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Top 10 Natural Immunity Boosters

Natural-Immunity-Boosters

Mother Nature is a wonderful planner. She has us covered with all the basics. Today medical science has reached pinnacles in providing cures for almost everything, but even the medical community insists that the best way of staying healthy is by eating healthy. The famous age-old adage health is wealth has never been more accurate or more honest. The best part of all this is that you do not have to rush to your nearest pharmacy to get packed up with the necessary vitamins. Nor do you have to spend thousands on buying that perfect concoction of daily vitamins. All you have to do is trust nature and follow its lead. Everything that you could need to kick start or boost up your immunity can be found in the local vegetable market. It might even be already there in your fridge and kitchen shelves.

So how do you boost your immunity naturally? This article will cover the basics of immunity for you and list the top 10 foods that can help you on your way to more robust immunity.

What Is Immunity?

First things first, let’s get you started by understanding what immunity is all about. Immunity can be defined as the state where the multicellular organisms have adequate defenses to fight biological intrusions. In simpler terms, immunity is your body’s way of keeping you healthy. It is your first line of defense against any:

  • Infection
  • Disease
  • Allergy
  • Foreign body intrusion

When you or your body is exposed to any bacteria or virus or even any other foreign body, then your body’s immunity reacts by gearing up to fight these intrusions.

Why Is Immunity Important?

Immunity matters a lot. Immunity is what keeps you going against all the numerous bacteria and viruses that you get exposed to every day. Immunity helps by a two-step process:

  • Prevention: This is paramount. Immunity saves you from a lot of diseases and infections even after you have been exposed to it. A lot of the time, you might not even realize that your system is under attack.
  • Recovery: If your immunity is unable to fight off the infection, and you do end up falling sick, it is still your immunity level that decides how long you remain sick. A healthier person with high levels of immunity will be able to fight off infections and recover faster than a person with lower immunity.

Hence immunity not only prevents you from falling sick but also helps you get back on your feet quicker. Immunity means the difference between a healthy body and an unhealthy body. Your first step towards health is building immunity. You need to be strong from the inside to be able to become stronger on the outside.

Leveling Up Immunity

After discussing how important immunity is, the question that arises is how to improve upon immunity. Boosting immunity is very tempting, especially considering the benefits attached to it. However, you have to understand that immunity is an entity. It is a mix of various factors that combine to form your defense mechanism. Therefore, powering immunity is not just popping pills or eating healthy. It involves a mixture of things. Above all, it is a lifestyle pattern.

But you don’t have to despair. Powering up your immunity can be super easy as well. Immunity can be improved in numerous ways. Harvard Health enumerates them as below:

  • Well Balanced Diet
  • Exercise
  • Minimizing Stress
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Don’t Smoke
  • Get Adequate Sleep and Rest

The most effective method of boosting up your immunity is through a combination of a well-balanced diet, nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise. This recipe for a healthy lifestyle is simple, indeed. You only need to include immunity powerhouse food types in your daily diet and combine it with normal exercises and sufficient rest to have a healthy life. If you feel that including these food types and concentrating on the kitchen shelves to look for immunity boosters is too much of a hassle, you always have the option of heading to the nearest chemist. You will find the market flooded with different vitamin combinations to suit your every preference.

Which Food Nutrients Matter?

The food here refers primarily to natural food products and not the processed variety. The food that you consume can be classified into five different food types or groups. Broadly these groups are:

  • Vegetables and legumes
  • Fruits
  • Meats
  • Dairy products
  • Fats and Oils

All these food groups matter when you are talking about immunity. The difference lies in which ones are capable of boosting immunity more than the others. Once you figure out the types of food that carry more immunity than others, you can make it a point to include those in your diet more often. The nutrients, i.e., the vitamins and minerals that are known to boost immunity, and you should be focusing on are:

  • Vitamin C, D, A, and E: Vitamins play a major role in keeping your immunity fine. They are powerful antioxidants that help your body fight off infections.
  • Iron: Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen to your cells. If iron is deficient in your body, then your body will not get adequate oxygen. This will turn to make you weak and tired, compromising your immunity.
  • Zinc: When you get hurt, the immune system automatically responds by causing inflammation in the concerned area. This inflammation is helpful and required, but when it gets out of hand, it can become a problem by itself. Zinc helps slow down this immune response so that the inflammation stays in control.
  • Selenium: This helps by slowing down your immunity’s overactive responses, especially in cancer cases.
  • Foliate/ Folic Acid: Folic acid is the synthetic form of foliate. It is responsible for making and repairing the DNA structure of your body and hence is vital for immunity.

Top 10 Foods for Boosting Immunity

You must be wondering now which exact foods you need to include in your and your family’s diet to get the maximum benefit for your immunity. Below is a list of the top 10 superfoods that are easily available in your local store which you can and should include in your diet:

Citrus Fruits: They are a rich source of Vitamin C. Some easily available citrus fruits are:

    • Oranges: One regular orange has 100 mcg of Vitamin C. This is 130% of the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) as prescribed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
    • Lemons: A quarter cup of lemon juice takes care of 31% of Vitamin C’s DRI. One whole raw lemon is about 139% of Vitamin C’s DRI.
    • Kiwi: Every 100 grams of Kiwi has about 93 mg of Vitamin C, which is 79% o the DRI.

Broccoli: This is a supercharged food. It comes packed with Vitamin A, C, and E. Apart from these, it also carries with it a high fiber and potassium content. The nutrition content per 100 grams expressed as a percentage of DRI are:

    • Vitamin A: 31%
    • Vitamin C: 108%
    • Calcium: 3.1%
    • Iron: 3.7%

Garlic: It is essential in every type of Indian cuisine. There are a lot of health benefits to garlic. Its high concentration of sulfur compounds such as allicin gives garlic its immune-boosting property. National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health states that garlic also helps fight cancer, lowers blood pressure, and slows down your arteries from getting hard. The nutrition content per 100 grams expressed as a percentage of DRI is:

    • Vitamin B6: 95%
    • Vitamin C: 35%
    • Manganese: 73%
    • Selenium: 26%
    • Zinc: 11%

Spinach: Apart from being rich in Vitamin C, spinach also brings antioxidants and beta carotene to your table. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin A, K, and B2. This helps your immune system by strengthening its infection-fighting mechanism. The nutrient content of 100 grams spinach expressed as a percentage of DRI is:

    • Vitamin K: 402%
    • Vitamin C: 31%
    • Vitamin A: 188%
    • Iron: 15%
    • Manganese: 39%

Almonds: Vitamin E helps keep your immune system strong. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that requires fat to be absorbed properly by the body. Packed with high levels of Vitamin E and magnesium, almonds also come with good fat. This allows your body to absorb vitamin E effectively. Almonds have been popularized as a heart-healthy snack. Their per 100 grams nutrient content expressed as a percentage of DRI is:

    • Riboflavin: 88%
    • Vitamin E: 114%
    • Copper: 115%
    • Magnesium: 68%
    • Manganese: 95%
    • Phosphorous: 69%
    • Potassium: 16%
    • Zinc: 28%
    • Protein: 42%

Full Cream Yoghurt: Curds and Yoghurts have dry and active cultures. These cultures stimulate the immune system and help them in fighting off infections. Curd helps keep your body temperature low and is especially beneficial to the digestive system. The nutrition content per 100 grams and expressed as a percentage of DRI is:

    • Vitamin B12: 15%
    • Calcium: 9%
    • Phosphorus: 14%
    • Protein: 7%

Turmeric: This is a key ingredient in almost all the Indian curries and vegetables. You probably even remember having turmeric milk, also known as golden milk before going to bed. Turmeric has a lot of health benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory to being an anti-septic. It keeps the body warm and is especially helpful for immunity during winters. The curcumin present in turmeric is known to fight cancer cells and rejuvenate muscle damage.

Sweet potatoes: Very high in beta carotene, sweet potatoes come loaded with antioxidants as well. It gives a good wake me up to your immunity system with all these pre-loaded nutrients. The nutrition content per 100 grams expressed as a percentage of DRI are:

    • Vitamin A: 315%
    • Vitamin C: 14%
    • Vitamin B6: 13%

Dark Chocolate: The dark chocolate has an antioxidant called theobromine. This helps the immunity by protecting the body cells from free radicals. Free radicals are molecular particles that your body produces when it breaks down food for digestion or comes across certain pollutants. These radicals have the potential to harm your body immensely. Dark chocolate helps by keeping these radicals in check. The nutrition content per 100 grams expressed as a percentage of DRI is:

    • Copper: 196%
    • Iron: 66%
    • Magnesium: 57%
    • Manganese: 85%Phosphorus: 44%
    • Zinc: 30%

Ginger: Ginger tea is a very popular drink in every Indian household. This humble root has a lot to its credit. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-nauseous properties. Apart from this, ginger also aids in improving digestion and relieves pain. Its nutrient content per 100 grams expressed as a percentage of DRI is:

    • Niacin: 60%
    • Vitamin B6: 48%
    • Iron: 110%
    • Magnesium: 54%
    • Manganese: 1448%
    • Selenium: 101%
    • Zinc: 33%
    • Protein: 18%

Q & A Round

Some common queries that must be in your mind are:

What Is the Fastest Way of Boosting My Immune System?

The fastest way of boosting your immunity is following a well-balanced, varied diet including lots of vegetables and fruits. Apart from this, make sure you get ample rest and exercise.

What Are the Common Symptoms of A Weak Immune System?

The most common symptom of weak immunity is catching cough and colds frequently, feeling tired easily, and having low stamina even on your good days.

Which Vitamins Help in Boosting Immunity?

Three vitamins that are essential in building immunity are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E

What Is an Immune System Test?

An immune system test area series of tests conducted to understand your immunity levels. They are conducted through a blood test that breaks down your blood composition to check for the vitamin and mineral content.

Conclusion

Immunity is important. It is your body’s defense mechanism and should be respected. You need to keep the body going from the inside to be able to cope with all the outside stresses. A healthy immune system gives you the aids you need to live a long healthy life. Next time try reaching for an orange instead or a handful of nuts instead of reaching for those feel-good popcorns.

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