Knowingly or unknowingly, you might have used variety of foods for healthy immune system. Having a healthy and strong immune system is always a must for our body, as it will keep you away from diseases like asthma, allergy, cancer and diabetes. Immune system is considered to be the soldier of your body, as it protects you from all kinds of illness. Our immune system will l daily fight against various toxins, pollution, viruses and bacteria. To maintain a healthy immune system, the first step is to change our eating habits. We must consume nutritious foods to build up our immune system. In case of severe diet or malnutrition, these nutrients will become scarce, and thus affect our immune system. Hence, it is always recommended to maintain a balanced diet.
A proper diet along with proper workout, will play a vital role in our well-being. You must always be keen to choosing the foods you eat. Always select foods which are rich in nutrition and also which contain the essential minerals required for human body to survive. Avoiding specific foods like sugar and other processed foods, will help you to strengthen and develop your immune system.
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Bok Choy and Arugula are considered to be the members of Cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C and E, which contain disease-fighting phytochemicals. Many of the health experts recommend including these cruciferous vegetables in your regular diet, as they are rich in fiber and minerals. These vegetables have various health benefits, like protect against cancer, reducing oxidative stress, and etc. Cruciferous vegetables contain “Sulforaphane”, which is considered to be the most important nutrient. This nutrient will boost the liver’s ability to flush out and detoxify all the carcinogens which will damage the cells in our body.
Note: Maximum amount of Sulforaphane is offered by Broccoli. Hence, this vegetable must be consumed in several serving per week.
Fruits are the powerhouse of essential minerals and vitamins. Fruits with more number of antioxidants enhances you immune system. Citrus fruits are considered to be the best sources when it comes to boosting our immune system. As they are a great source for Vitamin C which produces infection or disease-fighting antibodies, which prevents the entry of most of the viruses.
Kiwi is one of the best low-calorie fruit to boost your immune system. It is filled with Vitamin C as the main source of advantage. If you are maintaining a balanced diet, its very much essential to include fresh kiwi fruit shakes in your regular diet plan. This will help to strengthen your immune system. Fruits like oranges, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, grape fruit and guava are considered to be rich in antioxidants which will promote healthy immune system.
Note: Guava is a fruit which is an excellent source of skin-healing Vitamin C.
Salmon, Mackerel and Trout come under the category of fatty fish. These foods are rich in selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. High amount of selenium in our body helps to reduce cancer. Where as Omega-3 fats will increase the activity of phagocytes(cells), and can eat up the bacteria to fight against flu. A recent survey says, pregnant women who consume loads of fatty fish can build up a good immune system of their babies. This will also help them to bring down the risk of allergies.
Meat is a good source of natural and essential nutrients that our body requires. Meat is a rich source of protein and provides amino acids, which help you to maintain a healthy body. Red Meat also contains iron and zinc, which contributes to the growth of immune system. Red Meat is a food which is rich in vitamin-B and Omega-3 fats. These things will help you to fight against all the diseases and boost your immunity system.
Nuts are the most tasty, healthy and nutritious foods. They have low saturated fat and are rich in protein, fibre and phytochemicals. These bite-size nutritional nuts are the best sources of Omega-3 fats, vitamin E and selenium, which contribute a lot to build up your immune system. Eating nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios regularly will lower the cholesterol levels and improves your immunity. Walnuts provides rich amount of Omega-3 fats, where as almonds are filled with vitamin E and pistachios are good source of fiber. If you sprinkle these three nuts in your salads, it will be a nutritional punch.
Sesame, pumpkin, watermelon, sunflower and flax seeds are excellent sources of Omega-3 fats. These foods will help our body to autoimmune diseases like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. They contain good amount of zinc, a front-line warrior. These seeds contain lots of essential minerals and vitamins which are required to our body. These seeds can be eaten raw, and can be cooked or baked. You can also sprinkle these seeds on your salads or muesli.
Vitamin A is the most important nutrient our body requires. This nutrient keeps our eyes healthy and also promotes bone growth. One more important fact about Vitamin A is that, it acts like an antioxidant and fights against diseases to keep our immune system strong. Root crops like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, collards, and beet greens are the rich sources of vitamin A and have many nutritionals and health benefits. Pumpkin is the best food which has fewer calories and it is rich in vitamin A.
A survey by various health experts suggests that, consuming good amounts of tea and coffee can boost your immunity system. Tea is a pack of poly-phenols, and these are the compounds associated with increased antibacterial activity. Green tea is rich in poly-phenols and other antioxidants. This will contribute a lot to foster your immune system. Tulsi is one of the best herbal tea loaded with antioxidants. These two are the best types of tea which will increase our immunity.
Drinking tea helps our body to stop reacting to allergens like pollution and dust. Health experts suggest drinking 4 cups of green tea per day to help the immune system to function to its peak.
These are the foods for healthy immune system. Having these foods in you diet will give you loads of nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. These acts like a formidable armour and strengthen to your immune system. Maintain a diet chart which includes all these foods in proper proportions. You can also prepare few simple healthy recipes with these foods by making it more tasty and healthy.
Devi Gajendran is a Post Graduate in Nutrition (University of Madras, Tamil Nadu) and has tons of experience in Fitness and Nutrition. She is the chief advisor and full time contributor at the Fit Indian and has the final say on all the segments under the Fit Indian paradigm, such as beauty, fitness, home remedies, diseases, diet tips, weight loss, weight gain and so on. A foodie herself, she believes in the Hippocrates quote,” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A fitness enthusiast, she believes that the combination of diet and exercise can work wonders. When she is not sharing her valuable knowledge about food and fitness, she likes to spend quality time with her family members, do some healthy baking and listen to soft soulful music.
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