The benefits of living a healthy life can never be over emphasized. While many know the benefits of staying healthy; some however do not know how to attain a healthy living.
Although the human body can never be devoid of sicknesses or deficiencies; to a certain extent, one can train the body in such a way it is resistant to some unwanted forces. To be able to achieve that, the body needs to be fed with nutrients that will boost the immune system.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by external invaders. The immune system defends the human body against disease causing micro-organisms. It is like the soldier in the body that protects it from its enemies -diseases; communicable or non-communicable.
How to Boost Your Immune System
To boost your immune system two things are involved; eat right and live right. Our post today would dwell more on the former even though the two cannot be completely alienated. But to lay little emphasis on the former; living right means adopting healthy-life strategies proven to be of great significance, in the course of boosting the body’s immune system.
Some of these healthy lifestyles include; adequate exercise, less smoking and drinking, maintaining a body weight, control of blood pressure and so many more. While these have not been scientifically proven to be the major way of boosting the immune system; taking cognizance of these factors will go a long way in giving your immune system the upper hand.
Eating right simply means taking those foods that are high in the essential nutrients needed for a strong immune system. Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished, are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. This goes to show that the saying “you are what you eat” did not not just emerge out of the blue.
The immune system is like an army; soldiers of this army need care and attention to be able to function well, hence the need for good nourishment of the body. Your diet plays a vital role in strengthening your immune system. Having said that; we have carefully selected eight, out of the very many foods that boost immune system of the human body. Read through for a better understanding of how to care for your immune system.
Foods That Boost Immune System
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins needed to boost the body’s immune system. Scientific researches have proved that vitamins A, C, and E are particularly useful in building immunity. Its a known fact that most people turn to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. But apart from helping with cold, Vit C increases the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections.
To keep a healthy body, eat lots of citrus like; grapefruits, tangerines, oranges and the likes. Vitamin A which plays a vital role in bone growth, reproduction and immune system health, can be found in foods like carrots, dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes. Vit. E is found in large content in Dark leafy greens and avocado. Intake of these fruits, alongside other vegetables will help boost the body’s immunity.
Yogurt is very rich in essential nutrients that can boost the immune system. It contains Probiotics –-which are essentially good bacteria – that help boost the immune system. Probiotics or “live active culture” are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and help stimulate your immune system. These live active cultures are healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal track free from disease causing germs.
Garlic contains active compounds that may help reduce risk of infection in the body. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin -a compound that can help fight infection and bacteria. Studies have suggested that garlic lovers who eat more than six cloves a week have a 30% lower rate of colorectal cancer and a 50% lower rate of stomach cancer.
4. Iron-Rich foods
Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in immune function. Iron helps the body carry oxygen to the cells. A deficiency can occur if your intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day . Iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue. Iron can be found in foods like; Offals like liver and kidney, spinach, legumes and shellfish.
5. Zinc-Rich Foods
Zinc helps regulate the immune system, and digestive systems. Zinc which is known for its immune boosting properties, helps with reduction of stress levels, energy metabolism, and an increased rate of healing for wounds. You can find zinc in oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans, yogurt.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are good sources of Vitamin A, which plays a vital role in bone growth, reproduction and immune system health, as mentioned earlier. One of the best ways to get vitamin A into your diet is from foods containing beta-carotene (like sweet potatoes), which your body turns into vitamin A. Other foods rich in beta-carotene are carrots, dark-green leafy vegetables, squash, romaine lettuce, dried apricots, red peppers, fish and organ meats.
Studies have shown that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. Some of the health benefits of eating mushrooms, includes improving nutrition and immune system function. The beta-glucan fibers found in the cell walls of mushrooms stimulate the immune system to fight cancer cells and prevent tumors from forming -studies have shown.
Of course, the presence of fluids in the body is a very vital factor for attaining healthy living. Water, tea and any other form of fluid are needed in the body to keep it up and running. However, not all fluids help keep the body healthy.
Black and green tea are good sources L-theanine -the amino acid responsible for immune boost. Studies have revealed that those who consume lots of black tea or green tea have virus-fighting interferon in their blood.
It is important to stay hydrated to prevent constipation and help regulate body temperature. Deficiency of fluid on the body can result in dehydration, which can lead to headaches and irritability. Avoid sweetened beverages, like sports drinks and juice, as too much sugar in your body can cause inflammation and further weaken the immune system.