The benefits of living a healthy life can never be overemphasized. While many know the benefits of staying healthy, most people do not know how to attain a healthy living. Well, we have carefully selected eight, out of the very many foods that boost the immune system of the human body. Read through for a better understanding of how to care for your immune system.
Although the human body can never be devoid of sicknesses or deficiencies; to a certain extent, one can train the body in such a way that it would be able to resist unwanted forces. To be able to achieve that, the body needs to be fed with nutrients that will boost the immune system.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by external invaders. It defends the human body against disease-causing micro-organisms. It is like the soldier in the body that protects it from its enemies – diseases; communicable or non-communicable.
How to Boost Your Immune System
To boost your immune system, two things are involved – eat right and live right. This piece would dwell more on the former. But to lay little emphasis on the latter, living right means adopting healthy-life strategies proven to be of great significance in the course of boosting the body’s immune system.
Some of these healthy lifestyles include adequate exercise, less smoking and drinking, maintaining a good body weight, control of blood pressure and much more. While these have not been scientifically proven to be the major way of boosting the immune system; taking cognizance of these factors will go a long way in giving your immune system the upper hand.
Eating right simply means taking those foods that are high in the essential nutrients needed for a strong immune system. Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and malnourished, are more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
The immune system is like an army; soldiers of this army need care and attention to be able to function well. Hence, the need for good nourishment of the body. Your diet plays a vital role in strengthening your immune system. Having said that, the following are foods that would boost your immune system.
Foods That Boost The Immune System
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins needed to boost the body’s immune system. Scientific researches have proved that vitamins A, C, and E are particularly useful in building immunity. It’s a known fact that most people turn to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. But apart from helping with cold, the vitamin increases the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections.
To keep a healthy body, eat lots of citrus like grapefruits, tangerines, oranges and their likes. Vitamin A which plays a vital role in bone growth, reproduction, and immune system health, can be found in foods like carrots, dark leafy green, and sweet potatoes. Vit. E is found in large content in Dark leafy greens and avocado. Intake of these fruits, alongside other vegetables will help boost the body’s immunity.
Yogurt is very rich in essential nutrients that can boost the immune system. It contains Probiotics which are essentially good bacteria that help boost the immune system. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in yogurt and help stimulate your immune system. These bacteria keep the gut and intestinal tract free from disease-causing germs.
Garlic contains active compounds that may help reduce the risk of infection in the body. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin – a compound that can help fight infection and bacteria. Studies have suggested that garlic lovers who eat more than six cloves a week have a 30% lower rate of colorectal cancer and a 50% lower rate of stomach cancer.
4. Iron-Rich Foods
Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in immune function. Iron helps the body carry oxygen to the cells. A deficiency can occur if your intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day. Iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue. You will find iron in foods like offals, spinach, legumes, and shellfish.
5. Zinc-Rich Foods
Zinc helps regulate the immune and digestive systems. Known for its immune boosting properties, zinc helps with reduction of stress levels, energy metabolism, and an increased rate of healing for wounds. You can find zinc in oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans, and yogurt.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are good sources of Vitamin A, which plays a vital role in bone growth, reproduction, and immune system health. One of the best ways to get vitamin A into your diet is from foods containing beta-carotene which your body turns into vitamin A. Apart from sweet potatoes, other foods rich in beta-carotene are carrots, dark-green leafy vegetables, squash, romaine lettuce, dried apricots, red peppers, fish, and organ meats.
Studies have shown that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. Some of the health benefits of eating mushrooms include improving nutrition and immune system function. The beta-glucan fibers found in the cell walls of mushrooms stimulate the immune system to fight cancer cells and prevent tumors from forming.
Of course, the presence of fluids in the body is a very vital factor for attaining healthy living. Water, tea and any other form of fluid are needed in the body to keep it up and running. However, not all fluids help keep the body healthy.
Black and green tea are good sources of L-theanine, the amino acid responsible for an immune boost. Studies have revealed that those who consume lots of black tea or green tea have virus-fighting interferon in their blood.
It is important to stay hydrated to prevent constipation and help regulate body temperature. Deficiency of fluid in the body can result in dehydration which can lead to headaches and irritability. Avoid sweetened beverages like sports drinks and juice, as too much sugar in your body can cause inflammation and further weaken the immune system.