If you’re looking for ways to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections, these foods may aid in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
An important note
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, people are desperate to increase their immunity against the disease somehow, but no supplement can cure or prevent it.
Currently, no research supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically.
Vitamin C is useful in preventing the common cold for persons exposed to sickness-inducing circumstances, such as cold weather, according to a review undertaken by the National Center for Epidemiology and Population HealthDouglas RM, Hemila H, Chalker EB, Treacy B, D’Souza R, (2004). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15495002 at the Australian National University.
Oranges are high in vitamin C and so an essential component to have when you’re sick or want to strengthen your immune system.
Vitamin C may assist in shortening the length of typical cold symptoms and increase the operation of the human immune system. It boosts the formation of white blood cells, which are important in the battle against illnesses.
Adults who consumed flavonoids—an antioxidant class found in blueberries—were 33 percent less likely to acquire a cold than those who did not consume flavonoid-rich foods or supplements daily, according to research performed by the University of AucklandSomerville VS, Braakhuis AJ, Hopkins WG, (2016). Effect of Flavonoids on Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and Immune Function
So, blueberries are high in antioxidants, which can aid in treating and preventing coughs and colds.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has a lot of theobromine, an antioxidant that has been shown to help with coughing.
A study published in Frontiers in PharmacologyMartínez-Pinilla E, Oñatibia-Astibia A, Franco R, (2015). The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4335269 discovered that theobromine effectively reduces cough symptoms in persons with bronchitis, but it is noted that more research is needed to prove the findings completely.
Dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, and so it is crucial to consume it in moderation despite its possible health benefits. Additionally, there are some heart-healthy benefits of dark chocolate.
Staying hydrated can help loosen trapped mucus, and when you are feeling sick, water can be one of the most helpful drinks to sip on. To stay well hydrated, drink at least the suggested eight glasses of water every day, as we lose more fluids while we’re unwell.
5. Yogurt +
Yogurt can be a good source of vitamin D and is thought to aid our bodies’ natural defenses against illnesses by regulating the immune system. It is advised to check the nutritional labels for the details regarding this vitamin just in case a brand doesn’t fortify it.
Greek yogurt is higher in protein and contains more sickness-fighting probiotics than regular yogurt.
Probiotics can help prevent and treat the common cold, according to a meta-analysis published in the Korean Journal of Family MedicineJi Y, Hwang I, Kim S Y, Kang E, (2013). The Effect of Probiotics on Prevention of Common Cold.
Also, the researchers discovered that persons who consumed probiotics daily were less likely to get a cold than those who did not consume any probiotic-rich foods.
Clinical trials are even being planned to look into its impact on COVID-19.
Broccoli is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse. Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies you can eat, with vitamins A, C, E, fiber, and many other antioxidants.
Cooking it as little as possible or not at all — is the key to preserving its power. Steaming is the greatest technique to maintain more nutrients in food, according to research from the Journal of Zhejiang UniversityYuan G, Sun B, Yuan J, Wang Q, (2009). Effects of different cooking methods on health-promoting compounds of broccoli.
Sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant and is greatly present in Broccoli. For these benefits, it is an excellent vegetable to eat daily to boost immune system health.
Other cruciferous vegetables also share similar if not the same health benefits as broccoli.
Turmeric is a well-known spice used extensively in India to cook delicious dishes, but the spice is more than just a delicious kick to your next dinnertime meal.
High amounts of curcumin, which gives turmeric its unique color, activates the production of T-cells which are the main cells fighting for health in the immune system. It also works as an antiviral and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB, (2007). “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17211725Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS, (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031Moghadamtousi SZ, Kadir HA, Hassandarvish P, Tajik H, Abubakar S, Zandi K, (2014). A Review on Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal Activity of … Continue reading.
8. Ginger Tea
Ginger is used in a wide range of foods and desserts, as well as drinks. It is one of the finest foods for relieving the symptoms of a common cold.
Powered with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristicsMashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, Hariri M, Darvishi L, Mofid MR, (2013). Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical … Continue reading, it’s likely to provide health benefits such as reducing inflammation, which can assist with sore throats and inflammatory disorders.
Reducing inflammation can help strengthen your immunity as inflammation can alter your body’s immune response.
Ginger may also help relieve chronic painLakhan SE, Ford CT, Tepper D, (2015). Zingiberaceae extracts for pain.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4436156 and may lower cholesterol levelsPourmasoumi M, Hadi A, Rafie N, Najafgholizadeh A, Mohammadi H, Rouhani MH, (2018). The effect of ginger supplementation on lipid profile.
9. Green Tea
Green tea contains flavonoids that promote immunity as an antioxidant, and it also has anti-inflammatory effects, according to a study published in the Journal of Indian Society of PeriodontologyChatterjee A, Saluja M, Agarwal G, Alam M, (2012). Green tea: A boon for periodontal and general health.
According to the study, antioxidant catechin, which is abundant in green tea, is a potent antibacterial and antiviral that can eliminate cold-causing germs and the influenza virus.
Fortunately, green tea has low caffeine content; therefore, it can also be a caffeine-free alternative to black tea or coffee.
The amino acid L-theanine can also be found in green tea. It may help your T cells produce germ-fighting compounds.
10. Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are a fantastic alternate source of vitamin C for folks who want to avoid the sugar in fruit. The vitamin C content of red bell peppers (127 mg) is nearly three times that of a Florida orange (45 mg).
Vitamin C may help you maintain healthy skin in addition to boosting your immune system. These are rich in beta carotene, and your body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, which helps to keep your eyes and skin healthy.
According to a studyHwang IG, Shin YJ, Lee S, Lee J, Yoo SM, (2012). Effects of Different Cooking Methods on the Antioxidant Properties of Red Pepper.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3866734 on cooking methods, stir-frying, and roasting both preserve the nutritious content of red bell peppers better than steaming or boiling.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the immune system is diverse. One method to support immunological health is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid smoking.
But again, enjoying the 10 immune-boosting foods listed here may strengthen the immune system and improve the ability to fight off infections.
Proper nutrition requires a wide variety of foods. Even if you eat one of these meals regularly, it would not be enough to protect you from the flu or other infections. Pay attention to serving sizes and daily intake recommendations to avoid getting too much of one vitamin while getting too little of another.