Immunity Improvement – What you can do.

Your immune system plays a very important role, that of defending you from disease causing germs, viruses, parasites, fungi etc. It always does its best, but can sometimes overpowered, causing a germ to invade successfully and make you sick.  

How can one prevent this? The best way is by making the immune system stronger. 

If you are looking for ways to improve your immune system, your first easiest step is by making dietary changes. Head to your grocery store and include these food items in your pantry. 

Garlic– The humble kitchen staple does more than enhance the flavor of your food. Raw garlic can help beat skin infections thanks to its ability to fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi. To get the benefits, you have to use the real stuff, packed garlic powder, salt, paste etc

Broccoli– Super easy to find in a grocery store and supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Broccoli is rich in Vitamins A, C and E and also fibers and many antioxidants. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible, steaming is the best way to keep the nutrients in the broccoli.  

Button Mushrooms– They are rich in selenium and B vitamins riboflavin and niacin that play a vital role in a healthy immune system. 

Yogurt– Probiotics found on yogurt may ease up the severity of colds.  Yogurts also have added vitamin D that helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases. 

Spinach– These bright green leaves are rightly called a “Super food.” Spinach is rich in folate that helps the body make new cells. It is also rich in fiber and numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Eat spinach raw or lightly cooked to get the most benefit.      

Green Tea– It is packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant.  Green tree is also rich in another powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is known to improve immune function.  

Carrots & Sweet Potato– They are rich in beta-carotene. In your body that turns into vitamin A, neutralizes damaging free radicals. This helps bolster the immune system and may even improve the aging process. 

Ginger– This knobby root is rich in antioxidants. That may help decrease inflammation that can help reduce a sore throat. Ginger also helps with nausea and vomiting. Antioxidants work best in your body when you get them straight from fruits and veggies. 

Turmeric – Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity (1). Turmeric, which is antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, is also prebiotic that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut.

Citrus Fruits – Vitamin C in citrus fruits like oranges, kiwi, lemons, sweet lime, amla etc. helps build up the immune system. Vitamin C reduces the duration of the cold symptoms.  

Almonds – These nuts come packed with Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant and a key to a healthy immune system.  Vit E is a fat-soluble vitamin that needs presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Luckily Almonds are also rich in many healthy fats making it perfect immunity boosting food.  

Chicken– This bird is rich in Vitamin B6, that is important for many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity. 

Shellfish – Zinc that is present in abundance in shellfish is also vital for the functioning of our immune system. Crabs, mussels and prawns are rich in zinc.  

Red Bell Peppers – These bright red peppers are not just super rich in Vitamin C, but they also are rich in beta carotene. While Vitamin C helps boost immunity, beta carotene gets converted to Vitamin A in the body and neutralizes damaging free radicals. 

Besides including the above foods in your daily diet, you can also make a few healthy lifestyle changes.  Making the below mentioned lifestyle changes will not just help your immune system, but also your mind, your body and your overall health. 

  1. Quit smoking.
  2. Get daily 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week.
  3. Get adequate good quality sleep (more than 7 hours a day). 
  4. Reduce stress. 
  5. Maintain personal hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. 
  6. When it comes to drinking, practice moderation. Avoiding will be better. 
  7. Ditch sugar and processed foods. 
  8. Drink plenty of water. 

Sometimes even with lots of sleep and vitamin C, superheroes get sick. It’s OK! The key is to take time off to recharge (and avoid getting others sick). In no time, you’ll be donning your cape again. But for your health and the health of those around you, make sure you’re fully supercharged before you do. 

Reference:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17211725/ 

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Rithika Rajgopal

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