Boosting your immune system is not rocket science, and it takes work. You won’t improve your health overnight, but if you get started early, you’ll be on the right track. If you are looking for the best immunity-boosting foods for your body, below is the list.
1. Meat and Cheese
Saturated fat being bad for you is a myth. Your brain is made up of 60% fat, and fat is the structural component of your internal organs. The best sources of healthy fats are not hydrogenated industrial oils or vegetable fats; it is animal foods. Good sources like raw A2 dairy, hard cheeses, and fatty red meat are the best. Nutritious foods like lamb, beef, pasture-raised chicken, and turkey are great for your immunity system. They are loaded with vital nutrients like B12, Choline, Coq10, Inositol, Taurine, and other essential vitamins, all of which are known to be natural immunity boosters.
Organ meats like liver, heart, kidneys, and thymus are loaded with zinc which is a nutrient essential for fighting against infections. A zinc deficiency causes infertility, poor cognitive function, and an impaired immune system. Organ meats are considered a superfood because they contain much higher nutrition than the recommended daily allowance (RDA). This is why it is essential to have them once or twice a week and not eat them daily due to vitamin overdose risks. But for those with a weak immune system, it is recommended to start eating them more initially and later moderate consumption according to individual requirements.
2. Citrus Fruits
Most people think of hydration when they start talking about citrus fruits. But the true benefit of consuming citrus fruits is the organic vitamin C. Synthetic vitamin C tablets don’t do any good for you and have a poor absorption rate. Natural vitamin C from citrus fruits like kiwis, pineapple, oranges, and other fruits boost red blood cell production, fight infections, and boost your immunity. Men require about 90 mg of vitamin C daily, while women require a minimum of 75 mg. Your body doesn’t make its vitamin C, so it is essential to consume it from other sources. If you’re severely deficient in this nutrient, you can incorporate fresh wild berries like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries into your diet. They contain antioxidants, which prevent oxidative stress and protect against free radical damage, making them one of the best immune-boosting foods.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Legend says that the first sweet potatoes were grown by Native Americans in 1492 when Columbus landed, but some say that their history dates back to Peru in 750 B.C. Sweet potatoes are available all year round and are loaded with heart-healthy vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin A, and just a single serving provides up to 400% of your daily requirement. Vitamin A keeps your heart, kidneys, and reproductive organs functioning well. Natural carotenoids are antioxidants that protect your cells from free radical damage. Other nutrients contained in sweet potatoes are magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, zinc, iron, vitamin C, and calcium.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has theobromine, which helps boost immunity and keep cells safe from any forms of radical damage. It is high in antioxidants and saturated fat and protects the skin from signs of photoaging. An important point to note is that most benefits are derived from pure dark chocolate; if it is organic, even better. There is some caffeine in dark chocolate, and those sensitive to theobromine may have concerns. The caffeine content in dark chocolate is too little and has negligible effect, and it is not high enough to keep you awake at night. Many studies also show that cocoa in dark chocolate works as a vasodilator and improves blood flow over time with moderate consumption.
5. Pink Salmon
Wild caught fatty fish like Pink Salmon from Alaska’s waters are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats have a good balance of EPA and DHA, nutrients that are essential for lowering inflammation and enhancing immunity. Fatty fish is also good for the brain, heart, and sexual health. Farm-raised salmon may have some contamination concerns, so wild-caught fish are recommended.
If you cannot get salmon, other suitable alternatives would be oysters, sardines, and anchovies. These fish have astaxanthin, a compound used to reduce the risk of heart disease, and it balances your cholesterol profile and improves the level of “good cholesterol” in your body.
The primary nutrition source of eggs is the yolks. Many types of eggs are available, but the most popular are pasture-raised chicken and duck eggs. Quail eggs are smaller and contain fewer calories; however, they are a powerhouse of nutrition.
Most eggs have reasonable amounts of healthy cholesterol, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, riboflavin, and various essential nutrients. They contain protein and are a very beneficial addition to your diet. The vitamin A found in eggs is good for the eyes and helps boost your natural immunity. Some vitamins and minerals in eggs prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin, thus allowing you to look younger and age slower.
Nuts are powerful in boosting the immune system because they contain a host of essential vitamins and minerals. They are filling, make a great addition to desserts, and you can find them integral to every cuisine. Almonds are very healthy for your hair, nails, and skin, and they contain vitamin E, an antioxidant responsible for healing inflammation, signs of premature ageing, etc.
Cashews are high in monounsaturated fats, prevent blood clots, and have vital minerals for bone health. They are also considered a brain superfood and help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Chestnuts are great for enhancing immunity and relieving respiratory ailments, and peanuts are known for supporting collagen production and preventing skin elasticity from decreasing. You can try nuts such as brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, and pecans.
8. Pumpkin and Carrots
Pumpkins and carrots give a nice beta-carotene boost, and your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A which is essential for eye health and immunity. Carrots make for a great low-calorie snack. Pumpkins are incredibly healthy and have varying amounts of phosphorus, zinc, folate, and B vitamins. Some studies show that the antioxidants in carrots and pumpkins can fight off infections and germs and reduce the risk for chronic conditions like eye diseases, cancer, diabetes, and more.
9. Indian Household Spices
Indian spices like saffron, cardamom, pepper, and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties and have been used as traditional medicine for centuries. The antioxidants in them can fight against cancer cells, and herbs like cardamom are also used for treating bad breath. In general, herbs and spices are great for improving one’s overall health and immune system. If you have high cholesterol, you can incorporate cinnamon into your diet and use it in the kitchen. Cinnamon is especially great for healing from cellular tissue damage and regulates bad cholesterol levels in the body.
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This list of immune-boosting foods will get you started on your stronger immune system journey. It is not merely some foods that will boost your immunity, but your lifestyle and diet. If you eat unhealthily and junk food the rest of the time, it won’t work. Focus on making these foods a part of your lifestyle and eat them as part of your natural diet.
If your immune system has been weakened throughout your life, and you are prone to diseases, it can take a while to remedy it. Boosting one’s innate immunity can take a few months, provided one eats healthy and avoids processed foods.
The best fruits for boosting immunity are apples, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, blueberries, watermelon, and pineapple.
Probiotic foods are loaded with beneficial bacteria that improve gut health and boost the immune. The best probiotics are water kefir, kombucha, green tea, camel milk, and sauerkraut.
Vitamin D which is derived from sunshine is great for boosting the immune system. You can take a vitamin D supplement if you have low vitamin D levels,
Shellfish, poultry, gouda cheese, beans, and beef are the top zinc foods for boosting immunity.