Specific foods can help build up a strong immune system and keep you healthy. Your immune system includes proteins, tissues, cells, and organs that work together to fend off pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and other foreign bodies that lead to disease or infection.
When a pathogen comes into contact with your immune system, your system will trigger a response that releases antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to antigens, which kill pathogens.
By adding specific foods to your diet, you can strengthen your immune system. Let’s explore eight foods that do just that!
These superfoods have healing properties that will surprise you and show real results. Eat these ingredients to boost your immune system and make you feel your best.
Anthocyanin, a type of flavonoid that is in blueberries, has antioxidant properties that may boost the immune system. They also help play a vital role in the immune defense system of one’s respiratory tract. According to a study published in 2016, people who consume foods rich in flavonoids are less prone to getting common colds and upper respiratory tract infections compared to those who don't.
Curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, is a compound found in turmeric. Turmeric is a yellow spice used in cooking. It is also popular in alternative medicines; a review from 2017 claimed that turmeric may improve a person’s immune system.
Sulforaphane, which is a potent antioxidant, can be found in broccoli, and it’s also another source of vitamin C. It’s an excellent vegetable to add to your diet and to eat regularly as it helps support your immune system.
Sweet potatoes get their orange color from a type of antioxidant called beta carotene. This antioxidant is a source of vitamin A found in sweet potatoes, and it also helps keep the skin looking healthy and protects against UV (ultraviolet) rays that are known to cause skin damage.
Teas, desserts, and a variety of dishes use ginger. Ginger has antioxidants and is an anti-inflammatory element that offers many health benefits. There is still more research that needs to be done to determine if ginger can prevent illnesses effectively.
Much like the flavonoids found in green tea and blueberries that reduce colds, the small dose of caffeine found in green tea is a great substitute for black tea or coffee. Drinking green tea is an excellent way to strengthen your immune system.
Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, sunflower seeds are an excellent addition to breakfast bowls or salads. The tasty seeds have vitamin E, which improves the immune system by protecting your cells from being damaged by free radicals. They’re also fun to eat!
For people under the weather or feeling a cold developing, a vitamin C rich food to eat is a kiwi or an orange. The two fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C that helps to reduce common cold symptoms. Though scientists aren't yet exactly sure how the fruits help, the overall improvement to the immune system is undeniable.