Choose Foods that Boost Immunity and Fight Infection: One way you can actively contribute to maintaining your health and wellness is to make sure your food is rich in nutrients that support the immune system.
When nutrients are obtained from whole food sources like fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods or supplements, your body uses and absorbs them more effectively. In contrast to concentrating on just one or two in significant quantities, it is crucial to have a range of these foods and nutrients in your diet. The better your plate looks with a range of options from the list below, the more colorful it will be.
Choose Foods that Boost Immunity and Fight Infection
1. Vitamin C – Citrus Fruits & Greens
White blood cell production is supposed to be increased by eating foods strong in vitamin C, such as grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, sweet red pepper, broccoli, strawberries, kale, and kiwifruit, which are essential for battling illness.
2. Beta-Carotene – Root Vegetables & Greens
Vitamin A, an anti-inflammatory vitamin that helps your antibodies react to poisons like viruses, is created when beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A. Beta-carotene is abundant in foods including carrots, spinach, kale, apricots, sweet potatoes, squash, and cantaloupe. Because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, eating foods high in healthy fats will help your body absorb it. Carrots and traditional hummus or a spinach salad with avocado or olive oil as the dressing would both be excellent immune-boosting combinations.
3. Vitamin E – Nuts, Seeds & Greens
Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, is essential for controlling and bolstering immune system performance. Among the foods high in vitamin E include spinach, avocado
4. Antioxidants – Green Tea
Antioxidants included in green tea have been shown to improve immune system performance. Additionally, it contains amino acids that may assist your T-cells produce germ-fighting substances that lessen body inflammation and support the body’s ability to fight infection. Green tea comes as matcha powder, boiling tea, or cold tea.
5. Vitamin D – Sunshine, Fish & Eggs
Immune system health and immune response regulation are both aided by vitamin D. Salmon, canned tuna, egg yolks, and mushrooms are all sources of vitamin D. In addition, your body can produce vitamin D with just 13 to 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight three times a week.
6. Probiotics, Gut Health & Immunity
Live cultures, commonly referred to as probiotics, are found in foods like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, tempeh (fermented soybeans), and some varieties of cheese. These cultures are supposed to assist boost the immune system’s ability to fight off illness. Probiotics may serve one of the most crucial roles for immunity because the microbiome, or the “good bacteria” in your digestive system, control how other nutrients and harmful bacteria are handled in your body. The microbiome serves as an additional defense against dangerous bacteria and fungi while also assisting you in processing the nutrients discussed in the remaining sections of this article.
7. Garlic – T-Cell Booster
Garlic includes components that stimulate cells necessary for combating disease and aid in the regulation of the immune system, among other methods, to assist the immune system fight viruses. It can help your body create fewer stress hormones and increase the number of virus-fighting T cells, both of which can help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
8. Vitamin B-6 – Lymphatic System Boost & Red Blood Cells
In addition to assisting in the maintenance of the lymphatic system, vitamin B-6 is crucial for the production of new, healthy red blood cells. The following foods are excellent sources of vitamin B-6: chicken, turkey, cold-water fish (salmon and tuna), chickpeas (classic hummus), bananas, fortified morning cereal, and nutritional yeast.
9. Water – Hydration & Immunity
White blood cells and other immune system cells are transported throughout the body via lymph, which is produced in part by water. Foods with a high water content include celery, cucumbers, and watermelon. Try a cup of green tea with lemon, watermelon, cucumber, or mint-infused water if you have trouble drinking plain water for a powerful immune-boosting brew. Consider maintaining optimum hydration as a technique to facilitate the delivery of immune-stimulating nutrients to your body’s target cells.
10. Zinc – Shellfish, Poultry, and Beans
Zinc is required for immune system cells to function as designed. Our bodies neither create nor store the mineral zinc. While oysters contain the largest dietary zinc level, additional alternatives include red meat, beans, poultry (chicken or turkey), shellfish (crab, clam, lobster, and mussels), and poultry (chicken turkey). Although some bread and fortified cereals also contain zinc, animal-based diets promote the best absorption.
“Having the tools you need, like the information provided here, gives you the framework to plan the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of eating to support a healthy immune system,” explains Tammy Ward, RD, a specialist in oncology nutrition at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Centre. As you analyze this data, you might want to think about including mindful eating into your strategy. Being present, focused, and tuned in to the joy of eating are all possible with mindful eating.
Additionally, this practice can aid in reducing stress, which can harm your immune system. Consider where your food comes from, the route it took to reach your plate, and its taste, texture, and aroma as you sit down to enjoy your meals, potentially with friends or family. The art of mindful eating encourages us to take our time, enjoy the present, and re-establish a connection with the food that sustains us. “Good food!”