Let’s get to the point. As a Registered Nurse, I taught health classes for many years. The bottom line is that a strong natural Immune System is the defense mechanism of our bodies. When a foreign invader/germ enters your blood stream, your body activates its innate Immune System to kill that foreign body. We do our best to avoid consuming pharmaceuticals or taking shots when at all possible. Personally, in our family, that would be a near last result.
Instead, we protect ourselves with immune-boosting foods that include a combination of vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and other compounds which boost our immunity. The following are foods known to enhance immunity.
1: Green leafy vegetables
Spinach? Greens? Broccoli? These amazing veggies are full of antioxidants, vitamins (vitamin A, C, E), minerals, and fiber. These nutrients increase the infection-fighting ability of our Immune System. Green vegetables provide a bioactive compound to enhance the immunity of the gut. Always try to eat these veggies raw or minimally cooked to retain their nutrients.
2: Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and Garlic are herbs famous for their flavor and medicinal properties. Both have been used medicinally to treat cough and cold. Ginger is loaded with gingerols, paradols, and other powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidants to boost your immunity. Garlic contains allicin which reduces the risk of acquiring a cold. A daily cup of ginger tea acts as a health tonic.
3: Dry fruits and nuts
Powerful antioxidants are key to a healthy immune system. Vitamin E-containing nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews are great sources of antioxidants that help keep you fit. A handful of raw almonds is a convenient, healthy snack. They are also high in protein and fats which keep energy levels higher for longer periods.
4: Turmeric and other Indian spices
Indian spices like turmeric, clove, black peppercorns, and cinnamon are all immunity-boosting. They cleanse the body and raise its defense mechanisms. Turmeric is a bitter, yellow spice commonly used in cooking. It contains curcumin which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the body. Curcumin is an immunity booster and also acts as an antiviral. A cup of kadha or decoction of these spices can help improve your immunity.
5: Dairy products
Yogurts and smoothies are some yummy foods that can increase your immunity. Probiotics are good bacteria present in your gut for digestion. Low-fat yogurt and fermented dairy products such as kefir are rich in probiotics which can actually boost your immunity and keep you healthy. These products are also rich in proteins, fats, and vitamins, helping to enhance your immunity.
Button mushrooms are loaded with selenium and vitamin B complex that help to boost immunity. A good mushroom omelet loaded with veggies works wonderfully to improve your immunity.
7: Meat and fish
Whether it is chicken, beef, pork, or seafood, all are loaded with protein that our bodies need to build and repair tissues. When you have a cold, a bowl of chicken soup feels like heaven. The protein in chicken contains amino acids that help to form antibodies against infection. Shellfish such as oysters and crab are packed with zinc to help keep you strong.
Egg yolks are full of nutrients that enhance immunity. Egg contains vitamin D and proteins which help to keep you safe from cough and cold.
9: Sweet potatoes
Many kids love having sweet potato pancakes with eggs. This is actually very beneficial as sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene which increases white blood cells, ultimately increasing immunity.
Berries like Blueberry, Elderberry, and Acai berry are full of antioxidants that help your body to fight against infections.
11: Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts immunity and reduces cough and cold duration by improving immunity.
12: Brown rice
Brown rice is loaded with magnesium which promotes a healthy nervous system. Fiber content also improves one’s digestion.
A cup of black tea can improve mood and boost immunity as it is full of antioxidants. Various teas including green and Anise tea contain polyphenols and flavonoids that are credited to boosting immunity.
Besides healthy immunity-boosting foods, there are other ways to enhance your immunity such as –
- Exercising regularly, especially outside
- Getting adequate sleep
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Minimizing stress
- Maintain hygiene- handwashing and bathing
- Drink more water
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.
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Good article! Once, I had a cold with a fever, you know, the totally miserable kind. So I took a stockpot, a big one, stewed a chicken in it, took it out and and put the meat in, added lots of onions, garlic, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, maybe some greens. and that stuff was hot. I sucked it down all day. By evening, I was totally well. Tomatoes go well with it too; any veggies you want. But it’ll kill a cold; I’d say it’s a good immune system lifter. I like your articles like this one, they help me remember all the stuff I need to have around!
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Awesome recipe! Thanks for sharing. You have a lot of common sense and seem to know just what your body needs to heal.
Good to hear from you and keep taking good care of yourself.
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Great info, need reminding !!!
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