Harmful microorganisms seem to be everywhere, we can’t completely avoid them no matter how hard we try; but we can certainly control what effect they have on us. The human body is designed to fight off attacks from micro enemies that are ubiquitous, and keeping your body healthy is the best way to ensure it remains equipped and strong enough to fight off dangerous radicals and organisms that may want to affect its functionality.
There are certain foods that are easily available which will help you prevent illnesses like the flu, common cold, and several types of infections. Listed below are seemingly ordinary foods that, when taken frequently, act as powerful immune boosters.
- Citrus fruits
It is very common for people to offer or self prescribe vitamin C in the event of a common cold. This is mainly because vitamin C helps in building and fortifying your immune system.
How does vitamin C carry out this function? By increasing the amount of white blood cells produced. White blood cells are crucial in fighting infections. They are regarded as the soldiers of the body. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, and consist of several fruits to select from. Popular citrus fruits include: lemons, lime, clementines, tangerines, grapefruit, and oranges
Unfortunately, your body doesn’t “self-produce” or store vitamin C, you need a steady daily supply to maintain optimum health.
- Red bell peppers
Contrary to popular belief, citrus fruits do not contain the most amount of vitamin C. That position belongs to red bell peppers. Aside from boosting your body’s immunity, vitamin C is also beneficial in maintaining healthy skin. Your body converts the Beta carotene into vitamin A which helps keep your skin and eyes healthy.
Broccoli is packed with amazing vitamins like A, C and E along with minerals, fiber and antioxidants that promote health. Without doubts, broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables to have on your plate. To preserve these nutrients it is advisable to cook lightly, if at all. Studies have revealed Steaming to be the best method of retaining nutrients.
Almost every kitchen around the world utilizes garlic in some way. Apart from adding a unique flavour to food, garlic also has several health benefits. Garlic helps in the prevention of hardened arteries and some studies even show its advantages in lowering blood pressure. The ability of garlic to boost immunity may be from its high sulphur containing compounds like allicin.
Ginger is often the next port of call when a person falls sick. This is because of its ability to reduce inflammation and treat sore throat. Although ginger may be widely used in the kitchen, the form which offers more nutrients is gingerol, related to capsaicin. Ginger is also used to alleviate chronic pain.
Unsurprisingly, spinach made the list. Spinach is not only rich in Vitamin C, but is also packed with beta carotene and antioxidants which boost our immune system’s disease fighting ability. Much like broccoli, spinach is more beneficial to you when it is cooked as lightly as possible, so as to retain the nutrients. Also, cooking light helps in the absorption of Vitamin A.
For the best results in fighting off colds, it is better to use Vitamin E instead of vitamin C, and almonds have lots of it. This ingredient is also used as an antioxidant and is crucial in maintaining a great immune system. Humans require about 15mg of vitamin E every day. Half a cup of almonds, which is about 46 almonds, provides a complete dose of vitamin E needed daily.
As you may well know, turmeric is an important ingredient in several curries. This spice is often used in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Curcumin, which is a major ingredient in turmeric, helps with muscle damage caused by exercise.
- Green tea
Green tea is packed with flavonoids, which is a type of antioxidant used in preventing diseases. Green tea also contains high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a powerful antioxidant. EGCG is also known to enhance immunity, and the process of preparing Green tea preserves the ECCG.
Kiwis are packed full with several essential nutrients like potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells count and helps in fighting off diseases. In addition, kiwi also helps every part of your body function properly.
Most of the foods we require to live healthy lives as humans are all around us and often taken lightly. There are several other superfoods out there that you can take advantage of to lead a healthy life, but this list is a good place to start. Consumption of these foods will help prevent a lot of illnesses that would have otherwise weighed you down. So, the next time you pick up any of these foods, make the most of it.