Staying healthy has never been more important than it is now. Eating well, sleeping enough, and taking care of yourself — all of these things are a given. But what about boosting your immune system?
Your immune system is the shield that protects you from the outside world. All viruses and bacteria have to slip past the defenses before they affect you. If you want to help your immune system stay in top shape, there are many options out there for you. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory solutions are all no-brainers, but what else is there?
Be it an immune system booster, vitamins, or even picking the best food, you can take steps right now in order to feel better than ever in a few weeks’ time. How, you might ask? We’ve prepared a comprehensive list of ideas that will help you with immune system boosting. Simply read on below to make healthy choices today & feel great tomorrow.
Table of Contents
- What is the immune system?
- What should I eat to boost my immune system?
- Which food items are the best for boosting the immune system?
- What food to avoid?
- How to boost the immune system?
What is the immune system?
Most of us have a vague idea of what the immune system is. That’s alright — you don’t need to be acutely aware of all the processes that go on inside you. However, if you find yourself catching an occasional cold more often than usual, it might be time to become more familiar with your system’s immune function.
The human immune system is a network of cells and proteins that work together to keep you safe from nasty infections. The cells responsible for your immunity keep a record of all (or at the very least, most) viruses they’ve ever encountered. This helps you build up immunity to diseases you’ve already gone through.
We are all born with some innate immunity that keeps us safe from the day we are born. From then on, we acquire more and more immunities as we grow.
- Adaptive (acquired) immunity is created once you encounter a particular germ. Your cells remember it and have an easier time defeating it if it strikes you again.
- Immunizations, such as vaccines, introduce antigens and weakened pathogens to your body. They keep you from actually getting sick, but they still help you develop immunity. This is because your blood cells are introduced to the pathogen and remember it in the future.
How effective your immune system is varies based on many factors. That’s why it’s important that you do your best to boost it. The stronger your immune system, the easier it will be for your body to fend off infections and stay in great health for years to come.
What should I eat to boost my immune system?
Following the right diet is one of the best ways for boosting of immune system. It’s not just great for losing weight and staying in shape. Making smart eating choices has a positive effect on your whole health.
What kind of foods should you eat in order to boost the immune system? We will go into more detail below, but first, let’s talk about the basics.
Whole plant foods
Whole plant foods are staples in any healthy diet. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, fruits such as apples, legumes, nuts, seeds — these foods are rich in nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, or vitamin E. As an example, a sweet potato has lots of vitamin C. They also contain antioxidants that specifically help your system’s immune function.
Antioxidants found in whole plant foods have anti-inflammatory effects. This makes them great not for just bolstering your defense system, but also for beating a persistent infection. They combat free radicals that contribute to inflammatory processes in your body.
Another perk of these immune-boosting foods is that they are rich in fiber. They boost the healthy bacteria in your gut. This further helps your immunity and keeps you safe from bacteria that enter the body through your digestive tract.
Fermented immune-boosting foods, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, are simply wondrous for your gut health. They’re chock-full of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that populate your digestive tract.
If the network of beneficial gut bacteria found in your stomach is strong, you are more likely to avoid all kinds of infection. With the help of probiotics, your immune cells are able to differentiate between healthy cells and harmful pathogens. As such, these foods have anti-inflammatory properties and contribute to the immune function of your system.
Probiotics are also great if you do happen to catch something. If your doctor tells you to take antibiotics, you should make sure to supplement your gut with probiotics found in fermented foods. This may help you avoid the side-effects of taking an antibiotic.
Healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, salmon, other kinds of fish, chia seeds, or avocado, are all beneficial to your immune system. Like whole plant foods, these products reduce inflammation. They are especially recommended if you suffer from a chronic inflammatory disease, such as heart disease or thyroid issues.
Eating enough healthy fats is, according to medical advice, linked to a reduced risk of many harmful diseases. Moreover, it may help your cells fight off incoming threats and keeps you healthy even during the cold season.
Which food items are the best for boosting the immune system?
You now know which types of foods are the best for you, but what should your diet consist of in detail? Let’s get down to business and create your future shopping list. Here are some of the best foods for added immunity.
Red bell peppers
Vitamin C is your ally when you try to stay healthy. It helps your immune system and it might contribute to shortening the common cold. You don’t need to eat oranges every single day, though — red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C.
They’re not just packed with vitamin C. They’re also a great source of beta carotene. Eating peppers also may help you maintain healthy, glowing skin and keeps your eyesight in top shape.
Most people know green tea as a healthy variant in the world of tea, and they’re not wrong. However, both green and black teas have a lot of flavonoids. Flavonoid is an effective anti-inflammatory agent that boosts the immune function. On the other hand, it’s this kind of tea that is full of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is yet another powerful antioxidant that has been proven by medical advice to improve the immunity system.
Green teas also provide you with lots of amino acids, such as L-theanine. L-theanine is great for immune-boosting and it may help your cells fight any germs they encounter.
Beta carotene is a strong antioxidant that boosts your immune system. It’s also often used in skin & hair supplements. What’s more, it actually provides some protection against skin damage from UV rays.
As they are so popular, they’re an easy way to supplement your antioxidant levels & contribute to the anti-inflammatory processes found in your body. Other than the immune-boosting properties, a sweet potato contains vitamin E and vitamin C.
Your grandma may have told you that garlic is a great cure for the common cold, along with vitamin C. While it might not be a cure, it’s definitely great for preventing all kinds of illnesses. It contains allicin, which has been rumored the reduce the risk of catching a cold. It’s a natural immune system.booster.
Garlic, other than being delicious, is also said to reduce blood pressure & slow down the hardening of the arteries.’
Spinach is controversial. Some people hate it, some people love it, but no one can deny that it’s wonderful for the immune system. It’s rich in vitamin C and various antioxidants. All of those are great for improving the immune function of your system.
Keep in mind that overcooking may cause all the nutrients to escape before you get to eat them. Consider eating spinach fresh or lightly cooked.
While not every yogurt helps the system, some of them are filled to the brim with probiotics. Search for yogurts that contain live and active cultures, such as Greek yogurts. They help stimulate your immune system and keep it active.
Some yogurts contain a lot of vitamin D. This type of vitamin is also great for your overall health. Keep in mind that choosing flavored, sugary yogurts are not great for you — try to go with something natural & healthy.
Yogurt and other probiotics are being tested in terms of helping the prevention of COVID-19. While this has not been proved, it doesn’t hurt to add them to your diet.
A kiwi is a delicious treasure chest filled with nutrients that help you stay in great shape. They contain potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate. All of these contribute to your body functioning well. You may not know it, but eating just one kiwi will provide a large portion of the vitamin intake you need daily.
Who doesn’t love some watermelon? Other than being refreshingly delicious, this low-calorie snack has a lot of nutrients. It contains high levels of potassium, vitamin A, glutathione, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
This mix of vitamins and compounds is beneficial to your immune health.
You may have turned your nose up at broccoli when you were a kid, but now is a good time to come around and change your mind. Broccoli is fantastic for healthy living and packed full of nutrients. Just one cup of broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange!
It’s also high in beta carotene, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6), and glutathione. It’s the perfect natural antioxidant.
If you love curry, you love turmeric… and if you love turmeric, you’re well on your way to a great immune system! Medical advice recommends turmeric for many health-related issues, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other inflammatory diseases.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is said to be a great immune booster. It even has antiviral properties.
What food to avoid?
A diet that is centered around boosting the immune system is not much different from most healthy lifestyles. You should limit the foods that are not beneficial to your body and replace them with natural, immunity-boosting options.
Many experts recommend that you should limit added sugars and refined carbs. It’s okay to treat yourself now and then, but in general, it’s best to give your body the nutrients it needs without eating artificial foods with many preservatives. Aim for something high in vitamin instead.
How to boost the immune system?
There are many natural ways to bolster your natural defense system. Your body fights off countless germs every single day, so every healthy choice you make is a step in the right direction! Immune system boosts are never redundant.
Aside from eating the right immune boosting food, here are some other tips for that may help you improve your health.
If you find yourself constantly exhausted and not getting enough rest, your immune system & overall health is probably taking a hit. Sleeping enough and waking up rested has been proven to help your white blood cells fight off infections.
Other than making infections shorter, getting enough sleep actually helps you not catch them in the first place. Remember to take the time in your busy day to catch some much-needed zzz’s.
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No matter how healthy your diet, you may find yourself lacking nutrients. You can only eat so many sweet potatoes before you want a change.
Depending on what you eat and how you cook it, it’s possible that your system is lacking in white blood cells, nutrients, anti-inflammatory agents, or vitamins. This means it’s in danger of succumbing to the free radicals that constantly try to attack it. Before you take a bite of yet another sweet potato, look into taking supplements.
If you’re not sure what supplements to get, we recommend the following:
- Elder-Mune Elderberry Gummies
- Quantum Health Tablets
- Nature’s Way Immunity System Booster
All of the above are known to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
You may also supplement the vitamins themselves. Whether you lack vitamin E, vitamin C, or any other kind of vitamin, you will always find those supplements at your local drugstore. Simply ask the pharmacist for a vitamin E supplement.
Drink enough water
This is probably something you hear from many different sources, but you really should drink enough water. It’s easy to forget to drink regularly, so that’s why we recommend keeping a bottle close at hand at all times.
Make a point out of drinking whenever you feel thirsty and taking a few sips even if you’re not. Other fluids work as well, so you can drink green tea for an extra boost to your antioxidants. Avoid soda and sugary drinks, though — they don’t help you in any way.
In the age of COVID-19, we are all more conscious of staying healthy. While immunity boosters have not been proven to be effective against the novel coronavirus, it’s still more important than ever to keep healthy.
Maintaining a balanced diet, eating the right foods, and taking supplements are all things that you can do to boost your immune system. Don’t delay it and get started today — your body will thank you!