11 Foods That Can Boost Your Immunity

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So, are you looking for foods that can boost your immunity? Well you have come to the right place.

In this article I shall briefly discuss some of the best foods that you can eat that will fire up your immune system and help you fight infections better than Batman against the dark forces.

Without our immune system, we would not be able to survive on planet Earth. There are so many viruses and parasites floating around on our planet that could affect us and literally kill us were it not for our immunity.

Now before I dive into the best foods that can boost your immunity, let us take a look at why exactly our immune system may not be as strong as we would like it.

Common Reasons For A Poor Immunity

it is evident that our immunity is often down in the dumps because we do not follow the right lifestyle or the right diet. Here are some common reasons for poor immune levels.

1. Insufficient sleep

Our sleep is probably the most important aspect of our daily living. It allows the body to reset itself, gives it sufficient time to produce immune cells and resets our mind.

Our busy lives have meant lower sleep times these days.

But the problem with this is that the lower immunity that results can increase our chance of picking up infections which in turn can lead to absenteeism from work.

In order to keep our immune system armed and ready, we need to sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours every night.

2. Lack Of Exercise

Exercise increases blood flow to the immune generating areas of our body. Those who exercise regularly are at a lower risk of picking up the common cold and chest infections.

Those who do not are more prone to falling ill.

It is easy to start an exercise program. Follow the tips I have discussed here.

3. Poor Diet

High sugar intake reduces immunity and increases our chances of picking up bacterial infections.

Studies have shown that once we down a sugary drink, our immune system is suppressed for at least two hours after that.

This article discusses some of the best foods that can boost your immunity. Read on for more information.

4. Stress

Stress is part and parcel of our life.

However, prolonged stress has been shown to increase our vulnerability for infections. Fortunately, simple measures such as meditation and yoga can help reduce stress levels.

Counselling with a professional is also been shown to improve ability to cope with stress.

With the above in mind, now let’s take a look at some of the foods that can improve your immune system.

Foods That Can Boost Your Immunity

Watermelon

foods that can boost your immunity

This beautiful fruit with its bright red colour is loaded with an antioxidant called glutathione. This antioxidant fight harmful free radicals that are generated in the body through normal physiological processes.

The ability to fight harmful free radicals is what makes watermelon a powerful immune boosting fruit.

The maximum amount of glutathione in watermelon is next to the flesh that is present near the rind. So after you finish the bring down juicy chunks, nibble on the edges of the rind to get your immune boost.

Mushrooms

how can i boost my immunity

Believe it or not, small button mushrooms are extremely high in B vitamins and selenium, and is one of the great foods that can boost your immunity. These rubbery fungi are really pack a punch of selenium which if in low quantities in the body can lower immunity remarkably.

Citrus Fruits

foods to boost immunity

Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and gooseberries are chockfull of vitamin C. Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties that can help you fight the common cold.

Make sure you have at least one of these fruits everyday as a part of your daily diet.

Broccoli

Some people find it disgusting, but broccoli is actually a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.

Not only is it rich in fibre and antioxidants, it also contains generous portions of vitamin A, C and E. They are best eaten steamed so that they retain their crunch and nutritional value.

Garlic

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The Indian diet (and many diets across the word) largely contain garlic as a spice.

Garlic has powerful immune boosting properties due to the presence of compounds such as allicin. This is a self-based compound that gives in garlic its pungent odour.

Besides boosting immunity, garlic also controls blood pressure, lower cholesterol and fights the common cold.

Spinach

health effects of spinach

This robust in green leafy vegetables is not only full of vitamin C but also contains beta-carotene and numerous antioxidants. All of these components are powerful immune boosting compounds.

Spinach is best eaten slightly wilted. Avoid overcooking as this can destroy its health benefits.

Almonds

A handful of almonds can give you not just protein but also vitamin E. This fat soluble vitamin can fight infections and power up your immunity effectively.

Green Tea

can green tea boost immunity

Green tea has become popular recently mostly because of the health benefits it has. It is rich in a compound called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which possesses powerful antioxidant properties.

In addition to this, it also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which stimulates the release of T-cells (soldiers of the immune system).

Papaya

papaya to boost immunity

This orange delight is loaded with beta-carotene and vitamin C. It also contains papain, an enzyme which has anti-inflammatory properties.

A small bowl of papaya every morning can give your immunity the boost it deserves to handle the day’s onslaught.

Sunflower Seeds

Seeds are now coming into fashion. Sunflower seeds contain vitamin B6, magnesium and phosphorus. There are also rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

Just sprinkle some toasted sunflower seeds onto your morning cereal or grind them up in a milkshake to give you the immune hit your body needs every day.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers, also called capsicum in India, are also rich in vitamins C and beta-carotene. As previously discussed, these can enhance your immunity and reduce your chances of falling ill frequently.

Closing Remarks

There are umpteen number of fruits and vegetables that are good for health. The list above is not an exhaustive one but discovered some of the common fruits and vegetables we can consume in our daily diet that can boost our immunity.

Dr Vivek Baliga B
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Dr Vivek Baliga B

Consultant Internal Medicine And Cardiovascular Sciences at Baliga Diagnostics Pvt Ltd
Dr Baliga is a consultant in Internal Medicine and Cardiology with an interest in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He received his training in India and the UK where he completed his post graduate training and his doctorate. He then completed his MBA from University of Phoenix, USA. He has completed the post graduate program in Cardiology from Johns Hopkins University and participated in the Advanced Certificate Course in Diabetes from the Cleveland Clinic, USA. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Lipid Management from Middlesex University, UK. He is the managing partner of Baliga Diagnostics, Bangalore. He is also the founder of HeartSense and is a keen advocate of patient empowerment, having written almost every article on this website and more. In his spare time, he enjoys running and spending time with his son. Find Dr Vivek Baliga on LinkedIn here - http://heartsense.in/linkedin.
Dr Vivek Baliga B
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