The key to protecting your body against infections is to boost your immune system. When bacteria or viruses attack the body, the immune system starts to defend your body and reduce the illness. Junk food and unhealthy fats can weaken your immune system. But eating healthy foods can boost your immune system and keep your body healthy. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to keep its strength and to fight infections.
Eating healthy food, drinking enough water, and washing your hands can strengthen the immune system to fight Coronavirus. To boost your immune system you should also sleep well and stay active to keep your body strong.
When you are sick, a healthy diet is vital for you to give the immune system a chance to kill infections. So giving your body all the nutrients it needs can help improve your immunity. This also helps your body to fight any infectious diseases.
So here are 13 foods that can provide your body with all the nutrients you need to strengthen the immune system:
Foods That Boost The Immune System:
Broccoli is rich in vitamins C and E. Vitamin C fights free radicals that cause damage to the immune system. So vitamin C helps with boosting the immune system and keep your body healthy.
It also contains other antioxidants like glutathione that helps to protect your body from diseases. Antioxidants can support the immune system.
2- Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits include:
These fruits are a good source of vitamin C that can strengthen the immune system. Most people eat oranges or drink orange juice when they catch a cold. A study showed that vitamin C reduces the duration of common cold symptoms. But researchers believe its effect is still not clear. Vitamin C can also boost the function of the immune system.
Moreover, fortified orange juice contains vitamin D which can reduce respiratory infections. A study showed that vitamin D supplements protect your body against acute respiratory tract infection.
People have used ginger as a natural remedy since ancient times. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can relieve the pain of a sore throat. It helps also reduce nausea and vomiting. So ginger can decrease inflammation and support immune system health to fight off infections.
Egyptians, Greek, and Romans have used garlic for health purposes for centuries. Garlic contains a compound called allicin which can boost the immune system.
A study showed that garlic supplements that contain allicin can reduce the risk of a common cold.
Spinach contains antioxidants and beta-carotene which help improve immune responses. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body to get rid of free radicals. Spinach is also rich in vitamins C and E which boost the immune system. A study showed that flavonoids in spinach decrease upper respiratory tract infections in healthy people.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach contain folate which repairs and forms DNA. Folate helps also with tissue growth.
Researchers have found that turmeric has medicinal properties. People in Asia have also known turmeric and used it in different dishes. The main ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which may boost the immune system.
A study showed that oral curcumin supplementation reduces inflammation. it also decreases exercise-induced muscle damage.
7- Red Bell Pepper
Peppers are full of vitamin C. In fact, red bell peppers have twice as much vitamin C as oranges. They contain also antioxidants, beta carotene, and vitamin E. So they can help support the immune system and keep your body healthy.
You should eat food high in vitamin C as our body doesn’t make or store it. So choose fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C to keep your body and skin healthy.
8- Sweet Potatoes
Carrots and sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, the main source of vitamin A that can support the immune system. Vitamin A also gives your body the ability to fight off diseases.
Vitamin E in almonds can improve immune responses and reduce infections. Research showed that vitamin E strengthens your body to fight off infectious diseases. Two ounces of almonds can provide your body with fats, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients help to keep your body healthy.
Eating yogurt can support immune system health. Probiotics found in yogurt have a significant effect on boosting immune responses. Yogurt is also rich in vitamin D which plays a role in regulating the immune system. And this helps your body to fight infections.
Eat plain yogurt with no sugar added, you can add fruits to it instead. Buy yogurt with labels say “live and active cultures”. Also, buy the one that fortified with vitamin D. This can support the immune system and reduce the incidence of influenza infection.
11- Green Tea
Flavonoids in green tea reduce upper respiratory tract infections. Green tea contains also EGCG which is an antioxidant that can boost the immune system. Green tea contains l-theanine, an amino acid that supports the immune system. And it decreases cold and flu symptoms. It also defends your body against microbes and infections.
Kiwi can provide your body with vitamins C and K, potassium, and folate. These nutrients can strengthen your immune system to fight infections.
13- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can boost the immune system. It can also fight infections and inflammation. Theobromine, an antioxidant found in dark chocolate fights free radicals and destroys them.
Also, dark chocolate contains flavanols that can improve blood circulation. Flavonols protect the skin from UV and UVB rays.
What You Should Avoid:
- Soda contains too much sugar which affects the immune system. Sugar makes it hard for the immune system to fight infections.
- According to the Nutrition Journal, processed food may weaken the immune system. It also increases the risk of auto-inflammatory disease.
- A study showed that consuming too much alcohol has a negative impact on your immune system health.
- Refined carbohydrates turn into sugar in your body. And, as we mentioned, sugar isn’t good for your health.
- People who smoke are more prone to develop infections like influenza. Smoking lowers also protective antioxidant levels in the blood.
Foods that boost the immune system are full of the nutrients that your body needs to keep its strength. There’s no evidence that any of these foods can treat coronavirus. but they can support the immune system to fight infections.
To strengthen the immune system you should:
- Eat healthy food.
- Drink enough water (at least 2 liters per day).
- Exercise 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes,
- Maintain good hygiene: take a shower, wash your hands, and trim your nails.
- Sleep tight (7-9 hours).
There’s no cure for coronavirus until this moment. But these steps can help boost the immune system to fight viruses. So add these foods to your diet to support immune system health.