20 Foods Boosting Immune System
Immune system is the protective system of the body against malicious agents or enemies. Some foods boost immune system & increase it efficieny so must be included in our diet. Let’s starts with these.
Healthy bacteria are found in yogurt or curd that help eradicating disease causing agents like germs from the intestinal track or gut. These bacteria are termed as Probiotics or Live Active Cultures. The research date on immunity declared that the 7 ounce of yogurt was effective in boosting the immunity equally as the supplements in pills form.
Probiotics or good bacteria are also found in sauerkraut (shredded cabbage fermented in brine) which help in improving digestion & boosting immune system to work with more efficiency.
The products available in the market labeled with probiotics are not always clear how many good bacteria, the manufacturers add to the products or either the strains used for these are effective or not?
Kefir or kephir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains & contains many nutrients that help in boosting immunity.
Constituents of kefir
- Natural water (H20)
- Minerals like calcium, iron & iodine
- Nutrients like milk protein & sugar i-e polysaccharide
- Micro-organisms like yeast or bacteria forming lactic acid
- Fermentation Products like carbon dioxide, alcohol (ethanol)
- Vitamins or pro-vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folic acid (vitamin B9) &nicotinic acid
3. Chicken Soup
Chicken soups are beneficial for health as it ingredients act like different medicines which favor the body health & boost immune system.
- The salty broth added to soup keeps mucus thin, the same effect as cough medicines have.
- Spices such as garlic & onions added to soup can increase immune boosting power of the body.
- The cysteine (an amino acid) released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles acetylcysteine the drug used for the treatment of bronchitis so acts to relieve it.
- The research data shows that the chicken soup or products flavored with chicken blocks the inflammatory white blood cells migration & as a result the cold. The cold symptoms are a response to accumulation of such cells in the bronchial tubes.
- The study of population also shows that chicken soup is more effective in discarding pathogens like bacteria or viruses by running nose secretions. It hydrates & increases the temperature of the airway which favors secretion to flow greatly.
4. Black Tea / Green Tea
The consumption of black tea on the routine basis increases the level of interferons in the blood which enhance power or boost immunity against the viruses. The immune boosting ingredient is L-theanine found abundantly both in black or green tea.
Especially the green tea has immune boosting effect due to presence of polyphenols, the potent plant antioxidants. Cathechins a type of polyphenols found to kill influenza viruses is also present in green tea.
Avoid adding mild to green tea causes milk proteins to bind with polyphenols thus making it ineffective in boosting immune system.
For making green tea, a little lemon may be added to reduce bitterness & honey can be used instead of sugar. Use water heated just below the boiling point & don’t take more than two min to steep green tea.
5. Oats and Barley
These grains contain β-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial & antioxidant capabilities more potent than Echinacea (small genus of North American coarse perennial herbs) which boosts the immunity.
In humans, it boosts immunity and speeds up wound healing and may also assist antibiotics work better. The studies shows that the animals who eat this compound, those are less likely to infect with influenza, herpes & even anthrax.
Beef is the rich source of Zinc (Zn), which is an immunity booster mineral. The people with nutritional shortfalls especially vegetarians lack the primary source of immunity booster mineral & Zn deficiency in result increases the risk of infection. Zinc is important for the development of white blood cells, the fighter of immune system that recognizes & destroys the invading bacteria, viruses & other malicious agents.
Oysters are a great source of zinc, which can help strengthen T cells , the cells that detect germs.
Garlic contains an important ingredient Allicin which helps in combating against infections & also microbes. The studies show that the people with diet including garlic are less likely to catch cold & also have less risk of colorectal cancer and a 50 percent lower rate of stomach cancer comparatively.
Selenium (Se) is plentiful in shellfish such as oysters, lobsters, crabs and clams which helps white blood cells producing cytokines (a protective proteins) that help eradicate flu viruses out of the body.
Salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, increase the airflow and protect lungs from cold and respiratory infections.
Salmon is another great source of selenium.
The mushrooms have natural power to enhance the activity & production of white blood cells as a result of which these boosts (increases) the immunity. Mushrooms have been used since long for healthy life & preventing infection but its mechanism is known now.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Skin is the largest organ of the body covering the outer surface & acts as a first defensive organ to hinder immunity breaching agents to reach inside of the body. Skin requires vitamin A for its integrity & to maintain its role in boosting immunity which is acquired from β-carotenes, found richly in sweet potatoes.
The other foods that also boost the immune system are;
11. Cabbage is a great source of glutamine, an amino acid that is essential in maintaining a healthy gut.
12. Ginger is strong antimicrobial. Its root has great anti-inflammatory properties which make it best for boosting immunity.
13. Honey has great anti-bacterial properties & antioxidants make it a powerful immunity booster. It routine use improves digestion.
14. Lemon contains vitamin C which is an anti-oxidant & helps in immunity.
15. Oysters are a great source of zinc, which can help strengthen T cells, the cells that detect germs & kill them.
16. Salmon is another great source of selenium.
17. Spinach is full of all sorts of vitamins and nutrients to keep bodies well.
18. Tomatoes are also full of antioxidants.
19. Almonds are very rich in vitamin E which can spare upper respiratory infections so boost immunity as well.
20. Broccoli (a plant with dense clusters of tight green flower buds) is rich of vitamin & essential minerals so use of it boost immune system well.
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