When your immune system is boosted, your body is better able to fight off viral and bacterial infections. This can lead to improved overall health, greater protection from colds and flu, and faster recovery times.
Boosting your immune system also helps reduce inflammation and improve the functioning of the organs that make up your immune system—the lymphatic system, spleen, thymus, and bone marrow.
There are a few ways to boost your immune system naturally, such as eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, managing stress levels, and supplementing with vitamins or herbs like Echinacea.
Of course, other treatments may be part of this conversation, but there are certain foods that we can turn to that have long been known as immunity boosters. Here are superfoods you should consider adding to your diet if you want a stronger immune system.
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Foods That Boost the Immune System
An easy way to boost the immune system is by having a daily dose of yogurt which is full of probiotics or good bacteria. This help fights off harmful bacteria in the gut that can make us become ill more easily. To maximize the benefits of yogurt, look for brands that contain live active cultures like bifidobacterium and lactobacillus.
Garlic has powerful health benefits. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years around the world. Garlic is also known for its immune-boosting properties. Thanks to its active ingredient called allicin, which helps fight off infections and strengthen the body’s natural defenses. Plus, It has naturally occurring compounds that are antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal. All of which can help boost your immunity.
3. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are high in vitamin C — an essential nutrient for immune system health. Vitamin C can help improve the body’s white blood cell count, which is important for fighting infections. Citrus fruits also contain flavonoids that may help reduce inflammation and increase immunity.
4. Red bell peppers
Another food that may boost the immune system is red bell peppers. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, almost three times more potent than oranges. Vitamin C is necessary for proper immune system functioning and helps to ward off diseases like pneumonia, malaria, and typhoid fever.
Ginger is another superfood when it comes to immune health. It’s been used for centuries as a natural remedy to help fight off colds and flu. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help decrease inflammation in the body while boosting your immune system.
Berries like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can help protect the body from disease. They contain polyphenols, which can help lower inflammation and protect the body from oxidative damage. Studies have also shown that blueberries can help reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and boost cognition.
7. Bone Broth
Bone broth has become a popular home remedy for many common illnesses. It contains proteins, minerals, and amino acids that can help boost immunity. Bone broth may also aid in digestion, fight inflammation, and even promote better sleep. For a nutritious boost of immunity, consider adding bone broth to your diet.
Chicken, turkey, quail, and other poultry are great sources of zinc, which plays an important role in the functioning of our immune systems. Zinc helps with wound healing and can help fight off viruses and bacteria that cause illness. Poultry can also provide you with several essential B vitamins, which are important for keeping your metabolism running. When you are sick, chicken soup may help you get better fast.
Spinach is good for us because it has a lot of Vitamin C. It also has antioxidants and beta-carotene that can help our bodies fight infection better. Not to mention spinach is also rich in folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, and manganese. Folate helps produce DNA, magnesium encourages proper functioning of the immune system, potassium helps keep blood pressure in check, and iron carries oxygen to our cells.
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is essential for the healthy functioning of the immune system as it helps your body fight off infection-causing free radicals. Eating almonds can help keep your immunity strong and protect you from common illnesses like colds and flu.
11. Green Tea
Green tea is high in antioxidants and polyphenols that can help support the immune system. It may also prevent cardiovascular disease and support better digestion. Green tea has been known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties, which can help ward off illness. For an extra boost of immunity, consider adding a few cups of green tea to your daily routine.
12 . Turmeric
This golden-colored root is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help reduce symptoms of colds and other illnesses. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been used to treat a variety of ailments. Turmeric may be beneficial for digestion as well. Studies suggest that it may help decrease inflammation and boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone that plays an important role in the health of neurons.
Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants, and some even contain vitamin D — a nutrient that many of us don’t get enough of. Vitamin D is important for our immune systems because it helps regulate the expression of genes related to immunity. Maitake mushrooms, also known as hen of the woods, are especially beneficial and known to stimulate the immune system.
Broccoli contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. High in vitamins A, C, and E, which help boost the immune system. It’s also a good source of many other antioxidants and fiber. Eating broccoli raw or lightly cooked is one of the best ways to get the most nutrients out of it.
Take a look at the 12 Most Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Foods