One of the best ways to keep your immune system strong is to eat foods that are healthy and rich in antioxidants. Very often we sabotage our immune system by not taking care of our diet, or managing stress and when that happens, the body becomes incapable of fighting off infections like colds and flu as well as loses the overall resistance to chronic ailments.
If your lifestyle is responsible for the breakdown of your immune system, now is the time to spring clean it, and give it the much needed tune-up. The way to start is to let go of all the health habits that are doing damage to your body. A good diet rich in antioxidants can do wonders to your immune system. Here are the some immune system boosters that must be a part of your diet.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps to keep infections at bay because they contain immune-boosting antioxidants. Including fruits and vegetables to your diet will therefore improve your health. The three chief antioxidant vitamins found in fruits and vegetables are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Fruits and vegetables that are colourful – red, orange, yellow, purple and blue — are rich in these antioxidant vitamins.
Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: Some examples are apricots, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, carrots, mangoes, pumpkin, squash, spinach, tomatoes, and watermelon. Vitamin C: Berries, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi, orange, papaya and strawberries are a few examples of foods rich in Vitamin C.
Vitamin E: Broccoli, carrots, nuts, pumpkin, spinach, and sunflower seeds are foods that are rich in Vitamin E.
Berries: Berries are known to be rich in antioxidants and can fight inflammation. Acai berry, for example, has gained the super food status because it is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins that slows down the ageing process and helps the body fight disease.
Watermelon: Ripe watermelon contains the antioxidant glutathione that keeps the immune system strong enough to fight infections.
Almonds: Almonds are rich in Vitamin E which helps to boost the immune system. They also have riboflavin and niacin, B vitamins that can protect the immune system from being affected by stress.
Garlic: Garlic has been used for time immemorial for being a good medicine to treat cough, cold and chest infections. It is known for its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Garlic is loaded with vitamins B1, B6, iron and phosphorus. Its immune boosting properties are mainly attributed to its active ingredient allicin that helps to prepare the body in fighting infections.
Other examples of immune system boosters are prunes, plums, raisins, sprouts, apples, beans. It is recommended you get your daily dose of antioxidants from fresh produce but if you cannot do so, there are multivitamin supplements that can help to boost immunity and improve the body’s defense mechanism