Immune system or immunity is the ability of the body’s self-defense mechanism, which fights with infectious organism every day. The immune system is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs. Because of this, immunity helps to prevent infections. But sometimes problems with the immune system can lead to illness and infection.
The immune system attacks organisms like bacteria and substances which causes diseases. Two types of White blood cells (WBC) also called leukocytes in combination destroy disease and disease-causing organisms or substances. For instance, many parts of the body produce or store the Leukocytes, including the thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. These organs are also called lymphoid organs. There are also bunches of lymphoid tissue all over the body, predominantly as lymph nodes, that house the leukocytes. Similarly, the leukocytes circulate through lymphatic vessels and blood vessels in the body.
Above all, our immunity works hard for us, as an army. In another word, it fights with harmful organisms, bacteria, and viruses, to keep us well. Microorganisms are present everywhere. However, we can’t control living thing in our environment, there are some simple strategies we can follow to help immunity do its job even better.
How can you improve your immunity?
On the whole, your immunity does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes a germ invades successfully into the body and makes you sick. Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations. Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response.
In order to avoid getting sick, the best way is eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Specifically, vitamin A, B, C, E, iron, copper, and zinc. Also, take care of your gut health. As 70% of the immune system is based in the gut, and sleep well every night. Researchers are discovering the effects of diet, workout, age, psychosomatic stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. The general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immunity to the upper hand.
Healthy-living strategies such as these:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Try to minimize stress.
Nutrition to Boost Immune System
- Protein plays a vital role to boost the body’s defense mechanism. Therefore, eat plenty of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin A helps to regulate the immune system. It also protects from infections by keeping the body healthy. Eat foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods labeled “vitamin A fortified,” such as milk or cereal.
- Vitamin C shields you from contamination thought-provoking the development of antibodies and boosting immunity. Include more of this healthy vitamin in your diet with citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or foods fortified with vitamin C, such as some cereals.
- Vitamin E works as an antioxidant. It also neutralizes free radicals and improves immune function. Include vitamin E in your diet with fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils (such as sunflower or safflower oil), hazelnuts and peanut butter.
- Zinc helps the immune system work properly and also help wounds heal. Zinc can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds, and nuts.
- Other nutrients, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron, as well as prebiotics and probiotics, also may influence immune response.
Foods to Boost Your Immune System
Apples are one of the most popular fruits. An apple in a day keeps the doctor away. Therefore, they are exceptionally healthy fruit. Similarly, research suggests that high fruits and vegetables in the diet may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Apples also have very strong antioxidant activity. Additionally, it can inhibit cancer cell proliferation and decrease lipid oxidation. It can also help in lowering the level of cholesterol. Apples contain a number of phytochemicals, such as quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid. Similarly, these compositions vary greatly between varieties of apples. There are also small changes in phytochemicals during the maturation and ripening of the fruit.
Apples deserve to be called “Nutritional Powerhouses”.
- Vitamin C: Natural antioxidant capable of blocking free radicals. It also boosts the body’s resistance against infectious agents.
- B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6): They maintain the health of red blood cells and the nervous system.
- Dietary fiber: High fiber in the diet can help prevent the development of certain diseases and may help to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol.
- Phytonutrients: Apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds”. These phytonutrients also help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals.
- Minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
It is so easy to take carrots for granted. The carrot is a widely used vegetable. It certainly does deserve a place in our daily cuisine. Carrots come in different variety like orange, yellow, purple, white and red carrot. However, all varieties have impressive health benefits.
Important nutrients and Importance
- Vitamin A and Beta-carotene
- Cardiovascular benefits of carrots
- Leukemia support
- Useful in Prostate cancer
- Protect from peeling away the skins
- Optimal health
Orange juice boost immune system by providing a variety of vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin C is abundantly found in 100% orange juice. Similarly, Vitamin C protect cells and promote the production and function of immune cells which strengthens our immune systems. Additionally, one glass of orange juice provides 120% of your recommended daily value, making orange juice an excellent source of vitamin C. Similarly, Vitamin D helps immune cells fight off bacteria and viruses that get into the body. Fortified orange juice is a good source of vitamin D, providing 15% of the Daily Value in an 8-ounce glass. Improving cell communication can help boost our immune response when encountering infection. 100% orange juice has many beneficial plant compounds which support a healthy immune system.
This fruit grows in clusters on the tree, like grapes. It comes in a variety of colors including yellow, pink and red. While low in calories, grapefruit is full of nutrients. In particular, they’re a good source of vitamin A, which is important for supporting the immune system and keeping the eyes and skin healthy, folate, which is key for a baby’s development during pregnancy, and vitamin C, helping to maintain healthy skin. It also contains some magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Similarly, grapefruit juice may reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin resistance.
It is a popular beverage that provides a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and potent antioxidants. It is particularly rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant with impressive health benefits.
Therefore, tomato juice is highly nutritious and full of many important vitamins and minerals. Drinking just 1 cup (240 ml) of tomato juice nearly covers your daily needs for vitamin C and fulfills 22% of your vitamin A requirements in the form of alpha and beta-carotenoids.
Further, carotenoids are pigments that are converted into vitamin A in your body. It is also a concentrated source of powerful antioxidants like lycopene, a carotenoid plant pigment that has been linked to impressive health benefits. Similarly, Lycopene protects your cells from free radical damage, thereby reducing inflammation in your body.
Beetroots is popular because of its ability to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve athletic performance. Additionally, beetroots have a remarkable nutritional value that includes the number of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also contain unique bioactive compounds called betalains, which may benefit a person’s health. People can also acquire these benefits from taking complete beetroots or in the form of juice. Beet juice also contains antioxidants.
100 ml organic beetroot juice, contains 29 calories, no fat, and the following nutrients:
- Folate, which is important for DNA and cell health
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B-6
- Calcium, an essential mineral for bone growth and strength
This fruit is sweet in taste and also have powerful antioxidant content. Strawberry does not rapidly increase blood sugar, hence, it makes them an ideal choice for diabetic patient. Therefore, this fruit is completely safe, delicious addition to any diet. Due to their high polyphenol content, strawberries might have a preventive effect against heart disease. Polyphenols are important plant compounds that are good for the body. Additionally, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. however, these are all essential nutrients that support the body’s daily functioning. Strawberries also contain powerful antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol. One cup of sliced, fresh strawberries, or 166 g, contains a range of important nutrients in the following amounts:
- Calories: 53 kcal
- Folate: 40 micrograms (mcg)
- Vitamin A: 28 international units (IU)
Watermelons can be consumed for any good reason in summer, picnics. Additionally, their refreshing quality and sweet taste help to combat the heat. There are five common types of watermelon: seeded, seedless, mini (also known as personal), yellow, and orange. Many studies have revealed that increased consumption of watermelon decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease. The watermelon also helps in promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight. Watermelon also contains thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene, and betaine.
9. Pumpkin seed
These seeds are also considered as a good source of healthful oils, magnesium, and other nutrients. They also enhance the health of the heart, bones, and other functions. Seeds, in general, are considered excellent sources of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Plant seeds are also a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and antioxidants. The fatty acids in pumpkin seeds contain a range of beneficial nutrients, such as sterols, squalene, and tocopherols. Pumpkin seeds are also a source of magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium.
10. Red Bell Pepper
Red-colored capsicums are easy to spot in any vegetable market. They are also called Red Bell Peppers. They are mostly used in salads, stir-fries, also in Pizzas. Unlike red chilies, they are quite mild and sweet in taste. However, Red Bell Peppers are easy to cook and add an element of crunch to your dishes. They are also quite juicy and can be eaten raw without hesitation. Apart from its cooking benefits, Red Peppers are also favored for their nutritional value. Also, Red Bell Peppers are a luscious means of imparting vital minerals and vitamins to your diet. Similarly, they are encumbered with antioxidants. Red Peppers also offer more than 200 % DV of your daily Vitamin C intake. Therefore, regular consumption of these amazing veggies can prevent anemia, vision disorders, and even Cancers.
- Red Bell Pepper Calories: 46.2
- Total Carbohydrates: 3.1 gm
- Protein: 1.5 gm
- Fiber: 3.1 gm
- Vitamin A: 93 % DV
This belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family. It also includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens. These nutritions also supply bundles of nutrients. However, the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality can be minimized by consuming broccoli. It also helps to promote health and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight. When eaten in its natural form, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution. It also reduces wrinkles and improves overall skin texture.
This is also known as Allium sativum. It is used as a flavoring in cooking, but it has also been used as a medicine throughout ancient and modern history. It also prevents and treats a wide range of conditions and diseases. Additionally, it closely resembles the onion. It has been used by humans for thousands of years and was used in Ancient Egypt for both culinary purposes and its health and therapeutic benefits. Similarly, the antibacterial and antiviral properties garlic was reported in many kinds of literature. It also stimulates the production of white blood cells and can act as an antioxidant in the body.
Additionally, garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system. It also can be used for the treatment of heart diseases like including atherosclerosis, cholesterol, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and hypertension. It is also used for the prevention of various cancer. Apart from this, it also shows anti-inflammatory effects.
In Asian and Indian cuisine Ginger is also one of the most used ingredients for cooking. It has also been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Because of its health benefits include relieving nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, and pain, this has been used extensively. Just like cardamom and turmeric, Ginger also belongs to family Zingiberaceae. Countries such as India, Jamaica, Fiji, Indonesia, and Australia are the main producer and supplier of Ginger. It is also available in fresh, dried, extracts, ginger oil, tinctures, capsules, and lozenges. Similarly, foods that contain ginger include gingerbread, cookies, ginger snaps, ginger ale, and a wide variety of savory recipes.
100 gm of fresh ginger root, contains
It is a dairy product made by fermenting milk with yogurt culture. It also provides protein and calcium, and it may enhance healthy gut bacteria. Health benefits range from protecting against osteoporosis to relieving irritable bowel disease and aiding digestion, but these depend on the type of yogurt consumed. However, Added sugar and processing can make some yogurt products unhealthy. It is often first pasteurized, then fermented with various live bacteria cultures, and incubated at a specific temperature to encourage bacteria growth. Yogurts also contain high protein, calcium, vitamins, and live culture, or probiotics, which can enhance the gut microbiota. Additionally, it protects the bones and teeth and helps prevent digestive problems. Similarly, low-fat yogurt can be a useful source of protein on a weight-loss diet. Probiotics also boost the immune system. Most literature claims that Yogurt also improves brain functioning.
15. Green tea
The immune system can be enhanced whether you prefer green or black tea. Both provide disease-fighting antioxidants (polyphenols and flavonoids) that protect against free radicals and help destroy them. One study also showed that catechins, a particular type of polyphenols in tea, kill certain viruses. Another study showed that people who drank 5 cups a day of black tea for two weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink. Both black tea and green tea are rich in L-theanine, an amino acid thought to help enhance immunity that’s found in both regular and decaf versions.
Green tea is a native of China but is now found all over the world. However, Green tea remains one of the most easily accessible, and most popularly consumed, teas. We know that different teas can help with different ailments, but green tea is often called a “Super Tea” – and with much reason. Green tea also helps in skincare, weight loss, and increase life expectancy. Similarly, Green tea is loaded with “flavonoids and polyphenols highly powerful antioxidants.” Consuming foods and drinks that are high in antioxidants gives our bodies the defense they need from fighting illnesses—like the common cold—and serious diseases—like cancer. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage.” Incorporating foods like green tea into our diet will help strengthen our bodies by raising our immune system, which may actually prevent some illnesses from flaring up.