Health is the greatest wealth we will ever have. No matter how fat your bank account is, without health, you might as well be penniless. Our health impacts our vitality; mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and most of all, physically. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that people go to exceeding lengths to improve their immunity. If you are a rookie at cooking, you can read about cooking guide for beginners.
With a strong immune system, the body can fight viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease. This in turn keeps your best energy alive and helps you enjoy every opportunity that life offers. That said, here are the 7 best foods that boost the immune response:
1. Citrus Fruits
Whenever you catch a cold, the most common solution is running for some vitamin C. Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, limes, lemons, clementines, and grapefruits are popular choices. Some opt to go for vitamin C supplements, for the sole fact that vitamin C builds up immunity.
How? Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells. These cells are the blood components responsible for protecting the body against infection-causing microbes. Since the body does not naturally produce vitamin C, how about squeezing some in your diet every day to boost your white blood cell count?
Garlic is a true lifesaver. Anytime we fall ill, we attempt to medicate ourselves by running to google. Of most home remedies recommended by medical blogs and websites, garlic is hard to miss.
It reduces the risk of getting the flu, slows down the hardening of the arteries, and helps lower blood pressure. Garlic contains a large concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin which are known to have immune-boosting properties.
3. Oily fish
Fish equals one popular compound, Omega-3. Since time immemorial, Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Research has further shown that Omega-3 influences the function of immune cells, particularly B Cells, or white blood cells.
By consuming oily fish like pilchards, tuna, and salmon, therefore, you activate your immune cells. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been attributed to a reduced risk of RA, rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune condition where a healthy part of the body is attacked by the immune system.
4. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has innumerable positive effects on the immune system. It is a powerful source of antioxidants. In particular, it contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which protects the body against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are produced by the body after it breaks down food or consumed pollutants.
They may cause potential harm to the body, which is where theobromine comes in. Note however that dark chocolate contains high amounts of saturated fats and calories, and should therefore be taken in moderation.
Blueberries are also a rich source of antioxidants. One flavonoid called anthocyanin is thought to boost the immune system, especially against respiratory tract infections. Most if not all fruits contain flavonoids, which are key in protecting the upper respiratory tract against infection.
6. Kefir/ Greek Yoghurt
Greek yogurt and other yogurts that have the phrase “live and active cultures” contain numerous probiotics and vitamins. Kefir contains the highest amount of these cultures. It is fermented milk, available in drinkable forms.
The live cultures increase antioxidant activity, fight bacteria and reduce inflammation. They are thought to therefore stimulate the immune system. Moreover, these products contain high amounts of vitamin D which boosts the body’s natural defenses.
7. Red Bell Peppers
Whenever we think of vitamin C, we think of citrus fruits. You will however be pleased to find out that one average-sized red bell pepper contains close to 3 times as much vitamin C as a similar-sized orange. Better yet, they are also loaded with beta carotene.
This is a provitamin that is turned into vitamin A by the body. It supports eye health and prevents eye diseases. As for vitamin C, its advantage in boosting the immune system goes without saying. Vitamin C also improves skin health.
Boost Your Immune System Today
With these top 7 immune boosters, you can improve your body’s ability to fight off infection. Note however that despite the fact that the diet plays a significant role in the immune system, it is much more complex than that.
A healthy diet must be complemented by a healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly, minimizing stress, getting plenty of sleep, hydration, and not smoking are just but a few more!