While you may take many preventive measures to keep your immune system strong, a small step – such as minding what you eat – can go a long way in reaching that goal for you. Here are 7 foods that help boost your immunity:
1. Citrus Fruits
Cold and flu are one of the most common ailments that can affect anyone, any time of the year. Taking Vitamin C ensures that you stay away from cold, or helps you recover if you’ve already caught it. Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruits are good sources of vitamin C. Your body cannot naturally produce or store this vitamin; therefore you need it on a daily basis for optimum health.
Garlic has a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin what help fight bacteria and infection. It has been used for centuries and its immunity-boosting benefits have been well recorded since early civilizations. Consuming one clove of garlic a day keeps cold and flu at bay. It may also help lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of arteries.
Yogurts contain probiotics, or “live and active cultures” – healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. As a healthy option, look for plain yogurt and add healthy fruits to sweeten them naturally. Yogurt is also a great source of Vitamin D, which helps regulate the immune system and boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.
Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E, which is essential for a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Almonds are known to have healthy fats, as well as Vitamin E. Half a cup of almonds can fulfil the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.
Turmeric is widely used in preparation of several curries in the sub-continent. However, this spice isn’t merely used for its bright yellow color. For thousands of years, turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes due to its anti-inflammatory properties in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also has high concentrations of curcumin which can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.
Ginger is useful in decreasing inflammation, which can help reduce sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. That’s why a lot of people use ginger after they get sick. Ginger can also help decrease nausea, chronic pain and even lower cholesterol.
When you’re down with fever or flu, it is often recommended to drink chicken soup. This is because chicken broth helps in curing cold and flu. Regularly drinking chicken soup improves symptoms of cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Chicken is high in Vitamin B6 which plays an important role in the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It also helps in the formation of healthy red blood cells.
To improve your overall gut-health and immunity, make sure you include some of these superfoods in your daily diet.