Immunity has become the talk of the town ever since covid-19 happened. Everyone wants to boost their immunity for obvious reasons. The market is loaded with supplements (vitamins) that promise to help in boosts immune system. And in no time boosting immunity became our prime concern? Instead of supplementing, we should incorporate some healthy foods that boost immune system. But first, we need to understand why it is necessary to take care of our first defense line, aka our immune system. We all know that our immune system protects us from any foreign bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that cause any disease in our body.
Our immune system consists of white blood cells, organs, antibodies, and other chemicals protecting our body from possible infection. Our immune system becomes a superhero and fights disease-causing pathogens whenever a pathogen invades us. The chemicals released by our immune system for defense are called antibodies. The secret to the power of the immune system is the food we eat. If we treat ourselves with a healthy and well-balanced diet, our immune system gets stronger. Hence, instead of going for supplements first, you need to boost your immunity with healthy foods.
Our Top 12 Immunity Booster Foods are:
It is one of the commonly used ingredients in every other household. Ginger is anti-inflammatory in nature and rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants present in the ginger protect the body from free radicals, hence are beneficial in arthritis. Ginger also prevents inflammation and helps with sore throat and nausea. Ginger Tea also helps in alleviating menstrual cramps. These properties make ginger a potent immunity booster food for covid.
Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, is a treasure of immunity-boosting nutrients, and luckily enough, Turmeric is rich in curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive yellow color. It is used as a medicine for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as it provides relief from pain caused by it. It has antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties and helps in healing wounds. This makes turmeric a good immunity booster food.
3. Citrus Fruits
Citrus foods are rich in Vitamin C, which helps in increasing the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are like the front liners of our immune system, which helps in fighting any bacterial or viral infection. Vitamin C also helps in relieving the common cold. Even though our body doesn’t store or produce Vitamin C, you can easily add this vitamin to your meal even by squeezing lemon into your meal.
E.g., Citrus fruits: Orange, lemon, lime, tangerines, grapefruits, etc.
4. Red Bell Pepper
When it comes to Vitamin C, red bell pepper is also a source of Vitamin C. People who do not want to consume sugar in any form, even in fruits, can easily add this to their diet. It is also a great source of beta-carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A, which is excellent for our eyes and skin. So, try to include red bell pepper into your plate as an immunity-boosting diet for covid.
Another super vegetable for the list of immunity booster vegetarian foods is Broccoli. Broccoli is a powerhouse for your immune system. Broccoli is rich in vitamin A, B (B1, B2, B3, and B6), C, and E. It is also rich in beta-carotene, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and iron, along with other antioxidants. This makes broccoli a top immunity-boosting food for covid.
Garlic is another extensively used ingredient in Indian kitchens. It has been used for ages due to its amazing antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral abilities. Also, garlic is rich in antioxidants that prevent free radicals and are helpful in dealing with symptoms of heart condition, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. It also helps in reducing the symptoms of a cold.
Spinach is a major immunity booster food that is great for your overall health. It is packed with vitamin C, E, carotenoids, and flavonoids. These nutrients when combined, increase the infection-fighting capability of the body, hence boosting our immunity. Also, flavonoids present in spinach may help in preventing the common cold. So, toss this superfood in your salad or make it part of your sandwich.
8. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta carotene, which is a source of vitamin. It helps in preventing free radicals that boost your immunity. It is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and also contains a healthy amount of fiber which is good for your skin and immune system.
9. Green Tea
Green tea has become a staple for fitness enthusiasts as it is highly recommended for weight loss. Compounds found in Green Tea are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and help in dealing with the symptoms of colds and flu. It is also a great source of amino acid L- theanine which helps in the production of infection forming a compound of T- cells.
10. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a great source of Vitamin B-6 and E along with phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. Vitamin E also helps in regulating the functioning of a healthy immune system. Since it is a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radicals hence great for the body. Even a handful of sunflower seeds can make a great addition to your morning breakfast bowl.
Yogurt is rich in probiotics which are great for stimulating your immune system. It is a great source of Vitamin D which is known for strengthening your body’s defense system naturally. Try to go for low-fat yogurt instead of flavored yogurt as those are loaded with sugar. Through low-fat yogurt, you will get protein, traces of calcium, and Vitamin B12. Also, the probiotics present in yogurt are great for your gut microbiome, which is great for digestion and the immune system. So, try to include it in your diet.
Blueberries are packed with anthocyanin (flavonoid) which is highly antioxidant in nature and is great for your immune system. According to a study, flavonoid plays a pivotal role in preventing any sort of respiratory tract infection. Hence great for immunity and it also helps in preventing any symptoms of cold and infection of the respiratory tract.
When it comes to boosting your immunity, food should come first, before medications or supplements. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate all the above-mentioned foods that boost the immune system into your diet. Although, it is suggested that you consult with your doctor before incorporating any of these foods into your diet if you are allergic to any of them or if you have any medical conditions.