The question on everyone’s mind right now seems to be: How can I stay healthy? Between flu season and the COVID19, going all out to keep your health in check has never been more crucial. We want to be able to have a healthy immune system to fend off things that attack and weaken us – be it parasites, bacteria or the coronavirus. So, if you’ve been Googling “how to boost immune system” you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a look at nine types of immune boosting foods you’ll need to double down on your immunity arsenal.
Blueberries contain a compound called pterostilbene that is a notable player in boosting your immune system. Pterostilbene helps the CAMP gene function. This gene is the body’s first line of defense to combat bacterial infection, the study outlines. Blueberries also contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system. A 2016 study noted that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system.
2. Bone Broth
Bone broth is an aromatic broth simmered with beef or poultry bones and vegetables which many cultures have been making for years because of its many health benefits. Bones contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, the very nutrients that are needed for strengthening the immune system. Bone broth also contains lipids vital for the production of white blood cells. Regular consumption of bone broth can also aid with detoxification, metabolism, joint support and healthy skin. Our grandmothers sure knew what they were talking about!
4. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruits, clementines and mandarins are all powerful sources of vitamin C. Whether you choose to drink em or eat em, the vitamin C found in citrus fruits contributes to the improved health of your immune system by supporting cellular functions in both the innate adaptive immune system. Vitamin C also increases production of white blood cells that help protect the body against infection. If you’re not a fan of citrus fruits, consider taking vitamin C supplements which are plentiful and easy to find.
Who doesn’t love a good bowl of yogurt as a post-meal snack? Not only is yogurt delicious and convenient, it also tops the list of immune boosting foods. Yogurt is a great source of probiotics which support the body’s war against infections, viruses and bacteria. Other foods rich in probiotics are kefir, kimchi, kombucha, misoand sauerkraut.
Rich in protein, easy to cook and low in fat, lentils are loaded with immunity-boosting iron, zinc and vitamin B6, which create lymphocytes, infection-fighting white blood cells. Lentils also feed and help produce more of the good gut bacteria in our stomachs to keep us healthy.
8. Oily Fish
Salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers from Michigan State University and East Carolina University found that feeding fish oil high in the omega-3 fatty acid compound DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) seemed to boost activity of a white blood cell called a B cell, a vital part of the body’s immune response. And because of the particular way the DHA-rich fish oil worked in the mice, the researchers noted the finding could have special applications for people with compromised immune systems.
9. Dark Chocolate
The last food on our list may seem a bit of a surprise but believe it or not, chocolate can actually be good for the immune system. Chocolate contains cocoa and the phenolic compounds inside the cocoa can strengthen the defenses of our immune system and raise our resistance. Dark chocolate is also good for a nasty cough, especially one that does not want to go away. According to a study by the Imperial College in London, theobromine, an alkaloid in cacao, was better at suppressing a cough than codeine, an opioid used for mild to moderate pain and a common ingredient used in cough syrups.