Increase Your Immunity Through Immunity-Boosting Foods
Domlur, Bengaluru Feb 22, 2017
It is often said that you are what you eat. Immunity is perhaps the keynote factor that decides your health. You can increase your immunity through immunity-boosting foods.
Human beings have two kinds of immunities functioning within them: Active Immunity and Passive Immunity. The vigor of these two forms of immunities varies amongst individuals and degenerates as one grows older. However, immunity can be made to stand the test of time with the right kind of diet and lifestyle. Let’s have a look at some foods to boost immunity.
Vitamin C is a crucial non-essential vitamin that the body requires. Fruits, vegetables, and other edibles belonging to the citrus family are blessed with plenty of vitamin C. This vitamin helps accelerate and enhance your immunity system in several ways. Here’s how:
• Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen which is crucial for the formation of connective tissues, skin, and bones.
• Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C protects the body against common cold.
• Vitamin C has been found to regulate the blood pressure thus helping to lower it and keep the blood pressure stable. This is evidenced by analysis of years of research by John Hopkins scientists. The scientists concluded that taking large doses of Vitamin C may moderately reduce blood pressure.
• This vitamin has also been proven to play a role in minimizing the chances of heart attacks, cancer, osteoarthritis, and other major diseases.
Vitamin C is thus a major immunity booster. Since the human body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C consumption of food items, particularly from the citrus family is the only possible method to take in vitamin C. Foods that are rich in vitamin C include
Garlic is subtly included in almost every cuisine around the world and rightly so. For garlic is a little pocket of magic for the human immunity. Since the earliest of civilizations, garlic has been known to fight infections and improve immunity. According to research, garlic has also been noted to play a role in the lowering of blood pressure, discourage the hardening of arteries, and prevent Alzheimer’s.
Allicin is an active compound found in garlic which is the reason for it being a medicinal wonder. Garlic is an immunity-boosting food that has a little bit of every nutrient that our body needs. Some of them include manganese, Vitamin B6, Fiber, Selenium, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, etc.
Yogurt is the complete package for human health. It tantalizes the taste buds, refreshes the soul, and helps to boost immunity. Yogurt is rich in probiotics, which plays a crucial role in bringing relief to the body.Probiotics are essentially a group of bacteria belonging to the Lactobacillus family and are associated with the well-being of the intestines.
Here’s how yogurt plays an active role in building your immunity:
• It is a rich source of vitamin D and helps build stronger bones and muscles.
• According to research done in 2013, vitamin D is also actively associated with the function of tissues and human immunology.
• Yogurt helps to keep the digestive tract clean and protected from disease-causing agents.
• Yogurt is also known to boost the body’s natural defense against diseases.
As kids, we’ve all been encouraged to devour our greens. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are excellent for the immune system. According to researchers from ULCA, broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane that plays a pivotal role in boosting immunity. Broccoli is also filled with a myriad of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, and E. It is also rich in antioxidants and aids the regeneration and rejuvenation of cells.
Another leafy green that is associated with the good health of humans is Spinach. A vegetable of Persian origin, Spinach is a great food for boosting immunity. Let’s look at the benefits of spinach:
• It is an instant energy booster and helps restore vigor and activity.
• These green leaves have also been known to improve the quality and blood and aid its cleansing.
• Spinach also increases vitality and brings about the feeling of agelessness.
• Spinach is rich in iron and plays a primary role in the formation of red blood cells.
• Spinach is a great source of vitamin K that aids blood coagulation.
• Besides, spinach is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Magnesium etc.
Ginger finds its use extensively as a condiment in the culinary world. Because of its ability to heal, it has been used for Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicines for more than 4700 years. Ginger belongs to the same family as turmeric and cardamom, all of which are powerful immune-improving foods.
The medicinal aspects of ginger can mainly be attributed to the presence of a chemical called gingerol in it. Gingerol is an antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps keep the immunity intact. Besides that, it has also been known to fight the common cold and lower cholesterol levels.
Almonds are tiny, compact, healthy and perfect snacks. Rich in good cholesterol, almonds have been known to boost energy levels since ages. Besides that, almonds are fortified with immune-boosting nutrients such as fiber, protein, Vitamin E, Fats, Magnesium, Manganese, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus, etc.
Thus, almonds aid anti-ageing, vitalization of memory, and immune improvement. Due to a substance called phytic acid in the nut, almond has an auto mechanism that prevents the excessive absorption of iron, zinc, calcium, etc. than required by the human body.
Like almonds, sunflower seeds are healthy snacks that can be consumed anytime. However, sunflower seeds are a unique edible item with much less popularity. The uniqueness of sunflower seeds can also be attributed to the fact that it is loaded with nutrients that are essential yet rare to find in other food items. Sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin E, Selenium, Thiamine, Copper, Phosphorus, etc. Sunflower seeds are thus perfect snacks to boost the immune system.
Green tea, consumed as a beverage has recently gained monumental popularity owing to its association with weight loss and anti-ageing. However, those are not the only benefits of green tea. Here is some more:
• Green tea is a rich source of flavonoids that bring about the rejuvenation of the body and its functions.
• Amino acids such as L-theanine are also found in green tea. L-theanine is a compound that aids the manufacture of germ-fighting antibodies in the T-cells.
• A compound called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is preserved in green tea. EGCG is a highly effective anti-oxidant.
• Green tea is also associated with anti-cancer properties and management of auto-immune diseases.
• This beverage has also been noted to be effective in protecting the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are a favorite among the spice lovers and are extremely healthy for the immune system. These peppers have a substantial amount of vitamin C and are also rich in a compound called beta-carotene. According to studies, beta-carotene is associated with the acceleration of the immune system. Besides that, beta-carotene also keeps the skin young, and the system vigorous and active.
A secret of the Indian Ayurveda since centuries, the healing effect of turmeric is no ordinary one. It has been in use for years in households for treating the common cold, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, and injuries. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are unbelievably large-scale, and it can truly help the body build its defence and maintain a strong immune system.
Papaya is a perfect summertime fruit owing to its power to detox and purify. A digestive enzyme called papain found in it is also been linked to anti-inflammation and cooling. According to various researchers and publications, fermented papaya up to six weeks is a brilliant immunity-boosting food. This is mainly due to an enzyme called superoxide dimutase. Immunity building vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, and folic acid, and Vitamin C are also found in this fruit.
Thus, even though your body’s defence starts deteriorating as you age, you can help to build it up and increase your immunity through immunity building foods. Include them in your diet in balanced proportions to enjoy a disease-free, strong, and active life.
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