Small things, big impact. Nutrition and other lifestyle measures influence immune strength and susceptibility to infectious diseases. Now, more than ever, there is every reason to put what we do know about foods and immune defenses to use. While we have been such good hand washer, anti-bacterial wipers and door knob cleaners our immune system has had nothing to do. Start to power you up!
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E and nutrients. The small crunchy seeds contain selenium which helps to body fight certain type of cancer and helps to build your immunity. The antioxidant and vitamin E in the sunflower seeds fight free radicals and are even good for your skin. Add it in your salad or oatmeal.
Pumpkin seeds, with zinc, iron and Vitamin D are good for boosting the immune function. Pumpkin seeds also have anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It helps in cell growth, improves your mood and is even better for quality sleep. Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on your salad to reap its amazing health benefits.
The small chia seeds are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which is beneficial for enhancing immunity. It also reduces inflammation and regulates inflammatory responses in the body. You can make chia seeds pudding to increase your intake.
Cinnamon has also been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. It fights inflammation, ward of infection and heals damaged tissues. Cinnamon is high in immune-boosting antioxidants, have anti-diabetic effects and even help to cut the risk of heart disease.
Ginger is an antimicrobial, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory compound. It is effective in soothing sore throat, dispel nausea and intestinal gas. Due to its high antioxidant content ginger can enhance the immune response system. You can have ginger tea or ginger shot to increase the intake of the herb in your diet. You can also add finely chopped ginger in your food while preparing the meal.
Turmeric, bright yellow-spice is common in Indian cuisine as well as treating numerous health ailments. Curcumin, which is the main compound of turmeric has immunity-boosting potential. The compound activates white blood cells in the body, which in turn enhances its an antibody response
Including these in your diet may help give the immune system the boost it is looking for right now. The immune system relies on white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses, and other invaders. Feed them
Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants
Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables provide nutrients—like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E—that can boost immune function. Because many vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods are also rich in antioxidants, they help reduce oxidative stress.
Beta-Carotene: Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and boost immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body. Excellent sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamins C and E: Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help to destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response. Sources of vitamin C include red peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, lemons, and other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E sources include nuts, seeds, spinach, and broccoli.
Vitamin D: Research shows vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk for viral infections, including respiratory tract infections, by reducing production of proinflammatory compounds in the body. Increased vitamin D in the blood has been linked to prevention of other chronic diseases including tuberculosis, hepatitis, and cardiovascular disease. Food sources of vitamin D include fortified cereals and plant-based milks and supplements.7
Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that can help boost white blood cells, which defend against invaders. Sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils.
Our bodies need sleep to rest and recharge. Without a sufficient amount of sleep, we increase our risk for developing serious health problems—like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity. Inadequate sleep has also been linked to suppressed immune function.
Need help falling asleep? Try adding the seeds, healthful fruits, vegetables, grains to your immune boosting diet.