With a somewhat fatal disease doing the rounds, all of us are looking for ways to boost our immunity. The cure for the coronavirus or COVID-19 is still underway, and according to statistical estimates, a concrete cure may be at least six months away. In such a situation, all we can really do to protect ourselves is self-isolate and continue healthy eating. So, here are 25 superfoods that will boost your immunity and help those white blood cells fight to protect your body.
Here are the Best Sorted 25 Nutritious Foods to Boost Your Immunity
1. Citrus Fruits – Immunity Booster, Rich in Vitamin C
Citrus fruits refer to generally sour, juicy and pulpy fruits like oranges, limes, or grapefruits. They have a high vitamin C content which is essential for healthy skin and hair. These fruits contain ascorbic acid – well known for the regeneration of collagen. Put simply, they work as an all-natural anti-ageing cream, but better. The pectin in these fruits helps to break down bad cholesterol deposits too. They have low-calorie content and high fiber composition, which makes it easy to digest and prevent constipation. Other than this, citrus fruits have the ability to protect against the growth of cancerous cells, promoting the health of the immune system, and preventing colds and coughs.
2. Red Bell Peppers – A Healthy Boost to the Immune System
A single red bell pepper can fulfil up to three hundred per cent of your required total daily vitamin C intake. It has a mild, sweet and crispy flavor which makes it a delicious as well as a nutritious snack to have. Having a sufficient amount of bell peppers in your diet will promote healthier night vision; relieve stress and fatigue, decrease anxiety and premenstrual symptoms and formulation of collagen for skin and hair. Red bell peppers also contain a good amount of vitamin B6 and folic acid, which are necessary requirements for a healthy boost to the immune system.
3. Spinach – Contains High Levels of Calcium to Boost Your Immunity
Dark, leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, folate, iron, calcium, and vitamins C and K; they play an important role in regulating the immune system. Spinach is one such example, it is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It also has a high fiber content which adds bulk to stool and promotes the overall health of the alimentary canal. Spinach contains high levels of calcium. Calcium is essential for the body’s bone health, smooth functioning of the mental and nervous system, and reduction of oxidative stress. This basically means it keeps you physically and mentally stable and prevents your body from ageing too quickly. Spinach is also good for blood pressure control due to high nitrate content.
4. Dark Chocolate – Improves Blood Flow and Lowers Blood Pressure
In the midst of boring fruits and vegetables, chocolate is what everyone would readily consume, even without knowing its health benefits. But we’re not talking about the fattening, processed chocolate. This dark chocolate needs to have at least 70-80 per cent of cocoa content. Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants to mankind. It also improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. This is because chocolate facilitates NO production, which reduces resistance for the blood to flow. Chocolate also protects the skin from sunburns and inflammation, reduces risk to heart diseases and rates of bad cholesterol in the body. But most importantly, chocolate improves brain function by a significant per cent. However, you must check your chocolate intake, limit it to one to two squares (daily) only.
5. Blueberries – High Vitamin-C Content Boosting your Immune System
The high vitamin C content in blueberries protects cells against damage and helps them to absorb iron from the blood better. It also improves night vision in the elderly. These purple berries also help fight against urinary tract infections in women. Other well-known benefits of eating blueberries include promoting bone strength, memory power, and reduction in cardiac risks. Peculiarly, blueberries are also considered a home remedy for both diarrhea and constipation. All in all, blueberries are yummy fruits that also help in boosting your immune system.
6. Turmeric – Boost Your Immunity with One of the Most Versatile of all Herbal Healers
Turmeric is a bag of magic fairy dust in every desi household, and rightly so. It is one of the few herbs which hold a unique place in ancient ayurvedic practices. Rich in antioxidants, it is anti-inflammatory too. It improves brain function, lowers the risk of heart disease, prevents the growth of tumor cells, and reduces chances of developing age-related diseases such as arthritis or Alzheimer’s. It is truly every Indian mother’s favorite medicine, and now, science supports their facts too.
7. Kiwis – Help Fight Against Diseases and Boost Your Immunity
Kiwis are small green fruits that are packed with nutrients and flavor. They have high vitamin C content. That is why they are great for promoting better lung function. Kiwis also help to boost your immunity and help fight against diseases, especially cold or flu. These fruits also decrease macular degeneration, thus protecting the body from vision loss. Juicy and sweet, with a hint of sour, kiwis are like a power load of energy too.
8. Broccoli – Control Blood Sugar and Promotes Heart Health
Broccoli is a miraculous superfood because of its high nutrient content. It is rich in protein, which helps to build muscles and repair damaged tissues. Broccoli also contains iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium. This green vegetable can also offer protection against breast and prostate cancer. It helps to control blood sugar levels by promoting insulin production, promotes heart health, healthy digestion and reduced constipation. Broccoli is also good for moms-to-be for it promotes a healthy pregnancy too.
9. Garlic – Reduces Susceptibility to Heart Disease – Helps to Boost Your Immunity
Due to its strong flavor, garlic cannot be eaten raw and needs to be used in combination with a milder ingredient. It helps in stabilizing blood pressure levels, lowering bad cholesterol deposits, and reduces susceptibility to heart disease. Garlic is useful for acne treatment and removal of stretch marks by external use. They are also used to clear nasal congestions and prevent flu and cold symptoms. So, apart from just repelling vampires, garlic is a pretty useful root.
10. Ginger – Increase Metabolism Rate and Boosts Immune System
Talking about useful roots, ginger is another staple. It is used in many home remedies and claims to cure an upset stomach, menstrual pain, and calm nausea. Ginger is beneficial to curb morning sickness during pregnancy. This root also helps the body to digest fats faster, and increase metabolism rate, thus helping the body lose weight. Ginger has a slightly spicy flavor and is best in taste when added with some sweetener, like honey. It is one of most used as a flavoring agent in Indian cuisine.
11. Almonds – Contains Antioxidants Which Boost Your Immunity
Almonds are one of the most essential nuts required by the body. Just a handful can fulfill one-eighth of the body’s daily protein requirements. Almonds are high in vitamin E content, which is known to prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Almonds are best known for increasing brain activity and memory power. It also boosts your immunity because of the antioxidants it contains. These nuts also play a role in controlling blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and gut health.
12. Oily fish – A Good Source of Proteins, and Omega 3
Oily fish is a versatile food that one can cook it in many ways. It is also extremely nutritious. Fish is a good source of proteins, and omega 3. The body significantly requires these nutrients for repair and growth. It is also rich in vitamin D content, which helps improve vision and memory. Apart from this, fish can even lower risk of dementia, heart disease and arthritis. Oily fish boosts your immunity and improves the body’s sensory, cognitive and motor development.
13. Green Tea – Increases Metabolism and Help in Burning Body Fat
Green tea is best known for its antioxidants which help in burning body fat and increasing overall metabolism. Other than this, green tea has much more to offer; it improves brain function and improves memory. This tea also treats puffy eyes and dark circles due to its cooling properties. Green tea is an anti-viral agent and boosts immunity by fighting against bacterial proxies. It also improves your dental health and makes the gums stronger and healthier.
14. Papaya – Boost the Immune System by Helping Growth of WBCs
Papaya has a very high Vitamin A content which makes is excellent for the eyes. It acts as a boost to the immune system by helping the growth of WBCs. It is also good for controlling diabetes, arthritis and also curbs menstrual cramps. Due to its anti-heat properties, papaya can cure ulcers, acne, burns, and sores. It is also effective against stomach worms.
15. Sweet Potatoes – Rich in Many Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants and Roughage
Sweet potatoes are rich in many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and roughage. They also improve the health of the digestive system by acting as a cleansing agent. Sweet potatoes are proved to have anti-cancer properties in test-tube experiments. Researches show that they contain high levels of vitamin A which is essential for the body’s immune system. These tubers are important to maintain a healthy stomach lining for a fit digestive process.
16. Button Mushrooms – Support Bone Integrity and Production of Blood Cells
Button mushrooms are a rich source of selenium, which is vital for the body to maintain the strength of the liver and heart tissues. It is also a good source of vitamin D, thus making it essential for vegetarians, who have limited sources to obtain it. Mushrooms also improve brain function and fight against internal cell damage. Many studies show it has properties to support bone integrity and production of blood cells. Moreover, mushrooms are great for curing ulcers, rashes and irritated skin too.
17. Elderberry – An Excellent Source of Fiber
Elderberries are small purple berries usually found in clusters. They are important to one’s dietary requirement because of its various health benefits and its role in boosting your immunity. They have a high vitamin C content which helps the body fight against the growth of tumor cells. These berries are great for protection against degenerative diseases, infections, heart problems and blood pressure fluctuations. Elderberry is an excellent source of fiber, which helps it prevent constipation, and encourages perfect bowel function.
18. Poultry – One of the Best Sources of Protein
Poultry is one of the best sources of protein for the body, and comparatively low in fat content as compared to other meats. It is considered healthy because of its role in the production of RBCs and hemoglobin. Poultry is an excellent source for vitamin D, which makes it beneficial for bone strength. It can help to improve brain function, boost the immune system, and maintain sharper eyesight.
19. Sunflower Seeds – Improve Mental Health, Reduce Stress, and Anxiety
Sunflower seeds are best known for their high iron content, thus making it a must for people who are anaemic. They are anti-inflammatory; prevent asthma and arthritis, and controls cell damage. Sunflower seeds improve mental health, reduce stress, reduce anxiety and are super beneficial for nerves. One of the best natural foods for the skin, the oil in sunflower seeds is excellent for glowing skin and heals sun damage and cell ageing.
20. Shellfish – Low in its Fat Content and Helps in Weight Loss
Shellfish has high Omega3 content, which is vital for mental and physical health. It also supports muscular coordination and important cell functions. Shellfish is also indispensable for improvement of the health of the brain and the heart. It provides a boost to immunity and helps in the production of collagen and hemoglobin. Shellfish is also low in its fat content which helps in weight loss and keeping fit.
21. Acai Berries –Antioxidants, Boost your Immunity and Increases Energy Levels
Acai berries are a huge source of antioxidants, which lowers oxidative stress for the body. It helps reduce inflammation and prevents the growth of cancer cells. Acai berries are known to reduce risks of a heart attack, reduce cholesterol deposits and controls blood sugar levels in people with insulin deficiencies. It boosts your immunity and increases energy levels in the body. Acai berries have anti-ageing properties. Therefore, it is used in many creams and facial products. It is also known to control pigment deposits and acne.
22. Watermelon – Good for Reducing Oxidative Stress and Lowers Inflammation
Watermelon obviously has high water content, so it hydrates the body and provides it with roughage for proper bowel function. The vitamin C content in it prevents cell damage and boosts your immunity; as it is an essential nutrient for healthy immune system response. Watermelon contains lots of water and a small amount of fiber, both these are vital for healthy digestion. It has excellent health benefits for pregnant women. Watermelon is good for reducing oxidative stress and lower inflammation as well.
23. Wheat Germ – Familiar for its Detoxifying and Anti-aging Properties
Wheat germ is well-known for its detoxifying and anti-ageing properties. It boosts the immune system and overall muscle health of the body. It also contains healthy fats that are required by the lymphatic system of the body, which in turn increases athletic performance. Wheat germ protects the brain cells and is excellent for heart health. According to studies, it may have anti-cancerous properties too.
24. Low Fat Yogurt – Contains Microorganisms that Boost the Immune System
Yogurt is exceptionally good for the gut. It contains essential microorganisms that boost our immune system; it also offers protection against osteoporosis and maintains bone and teeth health. Yogurt prevents digestive disorders and positively impacts brain functioning. It is essential for protecting children and pregnant women against side effects of heavy metal exposure.
25. Pomegranate Juice – Boost the Immunity and Prevents Arthritis, Improves Memory
Pomegranate juice protects from free radicals and reduces oxidative stress in the body. It helps boost the immunity and prevents arthritis, improves memory, helps in digestion, lowers blood pressure and stress levels. Pomegranate juice removes excess fat in the body and prevents stiffening of arterial walls. This helps in a smoother blood flow, which makes the blood pressure lower.
A healthy diet goes hand in hand with the required amount of exercise. There is no point in having nutritional food unless you are physically healthy and fit. A correct boost to the immune system will only be successful if keeping fit accompanies it. So, as my mom’s favorite health guru says:
Eat smart, move more, sleep right and breathe deep!
Also Read: Fruit snacks seem to be the dominant trend in the market right now. We find packets of fruit snacks neatly stacked up everywhere, claiming to be the “healthiest snack option”, it is crucial to investigate whether fruit snacks really are that healthy or another marketing trick at play.