Some foods have that extra nutritional component that may boost your immune system naturally
What you eat has a significant effect on your overall health. To have a strong immune system is important to combat illnesses and maintain physical health. Your immune system’s responsibility is to defend against infection-causing microorganisms. However, sometimes a sudden invasion of these infectious viruses can cause your immune system to weaken. According to experts, to strengthen one’s immune system one has to take charge of their lifestyle and food habits. It is like preparing your soldiers to fight the battle if the infection invades. Hence it is essential that one maintains a good lifestyle and a healthy diet.
Here are 10 foods that will boost your immune system naturally
1. Berries – Blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, mulberry or acai berry. They are bite-sized sweetness with vitamins and minerals. Berries are loaded with antioxidants that help boost one’s immune system. A study showed that flavonoids – they are antioxidant agents, helps one’s body function efficiently in fighting off toxins and stressors in the body. So, foods rich in flavonoids help strengthen your immune system.
You can have some berries after your meal as a bite-sized dessert, or you can add them to your morning smoothie, or you can snack them during the day.
2. Spinach – Eating green leafy vegetables is super nutritious especially spinach. It contains many essential minerals and nutrients that strengthen the immune system. It is loaded with antioxidant agent flavonoids, carotenoids, Vitamin C and E.
Starting your day with a glass of green juice is a good idea. You can add some spinach greens, cucumber, turmeric, ginger, green apple and blend it together for a healthy morning dose.
3. Yogurt – Your gut health plays a key role in preventing germs, bacteria and other pathogens from entering the bloodstream. Yogurt is a probiotic – they are good bacteria that helps fight off bad bacteria present inside the intestines. They are packed with vitamins and protein.
You can enjoy a small bowl of yogurt with some berries as a dessert, or you can have some frozen yogurt, or you can have some savoury buttermilk to go with your food.
4. Almonds – Almonds are a source of Vitamin E and a super house of antioxidants, it regulates blood sugar levels, and can reduce LDL, bad cholesterol levels in the body.
Eating 8-10 soaked almonds a day can provide you with all the essential nutrients, or you can enjoy some toasted almond with a hot beverage, or you can have almond cookies. You can bake a batch of almond cookies using almond flour, sugar free and some dark chocolate as a day- time snack.
5. Turmeric – A spice found in every kitchen. Turmeric contains curcumin – a component that contains medicinal and healing properties. It also contains anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
A warm glass of turmeric latte (haldi doodh) before going to bed, or you make chutney from raw turmeric, or you can have some ginger turmeric herbal tea.
6. Garlic – An ingredient that not only adds flavour to the dish but also carries medicinal properties. It is loaded with Vitamin B and C, manganese, selenium, iron and zinc that helps combat health conditions.
To reap the benefits of garlic one needs to eat them raw or sauté it. You can add some garlic in spinach, or you can use some roasted garlic as a topping on your dish, or you can make a garlic dip.
7. Ginger – It is one of the healthiest spices known, it has medicinal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make this spice so potent. It has many health benefits, and it strengthens the immune system.
Ginger can be used in any form – dry, fresh, powdered, or in juice form. For some nothing comes close to ginger tea (adrak wali chai), but for some there is nothing like ginger with lemon in hot water. You can use the spice the way you enjoy, but the best way to consume ginger is raw. Since it’s fresh and has all the nutrients intact.
8. Citrus fruits – Fruits such as orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit and tangerine are citrus fruits. The powerhouse of Vitamin C, antioxidants, fibre and other micronutrients that help strengthen the immune system. Adding citrus fruit to your daily diet will not only improve your immune system, health conditions but also brightens your skin.
The best way to consume any fruit is to eat it whole and avoid juicing it. Eating a whole fruit will give your more nutrients than the juice. You can have an orange for breakfast, or have a wedge of lemon with your food, or you can try exploring different kinds of citrus fruits you find in the market.
9. Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a powerhouse of antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It also contains antioxidants that help reduce toxin and stressors. Also, consuming a small amount of cinnamon will not have much impact. One should consume one teaspoon of cinnamon a day.
Cinnamon is a versatile spice and one can easily incorporate it to their healthy diet. You can ground some cinnamon sticks and store it in an airtight container – use it dust over your tea, coffee, salad, or anything you like.
10. Button mushroom – Mushrooms are a good source of fibre, protein and antioxidants. It contains a mineral known as selenium along with Vitamin B, and other nutrients. It promotes a strong immune system, healthy bones, and is considered as a superfood.
Mushrooms are cooked easily and require minimal ingredients and the best way to enjoy mushroom without losing any of its nutrients is by grilling them. You can prepare some garlic mushroom for lunch, or you can make some nutritious mushroom soup on the days when you feel cold.
All the foods mentioned above are easy to find in any market. You can incorporate these foods in your diet the way you like it. Also, while you are eating right try to get a minimum of 10-15 minutes of exercise daily to further strengthen your system. A healthy diet and active lifestyle are all it takes to have a strong immune system.