We all live in a world where we worry more about size zero than a healthy body. But the truth is, following a strict diet and hitting the gym won’t help you attain that level of health. For that, you need to be strong from the inside; meaning you need to have a strong immune system. I too, dreamed of looking like a magazine model and for that I used to sometimes starve myself like a homeless pig and when I could not resist the temptation, I used to eat like a monster. That left me back to square one!
Then after getting some insights from my nutritionist, I decided to go for a complete diet change to boost my immune system. Immune system is the body’s natural defense against diseases, infectious organisms and invaders. Hence, improving your body’s immune is crucial and the only natural way to do it is eating the right food!
Sure, getting a flu shot or using a vaccine will help to keep germs away but at some point, you are prone to get exposed with some kind of virus or bacteria. At that point, your immune system is the one man army standing against everything to protect your body. Therefore, eating nutrient-rich foods is a life hack to boost your immune system naturally. On that point, I’m going to share you some of the nutrient-packed food that will not only enhance your immunity but also help to improve your body’s health as a whole.
1. Eat Fish
If you like fishing then it’s good, if you don’t then, go fish! Fish such as sardines, mackerel, salmon, herring and so on are highly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation, increase air flow and increase the functioning of macrophages (a type of white blood cells) improving the mechanism of phagocytosis (the process of engulfing bacteria by the phagocytic cells as a method of defense mechanism). One animal study conducted in Japan found that the nutrient present in fish may help ward off various strains of the flu. Hence, consuming two to three 4-ounce servings of fish is beneficial to improve your defense system.
Yogurt is perhaps the best source of probiotics that are highly beneficial for your gut and intestinal health. They are just as effective in enhancing your immunity as other immunity pills. Don’t just eat any yogurt out of the fridge. Go for yogurts that contains “live and active cultures” printed on the label such as Chobani, Fage, Stonyfield, Siggi Dannon and so on. These live cultures stimulates our immune system and helps to fight against severe diseases. In addition, yogurt is also also rich in vitamin D that boosts your bone health, regulating the immune system to maintain a perfect balance.
3. Bell Peppers
It might surprise you when I tell you this; bell peppers have twice as much as vitamin C as citrus fruits. Believe me, I was shocked as well! Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin B6 and folate, both of which are incredible to prevent anemia. To add more, these peppers are packed with antioxidants and lycopene which has been shown to boost immunity and prevent several cancers and tumors like prostate and lung cancer. The beta carotene present in it also keeps your eyes and skin healthy. Bottom line, bell peppers are the ultimate superfood for your immune system.
The history of turmeric goes way back and it’s no doubt turmeric is the super spice used in every food. Turmeric has anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties as it consists of a special compound, Curcumin. Curcumin boosts your immune system health by helping the body defend itself, boosting the white blood cell count to fight off bacteria, viruses and other invaders. Studies have also shown that the turmeric regulates the communication of white blood cells in the immunity, improving the efficiency of the immune system. But this is not it guys, turmeric helps to detoxify the body, particularly your liver.
You might also be interested in: 5 Health Benefits of Yellow Dock Detox Tea
5. Oats and Barley
Another magical food to add on your list are oats and barley. These grains are rich with beta-glucan which have antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities. They help to speed wound healing, reduce the risk of contracting diseases and might also help antibiotic works better. Aside from helping in digestion, these high fiber foods also control blood sugar levels, cholesterol, preventing heart disease, providing the required amount of vitamins and body for overall improvement of our immune system.
Due to the fact that they contain several important health benefits, mushrooms are now adays considered as ‘brain food’. Almost every edible mushrooms contain wide ranges of protein and fibre. They also contain B vitamins as well as a powerful antioxidant called selenium, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues. Surprisingly, mushrooms have also shown to have cancer preventing properties, by protecting our cells against DNA damage and reducing the tumor formation factors.
7. Almonds and dry fruits
Last but not the least, I have tasty almonds, rich in vitamin E that plays a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Other dry fruits like walnuts and dates are rich in niacin, riboflavin and other antioxidants that function to keep the cells new and healthy. Consuming nuts on daily basis also helps you to tackle with stress and depression better. You could have these in form of snack or mix it in your dessert or your smoothies to keep your metabolism well-functioned.