According to Healthline, diet, sleep, and daily exercise is essential for overall health and wellness. It is more important than ever that we find ways to boost our immune systems as much as possible.
You can take an active role in maintaining your health and wellness by consuming a diet rich in nutrients that boost the immune system.
Your body utilizes and absorbs nutrients more efficiently when they come from whole food sources, such as fruits and vegetables, as opposed to supplements or processed foods. It is important to include a variety of these foods and nutrients in your diet, rather than focusing on just one or two in large quantities.
1. Vitamin C
Consuming vitamin C-rich foods such as grapefruits, oranges, sweet red pepper, broccoli, strawberries, and kiwifruit may increase the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infection.
2. Root Vegetables and Greens vegetables.
Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, an anti-inflammatory vitamin that can help your antibodies respond to toxins such as viruses. Beta-carotene is abundant in carrots, spinach, kale, apricots, sweet potato, squash, and cantaloupe. As vitamin A is fat-soluble, consuming foods with healthy fats will facilitate its absorption.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for immune regulation and support. Vitamin E-rich foods include nuts, seeds, avocado, and spinach.
4. Green Tea
It has been shown that the antioxidants in green tea improve immune system function. In addition, it contains amino acids that may aid in the production of antimicrobial compounds in your T-cells, thereby reducing inflammation and aiding in the fight against infection. Green tea can be consumed hot, cold, or as a powder called matcha.
5. Fish and Eggs
Vitamin D is necessary for immune function and helps regulate the immune response of the body. Salmon, canned tuna, egg yolks, and mushrooms contain vitamin D. Additionally, your body can produce vitamin D with just 13 to 15 minutes of sun exposure three times per week.
Yogurt, fermented Soybeans, and specific types of cheese contain live cultures, also known as probiotics, which are believed to stimulate the immune system to combat disease.
The microbiome or "good bacteria" in your digestive tract determine how other nutrients and harmful bacteria are processed in your body, making probiotics one of the most important immune functions. In addition to aiding in the digestion of the nutrients described in the remainder of this article, the microbiome acts as an additional barrier against harmful bacteria and fungi.
Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system combat pathogens in multiple ways, including by stimulating disease-fighting cells and regulating the immune system.
It helps increase the production of virus-fighting T-cells and can reduce the number of stress hormones your body produces, thereby promoting optimal immune function.
8. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is necessary for the production of new, healthy red blood cells and aids in the maintenance of the lymphatic system. Excellent sources of vitamin B6 include chicken, turkey, cold-water fish (salmon and tuna), chickpeas, bananas, fortified breakfast cereal, and nutritional yeast.
Water aids in the production of lymph, which transports white blood cells and other immune cells throughout the body.
Cucumbers, watermelon, and celery are examples of foods with high water content. If you find it difficult to drink plain water, try a cup of green tea with lemon, watermelon, cucumber, or mint-infused water as a beverage that supports the immune system.
Consider proper hydration as a means of facilitating the delivery of immune-boosting nutrients to the cells in your body.
Zinc is required for immune system cells to function as intended. Zinc is a mineral that the human body neither stores nor creates.
While oysters have the highest zinc content of any food, other options include shellfish, red meat, and poultry (chicken or turkey). Additionally present in fortified cereals and certain bread, zinc is best absorbed from animal-based foods.
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