A strong immune system is essential for everyone to protect the body from diseases and infections. The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic made us understand the necessity of having sound immune health. Now the question arises, can we boost our immunity naturally? The answer is yes!
A well-balanced, healthy diet and an active lifestyle are the keys to enhanced immune health, but we are blessed with some foods that directly impact our immune health.
Some foods and health supplements act as powerful immune boosters and must be a part of a regular diet.
Natural Immune Boosters
Let’s review some natural immune system booster foods and their mode of action:
- Citrus foods: Citrus foods like amla, orange, lemon, limes, tangerine and grapefruit are vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C is rated as one of the best immune boosters as it promotes the synthesis of disease-fighting blood cells in the body.
- Broccoli: Include broccoli in your daily diet if you want robust immune health. This superfood is packed with nutrients like Vitamin A, C and E, known for their powerful antioxidant action along with potent anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.
- Berries: Berries like strawberry, blueberry, cranberry and blackberry are natural immune system booster foods as they contain flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that naturally support our immune function.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are good microbes that live in our gut. They are natural immune boosters that help maintain a healthy gut barrier and prevent the entry of harmful pathogens into our bloodstream.
- Bell Peppers: Bell pepper is one of the best immunity booster food due to its high vitamins A and C content.
- Green Tea: The advantages of green tea are pretty evident. It is popularly consumed for weight loss, but it is an excellent immunity booster drink as well because of the high antioxidant levels of EGCG and flavonoids.
- Turmeric: Remember our elders recommending drinking turmeric milk every day or applying turmeric paste over wounds? This ancient spice is one of the popular immunity boosters for covid as well. The credit goes to its powerful compound called curcumin, having anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Leafy vegetables like spinach, mustard, bathua and fenugreek leaves are loaded with immune system booster vitamins A and C.
- Garlic: You may not prefer eating garlic due to its sharp odour but do not miss that it provides strength to fight viral infections or in case you catch a cold due to its high allicin content.
- Nuts and Seeds: Foods like almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds are packed with essential nutrients like vitamin E, omega-3 fats, selenium and zinc that are potent antioxidants which is key to a healthy immune system.
Immunity Booster Products
You can combine supplements like immunity booster tablets or drinks with natural food sources into a regular diet to strengthen your immune health and enjoy the health benefits. Here are a few commonly available products to assist our immune system function.
- Vitamin C or amla extract tablets or capsules
- Immunity booster powder or capsules of herbs like ashwagandha, ginger, turmeric, Triphala, black cumin and neem.
- Immunity booster drinks, for example, amla, giloy or aloe vera juice and herbal juices.
- Immunity booster kadha containing herbs and spices like tulsi, cinnamon, black pepper, mulethi and many more.
- Ayurvedic immune boosters containing a blend of ayurvedic herbs.
Immunity and Lifestyle
Boosting your immune system does not only mean consuming the foods or health supplements mentioned above. Our lifestyle also plays a notable role in good health and healthy living. If you are aiming to work on the ability of our immune cells in fighting infections, practice these healthy living strategies:
- Avoid smoking and drink only in moderation.
- Make stress-reducing activities a part of your routine, like connecting with your family and friends, practising meditation, involving in hobbies. Such activities promote a better immune response.
- Have a regular exercise schedule in the form of yoga, any sport or gym.
- Overweight and obesity are directly associated with a weak immune system; hence it is good to maintain a healthy weight.
- You must have a regular sleep cycle for healthy immune health and aim to sleep for at least 7-8 hours every day. Sleep helps in the reduction of stress hormones and improve overall health.
To sum up, increasing immunity is not a difficult task. Add a variety of foods to your diet, stay hydrated, exercise regularly and maintain basic hygiene. But even after all these, you tend to fall sick frequently; it is advisable to seek medical advice.