Understanding immunity and immune system
The immune system of the body includes organs and processes that protect the body against infection and toxins. The network of organs, white blood cells, antibodies, and chemicals protect the body against harmful pathogens.
The ability of the body to resist the harmful impact of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens is termed immunity. Immunity is natural and can also be adapted. Natural immunity is natural to a person. Adaptive immunity is developed when exposed to a disease or when the body is immunized against diseases.
There is also passive immunity that develops by eating immunity-boosting foods. The foods that one eats impact the immune system and enhance immunity.
Building a strong immune system has gained significance after the recent outbreak of COVID-19. This has resulted in attention toward immune-boosting foods and healthy eating habits. People have become more active in maintaining their overall health and wellness.
It is important to consume essential nutrients and it is also equally important to check the source of nutrients. The nutrients are easily absorbed when met through whole foods.
Let us learn the varieties of foods that can improve the immune system of the body.
Citrus fruits contain flavonoids – nobiletin and ascorbic acid. These resist the growth of cancer cells, promote immunity, and are good for heart health.
Citrus fruits include lemons, oranges, grapefruit, limes, etc.
Broccoli in rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium and glucosinolate. The antioxidants improve the immune response against infections. Zinc and selenium are good for the overall immune system and glucosinolates are anti-cancer nutrients.
Apart from immunity boosting broccoli are also good for skin and liver health.
Spinach is rich in magnesium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. All these components help the body fight against infections and diseases. Spinach is also good for healthy muscle and nerve function and improves vision.
To have a healthy gut is important to have a strong immune system as it can absorb the nutrients from foods. And fermented foods contain good bacteria that maintain intestinal flora.
Drinking a cup of green tea has lots of benefits. It can prevent cancer and stop the growth of cancer cells. The anti-oxidant especially epigallocatechin gallate in green tea boost immunity.
Barley is rich in fiber, selenium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. It improves immunity and enhances the healing process.
Oats are rich in fiber and this benefits digestive health. The antioxidant in oats protects the blood vessels and reduce the risk of cold and other infections.
Mushrooms are rich in vitamin B, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, amino acids, and antioxidants. Eating mushrooms can protect against the tumor, and viral infection and speed the recovery from diseases.
Sunflower seeds are packed with selenium, magnesium, copper, potassium, vitamin B1, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Sunflower seeds are great for the prevention and treatment of cold and cough.
Kiwi improves digestion and reduces the risk of respiratory problems. The fruit is rich in vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.
Red bell pepper
Red bell pepper contains more vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C boosts immunity and beta carotene is good for eyes and skin health.
Ginger is anti-inflammatory and is useful in sore throats and other inflammatory diseases.
Garlic is the most common ingredient used in every food. The allicin content in garlic serves as immune boosting property.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants. Packed with vitamins and healthy fats almonds are good to boost immunity.
Turmeric has been used for ages to heal infections and as an immunity booster.
Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, folate, magnesium, and enzyme papain in papaya are good for overall health and boost immunity.