Foods that Strengthen your Immune System

If your immune system is strong and healthy, you can decrease your chances of getting sick and recover faster from diseases.

See what nutrients and foods you should include in your diet to improve your immune system.

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is recognized for its antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps maintain skin integrity, which acts as a protective barrier against infection.

Vitamin C sources: fruits like oranges, mandarin, guava, strawberries, acerola and lemon are rich in vitamin C and also broccoli, peppers etc.

2. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and stimulate your immune system.

Studies show:

  • Probiotics may reduce the risk of developing upper respiratory tract infections by up to 42%
  • Sick people who regularly consume probiotics are up to 33% less likely to need antibiotics.

Make probiotic foods a regular part of your diet. Probiotic sources are kombucha, kefir of milk and kefir of water, in addition to supplements of powdered or encapsulated probiotics.

3. Iron

Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in immune function.

A diet low in iron can contribute to anaemia and weaken the immune system.

Prioritize the intake of iron-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, cruciferous vegetables and dried fruits.

Combining iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C can help increase their absorption.

It is important to remember that too much iron in the blood can also be harmful and suppress the immune system.

4. Garlic

Allicin, the main active compound in garlic, improves the ability of your immune cells to fight colds and flu.

In one study, participants who consumed garlic extract when they were ill reported 21% fewer symptoms and recovered 58% faster than the placebo group.

 5. Coconut oil

Researchers report that coconut fats can help fight the types of bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, sinusitis, dental cavities, food poisoning and urinary tract infections.
You can easily add coconut oil to your diet by using it instead of butter or vegetable oils while cooking or baking.

6. Nuts and Seeds

They are rich in selenium, copper, vitamin E and zinc, among other nutrients.

All of these play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Sources: Brazil nut, almonds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower etc.

7. Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can weaken your immune system and increase your sensitivity to infections.
One study reports that vitamin A-deficient children were 35% more likely to suffer from respiratory symptoms compared to those with normal vitamin A levels.
Foods that are rich in vitamin A are: carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, dried apricots, fish and organ meats.

 

Consuming the foods listed above regularly can strengthen your immune system and help reduce the frequency with which you get sick.

It is vital to prioritize real food and maintain healthy habits to increase your immunity.

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