immune function.

The following shellfish species have high zinc content.

Oysters are one example.

• Crab

• Lobster

• Mussels

• Oysters

It's important to keep in mind that you shouldn't consume more zinc than the daily recommended amount in your diet.

• 11 mg for adult men

• 8 mg for most adult women

In fact, an excessive amount of zinc can suppress immune system activity.


17. Poultry

When you reach for chicken soup when you're sick, it's not just the placebo effect that makes you feel better. Inflammation may be reduced by the soup, which may help with cold symptoms. Vitamin B6 is abundant in poultry, such as chicken and turkey. Nearly a third of your daily recommended intake of B6 is found in about 3 ounces of lean turkey or chicken meat.

Numerous chemical processes that occur in the body require the vitamin B6 as a key component. The production of fresh, healthy red blood cells also depends on it. Gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients that are beneficial for gut healing and immunity can be found in stock or broth made from simmering chicken bones.

 Read: Top 15 Best Nigerian Fruit Juice Industries in Nigeria

18. Papaya

100 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C is present in one small papaya. In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, papayas contain the digestive enzyme papain. Potassium, magnesium, and folate are all present in papayas in respectable amounts and are all good for your general health.


19. Yogurt

On the label of yogurts like Greek yogurt, look for the words "live and active cultures." These cultures might boost your immune system and aid in the prevention of disease.

Try to choose plain yogurts rather than those that are flavored and packed with sugar. Instead, you can sweeten plain yogurt on your own by adding some honey and wholesome fruits.

Try to choose brands of yogurt that are fortified with vitamin D as this vitamin can also be a great source of this food. Our body's natural defenses against disease are thought to be strengthened by vitamin D, which also aids in immune system regulation.

Studies on its potential effects on COVID-19 are even being conducted in clinical trials.

According to current research, vitamin D deficiency may increase a person's risk of contracting COVID19 and the severity of the disease as it progresses.

Therefore, according to experts, supplementation may offer protection to those who are vitamin D deficient. There is no proof that vitamin D can treat a COVID19 infection, though.


20. Include Yours

 Read: Top 5 Brands of Fruit Juice in Nigeria

Other Strategies to Strengthen the Immune System


Hands Should be Properly Washed in Order to Boost Immunity

20 Foods That Boost the Immune System

An individual's immune system might become stronger by implementing the following lifestyle choices:

• Refraining from smoking.

• Consistent physical activity.

• Keeping one's weight in check.

• Refraining from drinking or doing so sparingly.

• Getting adequate rest.

• Reducing anxiety.

• Using the proper hand- and mouth-washing techniques.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)


How can my Immune System be Quickly Strengthened?

Your immune system cannot be instantly strengthened, but the sooner you begin using the following advice, the sooner your overall wellbeing and, ultimately, your immune system, will improve.

• Adhering to an all-natural, wholesome diet that includes plenty of fresh produce and whole grains.

• Physical activity

• Controlling your weight

• Snooze enough

• Avoiding or giving up smoking

• Limit alcoholic beverages


What Foods are Anti-infective?

Some foods will strengthen your immune system, while others have antimicrobial qualities, which may help them fend off pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. The likes of oregano, cinnamon, clove, and rosemary are just a few examples of herbs and spices.

Citrus fruits, parsley, and a wide variety of other plant-based foods also contain nutrients that seem to have antimicrobial properties, as do cruciferous vegetables like kale and rutabaga.


What Foods are Beneficial to the Immune System?

As well as flavor-enhancing foods like ginger, turmeric, and garlic, red peppers, spinach, and broccoli are also good options.


Do Bananas Strengthen the Immune System?

Banana lectin is a substance found in bananas. According to one mouse study, banana lectin may have effects that strengthen the immune system.

Final Thought

Consuming the 20 immune-boosting foods listed in this article may help people have stronger immune systems and be better able to fight off infections. Having said that, it's crucial to keep in mind how intricate the immune system is. One way to support immune health is by eating a nutritious, balanced diet. Other lifestyle choices, like exercising and quitting smoking, that may have an impact on the health of the immune system must also be taken into consideration.

Consult a doctor if you frequently get colds or other illnesses and are worried about your immune system.

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