Your immune system is a bouncer for your body. Its job is to keep unsavoury characters like bacteria and viruses out of the body so you can stay healthy and happy. You may know the role of white blood cells in this process, but there are a number of organs that need to be supported in order to maintain a healthy immune system, such as the lymph nodes, spleen, digestive system, and tonsils.
Your immune response is a full-body system that works around the clock to keep you healthy. Reward this hard-working system with foods that can increase the effectiveness of your immune system. A healthy immune system equals a healthy you, and it is important to take the initiative to boost your body’s germ-fighting power by keeping up a healthy, balanced diet. There is an incredible amount of whole, natural foods that improve your overall health, keep you energetic, and this list only contains a fraction of the possibilities. With such a variety of tasty foods to choose from, staying healthy can be extremely delicious! Here is an overview of some foods to boost your immune system.
1. Citrus Fruits
It’s well-known that citrus fruits contain a hefty dose of vitamin C. This nutrient is essential as it promotes cell function for the cells responsible for driving your immune response. As your body does not produce vitamin C on its own, you need to get your daily dose from food or beverages.
Not only are kiwis an excellent source of vitamin C, but also contain potassium and vitamin K, which are essential for overall good health. They help in the production of collagen, and fend off infection and inflammation.
3. Goji Berries
This superfood contains over 21 vitamins and minerals, including the immune-boosting vitamins A and C. Goji berries are also an antioxidant, and they are associated with many health benefits, including improving blood sugar control, helping with weight loss, fighting aging and protecting against cancer.
As you might have noticed, fruit plays a huge role in a healthy immune system. Capping off our list of fruits is the papaya, which is jam-packed with many vitamins. The antioxidants in papaya prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol oxidizes, it’s more likely to create blockages that lead to heart disease.
This leafy green packs a powerful punch and is perhaps something you already know thanks to the popular cartoon character, Popeye. Aside from the benefits of the Vitamin C it’s loaded with, you’ll also find plenty of antioxidants and beta carotene, both of which improve the infection-fighting ability of our immune system.
6. Bell peppers
Peppers of all varieties can outdo most fruits in the vitamin C department. Like spinach, it contains plenty of antioxidants and beta carotene, and may benefit individuals with improved eye health and reduced risk of several chronic diseases. All in all, bell peppers are an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
7. Chicken Broth
There’s a reason this staple is consumed often when people have a cold. A single serving of chicken noodle soup can give you a third of your daily recommended dose of vitamin B6. The anti-inflammatory compounds contained within may ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. You will feel better and also sleep better.
Nuts have since long been praised by nutritionists for their high protein value. They are a healthy snack for young and old, and most nuts, and in particular almonds, can help reduce inflammation and boost immunity.
9. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals such as manganese and vitamin K, both of which are important in helping wounds heal. They also contain zinc, fibre and magnesium, which all help the immune system fight bacteria and viruses and decrease inflammation.
It’s one of the least expected foods on this list, but lentils are loaded with immunity-boosting iron, zinc and vitamin B6. These nutrients can keep your immune system run smoothly and effectively. They also have an added benefit of regulating cholesterol levels and improving digestive health. By combining them with foods high in vitamin C, you can double the amount of iron you absorb from lentils