10 Immune-Boosting Foods

23 Mar 2020

Stress, chronic illnesses, poor nutrition, poor sleep quality - these are just some causes of decreased immunity. This can cause a decreased resistance against infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, parasites).

One of the easiest and most effective ways of protecting the body from disease is to consume food and beverages that help boost the immune system.

Here are 10 foods that can help significantly boost immunity.

Garlic

Garlic is one of the best natural antibiotics. It can be used in any dish, helps prevent common colds and with gastrointestinal conditions. When garlic is chopped or crushed, it produces a compound called allicin, which helps prevent the growth and propagation of bacteria, fungal infections and stimulates the flow of digestive enzymes. A British study shows that people that consumed garlic extract for 12 weeks got sick less often than the test group.

Red meat

Red meat is a good source of protein and minerals that the body needs to function efficiently (iron, zinc, chromium, selenium). It helps boost the healing and recovery of the body during the convalescent period.

Eggs

Eggs are a source of the highest quality protein (with 8 essential amino acids), antioxidant vitamins (A and D) and minerals (iron, selenium, zinc). If an infection occurs, sped up protein losses can be quickly compensated for with eggs.

Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics, good bacteria that help keep the intestinal tract healthy. A Swedish study showed that those who drank yogurt rich in Lactobacillus reuteri, a probiotic that stimulates antibodies, were 33% less likely to get sick. The recommended daily dose would be 300 grams of yogurt per day.

Chicken soup

Cysteine is an amino acid that is released when we cook chicken soup. From a chemical point of view, it is similar to bronchitis medicine. This could explain why chicken soup is so great for treating colds and boosting the immune system.

Green tea

Green tea contains L-theanine, a substance capable of increasing the defence capacity of the body up to 5 times, by activating the lymphocytes in the blood, boosting resistance to attacks of bacterial, viral or parasitic infections.

Pepper

Pepper is rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A has a powerful antioxidant effect and can help overcome infections.

Turmeric

Apart from being a popular spice when cooking, it’s been a part of traditional medicine for centuries for its healing properties. These include the ability to increase the immune response in the fight against the common cold and influenza.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants that help inhibit the spread of bacteria and the formation of blood clots. It also helps stabilise blood sugar, thus reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also helps keep cholesterol levels balanced and fights bad breath.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, etc. contain a high amount of antioxidants and vitamin C that helps boost immunity.

Mushrooms

Since they contain high amounts of selenium and antioxidants, fungi are amazing at fighting off colds and they have an antiviral and antibacterial effect. They also contain vitamin B, which plays an essential role in maintaining immunity.

For a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, it’s recommended to consume a large variety of foods, reduce the consumption of saturated fats, sugar, salt and alcohol, quit smoking, get enough physical activity and sufficient sleep.

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