Top 10 Immune Boosting Foods
Immune response is the natural response mechanism of the body to protect itself from foreign substances like bacteria and viruses that may be harmful to the body. Immune system helps the body to detect and fight against such harmful foreign substances. Although, immunity is a natural mechanism, there are several foods that can help you boost the immune response of your body.
Yoghurt is a wonderful food for your immune system. It is a rich source of Probiotics, the healthy bacteria that help the body fight against antigens and keep the gut and intestinal tract off any germs. According to researchers from the University of Vienna, a daily 7-ounce dose of yoghurt can be as effective in boosting immunity as immunity boosting pills.
Garlic is one of the best immunity boosting foods as it contains allicin, an active ingredient which fights infection and bacteria. A British study observed that people who took garlic in their diet for 12 weeks were two-third less likely to catch a cold compared with those who took placebo.
Fish like tuna, halibut, sardines, flounder, salmon and shellfish like oysters, mussels, shrimp, clams and scallops are good sources of selenium which helps the white blood cells to produce more cytokines-proteins. These protein help the body to remove flu viruses from the body. Fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring are also rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation thus protecting lungs from respiratory infections and other problems like cold.
Interferons are proteins that allow communication to trigger the protective defenses of the immune system against foreign substances. According to a 2-week long Harvard study, people who drank 5 cups of black tea every day had around 10 times more interferons in their blood than those who drank a placebo hot drink. Therefore, tea is a simple way to boost your immune response.
For centuries, people around the world have turned to mushrooms for a healthy immune system. Mushrooms have been a natural remedy for boosting immune system since ages. Even the recent studies show that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, thus increasing the immune response of the body.
Barley and Oats
Grains like barley and oats can be very good for the immune system as they contain beta-glucan which has more antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities than Echinacea. A diet rich in such grains is very helpful in boosting immunity.
Researchers from University of Nebraska consider chicken soup to be good for immunity after it was found to help block the migration of inflammatory white cells. The chicken as well as the soup's salty broth can increase the immune response of the body.
Zinc plays a vital role in the immune system and a deficiency in it can increase the risk of getting an infection. Beef is a rich source of zinc and is very important for the development of white blood cells, which helps the body fight against foreign substances like bacteria and viruses.
Our skin needs vitamin A to stay healthy as this helps in the production of connective tissues. Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene which our body can easily convert to vitamin A. Add some sweet potatoes to your diet for improved immune response.
Vitamin C containing Fruits
Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon. Fruits rich in vitamin C like orange, papaya, guava and strawberries can boost the immune response.